My father recently celebrated his 80th birthday. At the same time, friend and talented photographer, Kerry Banner, suggested that a group of us unite to put out our shared message. “Please, print your photographs”!

When I look back over my life, moments stand out – and those moments, generally include looking through the photographs with my grandmother, my mother, my children. We can, and do, spend hours, looking, remembering, laughing and touching. It’s fun to turn the photograph over to see if and what has been written on the other side. The day we couldn’t stop giggling at a photo of my paternal grandmother, one which had just emerged from another family member and been posted to my dad, was a really funny one; especially when dad got very indignant with us. Families, hey!

I have a camera of my dad’s. It means a lot to me, because one of the earliest photographs of my life, is being held in his arms, along with the same camera. We are the only two things he is holding. I was a baby. How would I ever have known that he safely held two of the most precious things in his life with such love, unless that physical picture, capturing the moment, was printed and in an album? I’ve done the same for my children. From the moment they took their first breath, to the present day, I have photographed – and printed. I’m not storing my precious memories, their memories, onto a disc which in a few years time will be obsolete. The next time I change my computer, the chances are it’s not going to have a built in DVD drive. I do store them on an external drive – but never once have I sat down with my children and shouted, “plug in!! We’re going to search files and folders to see if we can find our memories”! I mean, does anyone do that?

I have printed photos everywhere. They’re stored in albums, they’re in piles in shoe boxes. They’re on table tops in frames and not in frames. They are in the bathroom, the kitchen, the dining room. the hall, the sitting room. They are in my bedroom. These aren’t all me with my ‘professional’ hat on. The vast majority of them were taken before I ever thought I could make money from something I loved to do. But one thing’s for sure. My children are very, very aware that they are part of a family. Not just an immediate family who live under one roof. They are aware of extended family. They are able to put names to faces. They are even able to say, as happened recently “mum, it was so funny when you took that photo. You were so cross with us for not standing still that your hair was actually standing up!! And that’s why we’re all laughing – because you looked so funny”…. I didn;t know that!! So from the printed photographs I am told of other people’s memories – totally different from what I remember to be going on at that time!

I’ve chosen, because Dad’s reached that milestone, to share a very few printed photographs which mark his timeline. And oh my goodness, they are fascinating. After scanning them, I’ve put them back into an envelope. The very last thing my mum said as I left her house with these photos, was “You will bring them back”? I’m NOT the only one who treasures the printed memory.

 To celebrate the importance of this subject I have been asked, a select group of other professional photographers from around the country are also blogging their thoughts on this subject. So if you’d like to read the next chapter on this subject and follow our circle of blogs, please click on Judi and the continue to follow the chain.

Judi Checketts Photography, Oxfordshire: (also featuring guest photographer Wendy Bowie)

Claire Davey Photography, Luxembourg:

Todd & Moore Photography, York:

Kerry Banner at Love The Image Photography, Gloucestershire:

My paternal Great-Grandmother

Top: Epsom Downs, my father as a child. Bottom: mid 1920’s. My grandparents.

Late 1920’s. Grandparents with friends

I love the inscription, Mother.

And my dad’s father.
The girls at play!

My dad at work – I have a lot of memories of this.

My father’s uncle.
How I never saw my dad! Boys at play!

Crown Copyright: My dad at work, a side I never witnessed.
Tip: the dog I share a million memories about with my brother! Included, because my Dad bought her as a ‘surprise’ for us… and what a star she turned out to be!

Dad’s 80th. His youngest grandchildren, Ben, Finbar and Flora help him blow out his 80 candles. An abiding memory will be the vast amount of wax we had to scrape off the cake before we could eat it!
My father, with his children and grandchildren. L-R, me! George, Ella, Ben, Finbar, Dad, Henry, Dominic, Flora.  July 2013.