Think back on all the magnificent places you have seen in your lifetime, or the moments of pure jubilation you have experienced. Do you ever wish you could put them all in a bottle to save for less splendid times, to open and allow wafts of memory to soothe your tired soul? Do you ever look at a photo and find a pure moment of stillness captured in its frame? I discovered this photo recently by chance and find it to have a similar affect on me as a meditation session might. How nice that by spending a little time with this picture I can access a part of myself that is soothed by memory and a continued affection for my dog, Sadie.
Thus is the power of the image, and my experience in the photography industry so far has shown me many examples of how emotions and memories are tapped and channeled through an image. This is the foundation of advertising, of course, but photographs also play an enormous role in our personal lives. How many times have our moods been changed simply by passing a treasured photo in the hall, or by watching a family movie containing moments we had all but forgotten? Photographs are our visual history, and may someday be a major part of our ancestors’ memories of us, even if they never got to meet us. Likewise, this picture of Sadie will help us to remember her graceful ability to climb rocky trails, her love of the snow and the woods, and her many endearing idiosyncrasies, when she one days passes on.
For now, I look at this picture and remember how beautiful snow in Idaho can be (I live in Texas now), and how fortunate I was to have this as my backyard for a year with my old roommate, Katie. I also view the present in this image, enjoying its peaceful quality and the wonderful thought that Sadie is still with us: healthy, silly, and loving. Like a bottle, this photo captures in its frame memories that soothe, without words, my spirit today.