I've been thinking a lot today about the value of photography. In a literal sense, a photograph is ink on a piece of paper that costs very little to produce. But that's not where the true value lies.
18th February is always a bittersweet day for me. Today is the fifth anniversary of my father's death, and while I'm a little sad to think of all the things he's missed in the last five years, it's also a time to reflect on all the special memories I've shared with him over the years. You always think that your parents - or your grandparents or other family members - are always going to be there, and you have plenty of time to capture memories with them, but that isn't always the case.
I don't have enough photos of my father. He was a gentle, lovely man, supportive of his family and content to stay in the background and watch us all achieve and succeed. We have plenty of photos from our childhood, but fewer from later years before his death, when we grew up and went on to greater adventures which he always encouraged us in.
This photo of my Dad is technically rubbish. I took it around 15 years ago, a quick snap in our family lounge with no lighting, nothing special - yet it captures the twinkle in his eye and who he was. It's the photo that me, my mum and my sister have in our homes as it's one of the nicest pictures we have of Dad, and I wouldn't part with it for a million pounds.
The true value of photography is in the moments and memories it captures. Today more than ever, photography is so accessible for everyone - even the most basic phone has a camera included - and we have so many opportunities to take photos of those closest to us. When you lose someone, you treasure the photos that you have because the moments they capture are so so precious, and that makes them priceless.
Don't wait for tomorrow - get out and take photos of your family today.
Capture those ordinary moments as well as the special ones. Don't be the person that's always missing because you're always behind the lens. Whether it's your own camera, a professional shoot or your phone camera, take as many photos as you can of the people you love, because you'll never realise you don't have enough, until you can't take any more.