Last night, Eric and I were flipping through Ella’s 1st Year Album and it brought up so many memories. It also stressed to me the importance of using “props” in your photographs that have emotional meaning. I know I’ve mentioned it in passing when posting about sessions but I thought it would make a good tips post.
So…what’s an emotional symbol? Well, it can be anything. It just has to be something that evokes memories or has meaning to you. A baby blanket, a stuffed toy, a sweater. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to make you smile, laugh or cry when you look at it. It gives the image more meaning. It personalizes it. It makes it into something that you want to keep.
Here, I’ve used a sweater that I knit while I was pregnant with Ella.
Ella received two very special hand made quilts when she was born. One from her Grandma Stewart and one from Eric’s “second mom”, Sherry.
This is Sherry’s. The photo doesn’t do justice to the beautiful colours (obviously!), but I just love how Ella’s playing with the flowers.
This is the one from her Grandma Stewart. Simple and fun.
This one makes me laugh. I bought this lion while I was in New York. I was only a few weeks pregnant but wanted to pick up something special for the baby. Lion has been her favourite for a long time. He wipes her tears when she’s sad. He cuddles with her at night. He makes her feel brave when she’s meeting new people. He’s so important, I have a “back up” that gets swapped out when one needs to be washed, so that she is never without. They’ve both been loved to death and don’t look nearly as “pristine” as he does in this photo.
There’s the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” What this means to me, is that one small photograph, has the power to evoke the same amount of emotion as a thousand words. It can tell a story, without saying anything.