Photographs are so valuable they’re invaluable.
They’re valuable for a lot of reasons, not just because they can cost very much in gold. But also because photographs are often the only tangible items that remain after a significant event or passage of time. Once the cake has been eaten, the house has cleared out, and the kids have grown, photographs survive.
They work to redeem fallible memories, exaggerated stories, and he-said-she-said retellings of the moment.
They’re a peculiar kind of truth that was never actually strictly true, for they themselves are just representations of portions of fractions of seconds. But alas, valuable they remain, even after house moves, new friends, fresh family members, and changing times.
In fact, time is one of the things that makes them even more valuable, more important, more unique and treasured. They represent not just an occasion, but an era. They’re looked upon as evidence of how it was at that moment in history. They become artefacts for the next generation, who study the images for signs of difference and of similarity – who question fashion choices, hair styles, car models and changing landscapes. But also, people they may never have had the chance to meet, important friends and family members.
This is only to say that photographs are worth more than their momentary visibility online, or on the phones or hard drives they impermanently inhabit, they are worth being held onto.
And so, if you consider all this agreeable, then don’t wait for the ‘perfect’ time to give yourself or your loved one a chance to have something to hold and look back upon, because the perfect time is always now.