I’m a touchy feely person. Not in the awkward, socially unacceptable, invade your personal space sort of way. You’ve got nothing to fear from meeting me.
I like real things, things that are physical, that can exist in my hands. So much of my life is online and digital, it is just a much keener experience for me if the words I read, the pictures I look at exist in a beautiful object I can hold.
I don’t ever want a Kindle. You can keep your Nook. Give me a real, hardback book, with a beautifully designed dust jacket, that rough canvas texture of the cover, the creamy paper inside, the soft smell of sawdust. When I read, I like to feel the weight of the book. Where’s the community of a thousand books stored on a computer chip? I like those characters and voices to populate my shelves, like old friends to return to.
And I feel the same way about the photographs I take. It’s useful to have them archived online, but that’s just storage. I want them to become real, physical things. Hold a print of a person you love in your hands, you’ll understand what I mean straight away. Holding them yourself, framing them, hanging them on a wall, letting them have a life.
So if you set a leather-bound photo album in front of me, I’m all over it. Beautiful things made by hand, with love, care and attention are a true pleasure. And if that book holds the story of someone you love, the family you are part of, the birth of your baby, well then it becomes something even more.
Louise and Dean had the digital files from their birth story session with me and they had plenty of plans for them. But Louise fell a little bit in love with my sample album, with a soft jade leather cover, the texture of the fine art paper inside. Dean called me later, arranged for me to design their birth story and have it hand made for them, all as a surprise for Louise. I think the look on her face, the tears in her eyes when she opened the album box and saw her story made real was one of the best moments I’ve had as a photographer. You see I’m proud of the work I create and it means so much to see it so appreciated and loved.
Louise told me, holding that book in her hands, the story felt complete. I hope I’m there to tell many more chapters of their story for them.