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Psychology of Pictures

When you first think of photography, the first thing that will come to your mind is huge DSLRs. Photography is much more than that. Every time you see a sunset and feel the urge to just capture the moment that’s photography. Whenever you get childhood nostalgia and open your photo album, that’s photography. When you click a photo of a top at the mall that you need to show your friends to get their approval is photography.

My journey into photography started from the desire to hold onto all the happiness that life pushes in my direction. No matter how small it was. Whenever I would see a puppy I would click a picture with it trying to remember how full of joy I was at the moment and how much I wished the moment wouldn’t pass. And to my surprise, whenever I saw those photos it felt as if I was back there feeling the same emotion again. When a photo is clicked, a lot more than just the moment is captured, all the emotions in it get captured too. We can relive these emotions just by seeing the photographs. That’s how much power a photo holds.

You may be wondering, Why do we feel the need to take pictures of things that are photographed already? As an amateur photographer I get a sense of satisfaction when I take a picture and it turns out good, even of easily searchable things; but why?

I believe that if the picture was of one of the peak experiences on the trip, a good photograph of that peak experience triggers a very positive remembering self memory of the trip. The remembered experience based on a picture will be much more vivid and vibrant than just trying to remember the experience, without the picture.

Further, seeing the exact picture that you remember taking will be much more likely to trigger your peak experience memory rather than seeing a standard google image of the same scene. The image you took has you “in” the image as the photographer, which prompts a fuller recall of the memory. That's why the pictures you take are much more important than just seeing roughly equivalent pictures from the web.

Photographs are memories. I encourage everyone to take some pictures. Not so many that you start ignoring your family or missing out on life, but a few whenever you get the opportunity. It may seem like a nuisance, but you’ll appreciate it when you’re older. Photographs are a quick and easy way to capture moments of your life that, you probably won’t be able to hold on to otherwise. Like dreams, our memories fade with time. Details get smudged out, colors fade, and people become amorphous impressions. But a photograph carries all the details well after your memory fades. And who among us doesn’t remember the embarrassment we feel whenever our parents take out our baby picture album to show our guests.

By our amazing member Nandini Kumar :)

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