Creating Memories

February 5, 2022
Border Collie - Meg Mono

Creating Memories – February 2022

A very warm welcome to everyone and may I wish you all a very Happy, Safe and Healthy 2022.

At first this blog doesn’t seem much to do with photography at all. For me however, it is about the close relationship I have had with another creature for 14 years. It is about the companionship I have shared with my Border Collie “Meg” whilst we were out together photographing many beautiful vistas in the dales and on the moors of Yorkshire. It is also about how I can remember her in a physical image.

For those reading this who don’t share their lives with an animal this may seem a little strange, and I appreciate that. But for those who do, when that relationship ends it can be a very traumatic event.

Daft? – Yes, I can understand why many will feel that I may be a little bit unhinged to care so deeply about a dog. But then my family have acknowledged that I have been unhinged for many years. But they have witnessed the deep relationship I had with “Megimoo” for what we gave to each other without question.

So where does photography come into this, I hear you ask?. Over those 14 years I have taken many images of her in many situations, poses and locations. On my office wall hangs a 3 foot square framed monochrome image of her. She watches over me whilst I work, and this photograph reminds me of her and the times we had together. This is where photography comes into its own.

Images of times enjoyed, acquaintances made and places visited, can record times and events which have deep seated meanings to individual people. When viewed many years later a photograph can stimulate a memory in the brain. The “I remember when” or “Did I really look like that” or “I always used to get an ice cream from there when we visited” scenario.

Many old, and sometimes not so old, people have trouble remembering their past. As they grow older their mental capacity and quality of life can be severly affected by loss of memory. There are a number of conditions which can affect their whole lives through loss of function. But showing them photographs of the people they have known and places they have enjoyed can help to stimulate their brain  and help their minds recount memories. Watching their smiles light up will not only bring enjoyment to them but to others around them. Photography isn’t just about beautifully shot and manipulated images to hang on the wall or send on a greetings card, it can help to bring back memories of times gone by; memories of individual lives lived; of people.

Although “Meg” passed over a year ago now, she is not forgotten and never will be. Her place alongside me has been occupied by another Border Collie pup named “Gael”. And my word what a handful she is, with her own lively personality.  To the left on the day we first met at 7 weeks and to the right at 6 months. We’ve got through the teething and chewing stage and potty training is thankfully a distant memory. But what we do have is a growing relationship which is building by the day. All being recorded in photographic form so I can look back and remember in my dotage.

Cheers everybody, have a good year recording your own memories.