I was really lucky to receive some beautiful, thoughtful Christmas presents this year. One of my favourite gifts was from my partner and something I can't wait to start using in 2015: a photo album with a twist.
104 Things to Photograph is a great book for anyone who likes taking photos, but especially for me as I am getting to grips with photography after purchasing my first camera earlier this year. It has slots to add photos under different titles, which include: 'a winner', 'hand shadows', 'melting ice cream' and 'a haunted house'. What's so fun about this book is that the titles range from the everyday to the abstract- something that allows for creativity and imagination.
I get my photos printed from snapfish.co.uk which I find to be reliable and affordable. When I was a teenager, I had a basic camera which took standard rolls of film. I also used disposable cameras, so going to Super Snaps to get my photos developed was a frequent occurrence. This meant that I was able to put together albums across my childhood and teenage years and they are something I will treasure for the rest of my life. They tell the story of my life like nothing else can and I love sharing them with friends and family when they come to visit.
In today's day of digital technology, taking photos has become an entirely different process. The photos of my youth are raw, in the moment, often poor quality, blurred and unflattering. But that makes me happy! Without the ability to re-take a photo or even see how it had turned out until you got it developed, taking photos was fun and carefree (but often hit and miss!) From my late teens to late twenties, there is somewhat of a photo drought. I don't count Facebook as a photo album because (let's be honest) drunken uni photos don't sum up real life!
So 90s 'photography' is where my heart lies, but that's not to say that my new adventures into digital photography won't be just as incredible- it's just a different thing altogether. I'm no longer a ten year-old snapping East 17 on Top of the Pops, pretending I'm actually there, or taking inconsiderate close-ups of my cats with the flash on; however I'm not any less creative or mischievous! The thing I don't want to let go of is the spontaneity, fun and sentimental value of taking photos. I want to look out for the most weird and wonderful and disturbing and beautiful things to photograph.
And that's why this gift is so special to me.
What Christmas gifts will you appreciate for years to come?