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Why Do We Take Pictures?

By February 10, 2021No Comments

Thousands of photos are stored on my phone right now, okay, maybe even a few thousand. And I had to ask myself – Why do I take pictures? What nudges me to take out my phone (almost daily) and snap that shot?

Every answer I came up with was attached to an emotion, and I believe why most of us take photos boils down to three major points – We take pictures to tell a story, to create a legacy, and to share and communicate.


I can feel the warmth coming from the floor to ceiling heater in my grandmother’s old home. She rocks back and forth in her rocker as I sit on the floor below her. Every Sunday afternoon I sit in this same spot with a small box of wooden blocks in front of me. I’m torn between building my next wooden empire or gazing up at my grandmother as she talks. The smell of stale decades-old wallpaper hovers around us as my dad goes from room to room fixing and moving things at my grandmother’s request.

It’s been over 25 years since I sat on that plush carpet next to my grandmother’s feet, but I can remember every detail of our weekly visits when I glance at this photo. I’m sure my parents took the photo in the early ’90s when you developed film at the grocery store. What I don’t think they realized is how valuable this photo would become. My grandmother lived to be 102-years-old and continues to be an inspiration to me to this day. Without this photo, I would have forgotten many details of our Sunday afternoon visits to my grandmother’s house. This photo tells the story of my close relationship with my grandmother and the family traditions I experienced as a child.


In a cupboard, underneath the stairs of my parents’ home, there is a box of photos, several boxes of photos! Most of the photos are from my childhood, but as years have passed, many of those photos are also of my children and my nieces and nephews. Some photos are compiled loosely into photo books, and if you’re lucky you’ll find a few of my parents when they were young, but those are few and far between.

The legacy my parents will leave behind is sadly in the photos they took of me and my siblings. Unfortunately, the majority of my mother’s childhood photos were destroyed in a fire, and my father’s family didn’t take many photos. Their legacy lives on in those boxes under the stairs (something I need to help them organize). Pictures of us at the zoo, on family vacations, participating in extra-circular activities, the birth of grand-babies and great-grand-babies… a legacy and lifetime of memories.

What legacy do you want to leave behind?
Who will tell that legacy?
How will you tell your legacy?

We take photos not only to tell a story but to continue telling that story years after we are gone. I often find my children rummage through those photo boxes, laughing at my ridiculous style of hair or clothing from “back in the day” or seeing themselves as infants. Those boxes contain 5 generations of moments captured in time that create a legacy for my family.


My oldest daughter is away at college, and though our story is unique from most mother and daughter relationships, pictures are how I experienced her childhood. You see, I am a birth mother and I placed her for adoption over 20 years ago. Without pictures (and thoughtful letters from her adoptive parents) I would have missed every detail of her childhood. Yes, I understand it’s not the same, and I know I missed a lot, but without those pictures being taken and shared I would have missed even more!

Over the past three years, I have been able to build a beautiful relationship with her. And now with her away at college, she and I share pictures to stay connected and communicate. I guess you could say, photos are how we have always stay connected!

The next time you pull out your phone or camera to take a picture, ask yourself – Why am I taking this picture? Documenting, archiving, preserving, sharing, and telling a story brings new value to the thousands of photos that currently sit on my phone. They aren’t just taking up storage space on my phone, those pictures are my legacy and how I communicate with my loved ones.

Finding the value in why you take pictures is followed by the value of printing and preserving them in the best possible way. This is why Honey Bee Print offers the highest quality print products for you and your family to cherish your story, your legacy, and the way you share and communicate with one another.

What motivates you to keep taking pictures?