The most important photos in the world!

Having been a full time professional photographer in Devon for 27 years now and having traveled the world photographing many amazing places & people. Having photographed over 1400 weddings and worked for some great business clients such as BMW, Royal Mail and Barclays Bank. Having work published in every single UK national newspaper including a couple of front covers as well as work in many magazines from Practical Photography to OK, Cosmo & RED you would imagine picking the three most important photos in the world would be impossible, yet it was very easy indeed.

These three images might not be striking sunsets, stunning wildlife or filled with celebrity and fame. Indeed they wouldn’t even get highly commended in one of the many camera club print competitions I am asked to judge, but to me they are the most important photos in the world.

Photo number one is my Nan, Vera. Vera Kendal (nee Juggins). We lived very close to my Nan Vera, just a 2 minute walk (or 30 second run) and I spent many lovely hours with her. Sadly she is no longer with us but this photo to me sums up my Nan. Sat in the sunshine by the back door of her council house in Oxford watering can by her side, she had a great garden, a greenhouse, shed and was always growing tomatoes in her front room. She was always happy to sit for a photo for me, maybe she knew. This isn’t the technically best photo I ever took of her. I had another black & white in her armchair taken on medium format film & hand printed by me but this shows more of the wonderful lady I remember.

Photo number two wasn’t taken by me but I am in it. This was my band Controlled Death (I played bass) the morning after a gig at the squat behind in Hengelo Holland called The Innocent Club (I think is still there), The Dutch said we sounded like the Sex Pistols which I took to mean we couldn’t play a note! This photo is precious because we were 16 years old at the time (1988) and the chap on the left Darran who was my best friend through school, early work and guitarist for Controlled Death was sadly killed in a car accident two years later. I still have vivid memories of that night in 1988 best kept inside my head and not shared with my two sons!

Finally another photos of me rather than by me. My wedding to my wife Natasha. A very happy day indeed as I nearly didn’t make it to my own wedding, a month earlier having been rushed into hospital with a life threatening abscess on my brain. We were told the best case scenario was losing the eyesight in my left eye the worst involved my funereal. Thanks to an amazing surgeon at The RD&E my life and eventually my sight was saved and I made a 99% full recovery.

It makes you stop, take stock and count your blessings. Always document & photograph your life & loved ones, you have no idea how long they will be with us and although a photograph isn’t the same as a person it is a precious thing to have.

My one photographic regret in life is not having taken a portrait of my dear old friend Gordon the bank robber (he was in the 1960’s/70’s) such a character and good friend. When he was dying of emphysema a few years ago I asked him many times if he would sit for a portrait, he always made excuses and today was never the right day. I should have persisted as all I have now is a fading memory of his face, I would dearly love to have a photograph to remember him by.

So this weekend, whether you are a professional photographer or someone with an iPhone take photos, document your life, your friends and your loved ones, keep them immortalized for future generations.

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