Let me start by making the confession that no photographer really wants to make: I am terrible at organising my photographs. Sometimes, I’ll take hundreds of beautiful photographs and never look at them again. I just file them away on my computer for ‘another time’ without ever specifically wondering when that time may be.
I recently discovered that, since buying my first ‘pro’ camera in 2009, I have accumulated a collection of well over 10,000 photographs. That’s a startlingly large number, especially considering I haven’t printed (or even looked closely at) many of these at all. So, I decided to make a change. I promised myself that from this point forward, when I took photographs, I would edit them immediately and cull the mediocre images. I promised I would use them, print them, gift them and display them.
I also promised that I would go through the immense collection of images that I took prior to these life-changing rules.
In doing this, I started to notice a familiar pattern that cropped up around the time that I met Dean. Let me see if you can guess what it is.
Yep, turns out if you’re looking for me, I’m standing behind Dean. It seems that no matter where we’ve been in the world, I’ve got pictures that prove I’m either a very slow walker, or I’m totally in love with my boyfriend’s back (actually both could be true). It also poses a seriously worrying question about whether Dean even has a face (don’t worry, he does).
The funny thing is that these photographs aren’t the only ones I found. They were culled from an impossibly large number of images that made themselves immediately clear the second I started looking for them. Turns out this is basically my fall back image, and I fall back onto it all the time.
But as I went through this pool of trending images, I noticed something really nice. These pictures map our journey, all the trips we’ve taken, all the places we’ve been. They show with consistency our love of walking, whether it’s in the local common, in London, on the streets of Asia, in the Australian bush, and in foreign cities the world over.
The more I looked at the photos, the more I saw. They show little changes in Dean over the time we’ve been together, including some questionable hair colours, worrying sunburns, and love of wolly hats. They also show some things that never change, including Dean’s preference for the same clothes, some of which have only disappeared because he has literally worn them into the ground.
Then I realised one more thing. I was on the search for more walking behind photos, backtracking through the entire history of my relationship with Dean, and I found this one, taken the morning after Dean and I had met for the first time, on the 1st of February 2013.
Suddenly it all made sense.
The first photograph I’d ever taken with Dean, captured at our first sunrise, had set the pattern. Who am I to stop it from continuing?
This post originally appeared on BarefootBeachBlonde.com, the pre-evolved version of Maps And Mandalas. I’ve republished it here with its original date because I love it that much.