nostaligia: a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time
I’ve been seeking photography that feels like home, like the photographs taken when I was growing up. The comfort of warm light and imperfect texture and fleeting moments. The beauty of little things from a time where life was simpler and warmer and more connected (but really connected, not just social media connected or text message connected).
Maybe it’s my instincts looking for comfort in what still feels like very uncharted waters. I have a tendency to look for stability and familiarity when there are elements of life that feel out of control, and while I feel like I’ve finally started to settle into a new routine during COVID-19 lockdown I still think my mind is looking for things it recognises and can hold on to.
Maybe it’s the weather turning towards winter, the days getting shorter and rain becoming more frequent than sun and I’m really just looking for warmth.
Whatever the reason, I’ve been collecting images on Pinterest – film photography with warm yellow tones, faded blacks and visible dust on the camera sensor. The images I’m drawn to are not polished, they’re snapshots of life – light through the window, half-read books, nature collected on walks and pressed between pages, piles of snapshots that form collections of memories.
I’ve started shooting this way too, feeling more and more that I want to move to a state of observation rather than creation in my photography. We spend so much time now crafting images of our lives, our art, looking at ourselves from the outside in – I want to capture the world the way I see it through my eyes, from the inside out as it were. I’ve started watching the light and the details and trying to collect the moments that exist around me rather than creating them for the sake of a photo.
Some days I do this and I feel more like myself than I have in years. Perhaps the time of isolation has also allowed time for reflection and rediscovery.
I hope when this is all over, we remember to hold on to some of the little things.