How I Overcame My Indifference Towards Photography…


This article was originally published in December 2016.

One of my most favourite photographs from when I was young, was a picture that my father had shot. In it, I was sitting quite proudly in the midst of all my toys, which he had carefully arranged around me. My face had this playful grin, as my toy train choo-chooed on the track. This was one of the very few instances where my father photographed me.

In the Fernandes household, unfortunately, the camera was given so much misplaced importance, that it would only be unearthed from under a pile of clothes in the cupboard during birthdays and festivals. After all, it was an expensive device, and not to be tampered with. Even thinking about taking it out on holiday trips would illicit questions like… What if it gets stolen, or damaged? After a while, the camera completely ceased to make an appearance from the cupboard, and that was the end of it.

It’s a little disappointing to see the large gaps staring back at me, from what was supposed to be pictures of my childhood. There were barely any photographs from when I was 10 to 17, with the exception of a few pictures from my 13th birthday. It was also disheartening that I couldn’t recollect what I looked like at the time. I remember these years as being particularly difficult, where I struggled with my appearance in the midst of a somewhat conservative family. I noticed the odd absence of fathers in the family photos of my friends, and I realised that it was because the fathers were always behind the camera. In my case, my whole family was absent along with me. Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was me who was hiding from the camera in my house, or my father’s lack of enthusiasm. While my friends carried their cameras on school trips, I preferred to absorb with my eyes. It just didn’t matter. It was when I began working, that my forced indifference became prominent, and was often perceived as a lack of interest.

But I have found my path now. It appears that I had an opposite reaction to my parents’ indifference. Their lack of interest opened my eyes to how important it is to have something physical to hold on to… A photograph representative of a good time… Because memories do fade. A photograph is something I can hold on to.

Tags: Cellphone Edit Note, cellphone photography, Conchita Fernandes, January 2017, memories, photography