Updated: May 23, 2020
What if I told you displaying images of you, your family, and/or kin could have a positive impact on your well being, self identity, and your home?
Yep it's true. In today's digital era, displaying images in homes or photo albums has almost become a thing of little significance and and is often overlooked. Back in the day, family portraiture took place in the form of paintings, was something only rich families could afford- but oh how that has changed. Now we all have access to this, and today's use of portraits has shifted in that we want to share our good moments with the world through social media posts. But what about sharing those moments in our homes? Similar to the way IG or FB timelines serve as life "highlight " reels, the same holds true with displaying images in our homes.
The effects of having photographs displayed in the home (especially family photographs) has been shown to prove that children that grow up with family photos displayed in their home, grow up with greater confidence and a sense of belonging, than those that didn't. Children have stronger feelings of value and better understanding of where they come from when they see these type of reminders in the home.
But children aren't the only people benefiting from this. Displaying images in the home can actually impact anyone and everyone in that home. How you ask? Having images of people you love/cherish/admire can evoke positive emotional responses such as moments of gratitude and/or boosting spirits when you're feeling down. It can also bring an element of comfort and "coziness" to your living space as well, and who doesn't want a cozy home??
Not only that, displaying images in your home also makes a statement about your heritage (i.e. the values, traditions, culture, and artifacts handed down by previous generations) and helps you remember past ancestors/kin. Remember back in the day when our elders use to tell stories about their childhood and what "so and so" did? Displaying images of "so and so" helps validate those stories and experiences, which fosters a sense of belonging. I know for us African Americans, this is something super important, as we received the short end of the stick when it comes to tracing our true heritage and ancestors.
Imagse displayed through out your living space not only makes a statement about your heritage, but also makes a statement about what’s important to you. In the same way photo essays are a series of photographs that tell a story, displaying images in the home can serve the same purpose, except the story is yours.
And lastly, one of the the most obvious (or may be not so obvious), and least sentimental benefits of displaying images of you and your loved ones in your home is it can serve as inexpensive art! Not to mention if it's framed ornately and preserved properly, it can become a family heirloom passed down for generation to generation, thus contributing to your heritage.
And that is what I love about family and kin photography. It's gets back to the very nature of documenting your family's lineage and soon to be legacy, while also contributing to your home space and well being. It's like a gift that keeps on giving!
So next time you blow off having family/kin portraits taken, think beyond a social media post. Think of your wellbeing. Think of your legacy.
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