June 18, 2016

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words - By Gloria Guest

Star Flower
I didn’t grow up around cameras and pictures as a camera was beyond what my parents could afford. In fact I recall having to return all of our earliest school pictures that they couldn't afford, knowing that they were going in the trash. Perhaps that is why pictures have become so important to me.

My first memory of a camera involves my grandmother coming for a visit when I was six years old. Along with all of her other magical qualities, like the ability to produce quarters and treats from her purse at any given moment she possessed this small black device that when she took our picture with it, would within a few minutes, produce a picture for us all to see. Magic!
Photo taken with Grandma's Magic Camera

Prairie Boys - favorite picture of  my sons
When I had my own children I was determined to take as many pictures as possible so after our first son was born we bought a good camera and I snapped pictures to my heart’s content.  The overflowing boxes and boxes of pictures, a problem before digital cameras, are a testament of that. At one time I tried to deal with the overflow by becoming a consultant for Creative Memories; a scrapbooking company that sold and taught classes on the safe storage and sharing of photographs. It was fun and creative but I didn’t make much of a dent in my own overflow of pictures. However this blog post is a nudge to add this to my list of projects for this coming winter.
Capturing the moments

Priceless Expression

I love taking pictures of people; capturing just the right pose or expression. It is like being given a small glimpse into the soul. While working for newspapers I had many opportunities to take photos of people. From school and community events to political rallies and even some national events it was always a challenge to get just the right shot. Often dozens of pictures were snapped just for ‘that one’ that stood out. Of course with digital camera’s the task became much easier and convenient.
Photo by Gloria Guest - Times Reporter

A few highlights of my picture taking days are:

-taking pictures of the Snow Birds; an aerial team based out of moose jaw. I had the thrill of taking pictures of the Snow Birds on numerous occasions as they dipped and soared through the skies mesmerizing the crowds below. It was a particular highlight when I was invited to go up on top of the tower on the base as they came in and landed from their final show of the season.

-trying to get the perfect shot of Prince Charles visit to Assiniboia and the sod turning at the Prince of Wales Center. Hundreds of shots were taken that day but my favorite is a simple one of a small girl handing him some prairie crocuses.

-anytime I had the opportunity to photograph children was always a favorite. Their eagerness and ready smiles and natural ability in front of the camera made my job easy and fun.

There are really far too many highlights to count and I will cherish those days and all that I learned. I also had the opportunity to work at a Photography Studio in reception/production for a year. Here I was given the opportunity to work alongside the photographer in his natural light studio and also went on location. I helped take thousands of school and community activity photographs, learning about lighting and angles and how to create a relaxing, fun atmosphere. I helped customers choose their precious family portraits and watched as their faces lit up when they were pleased with the results. It was one of the happiest environments to work in. Who doesn’t smile when they see a good picture of themselves or someone that they love?

I also enjoy taking pictures of nature and animals and of course my beloved cats. For me, taking a picture is something I do for many reasons
My son out checking cattle

-it is an instant capture of the particular memory I want to keep and in one glance and I’m back there re-living the memory.

-I love to sit and go through my photos and reminisce. Pictures are one of the things people try to get out of their house during a fire; and I’ve seen photo albums at the bedside of the terminally ill.

-Sometimes, even though I’m a writer, the words just won’t come; but a picture still can. Perhaps that will always be the only way I capture something or perhaps by looking at it later, the words will come too.

-Pictures and words go together, hand in hand. At the paper we almost always tried to include a picture with an article.

-Pictures can serve as a historical record for ourselves and future generations. It is fascinating and eye opening to look back on the old black and white photographs that our ancestors took and try to imagine what they were like and the lives that they lived.

-Sometimes just as the famous quote attributed to various people, but quoted also by the editor Tess Flanders in 1911 when discussing journalism and publishing, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

I hope you snap lots of pictures in your lifetime and I hope you enjoy a few of my favorites that I’ve posted here.


  1. I'm not a camera buff myself but I do agree that pictures can often express what words can't. They are also such a valuable record. In the days before digital, the one thing people always said they would try to save in the event of a disaster were their pictures. (And many of us still haven;t converted all those old photos to digital...)

  2. Anonymous6:25 am GMT-7

    Violet Moore here (Sorry, I still haven't got to the part where I use my account name)
    Thank you for the lovely photos. I have to agree, I love your shot of the Prince receiving the bouquet. So full of emotion!
    And such a timely reminder, Gloria! Many of us 'older' folks still have boxes of photos waiting to be scanned and/or sorted. But it's a very long process because each photo tells a story. How can you rush that?!? Thanks again, Violet

  3. Interesting that you treasure photos so much now because you were somewhat deprived of them as a child. Enjoyed your piece, and your photos, and the nudge to get my photo albums updated as well!

  4. I am smiling, because I have always enjoyed taking photos too, but I hadn't thought of this love as a a gift. My kids have commented on how many photos I take. A couple years ago I bought an SLR Digital camera, because my former camera didn't offer photos with enough dpi for publishing with my stories.

    I have so much to learn, however, about using more than the automatic setting on my SLR. I may have to make more dates with my friend JoAn. And I am way over my head when it comes to filing, using, posting, preparing memes, and storing my digital photos. Maybe this will have to be the next chapter in my life. Thanks, Gloria, for your thoughts on photography.

  5. I like the line "it is like being given a small glimpse into the soul." And don't you think when we shoot nature, it is the glimpse into the creator's beautiful soul? I'm a bit of a photography case myself. Thanks for this post!

    1. I agree Jocelyn about seeing God's soul in nature. He is all around us and it is a witness of his presence even when we don't feel Him.


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