It’s a widely accepted truism of life that you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone, but what about those things you never knew you really needed in the first place?

When the coronavirus first surfaced, most of us probably thought the same thing—it wouldn’t affect us that badly. Fast forward to the second half of 2020 and hardly any of us could say that our lives haven’t been impacted in one way or another. All of us have had to give up some of the conveniences we once enjoyed—dining out, catching up with friends, going to the gym, or just, well, having enough toilet paper. And while all of these activities were deemed “non-essential” during the worldwide lockdowns (or Circuit Breaker, as it’s known locally), it made us think about the importance of various services in the world today, such as what we do.

During the days leading up to the Circuit Breaker in Singapore, we were crestfallen to have had to inform so many parents that we wouldn’t be able to proceed with their sessions. While we can’t deny that we were also worried about how we would pay the bills for the coming months, this was made worse by the disappointed mummies and daddies asking us if we could somehow find a way to photograph their newborns. Unfortunately, we had no solution for them. We simply couldn’t. As expectant parents ourselves, we shared in their disappointment, and wondered how we would have felt if we were in the same situation ourselves.

Now that the Circuit Breaker has eased up in Singapore, life has almost returned to normal, albeit a “new” sort of normal. We’re eating out, meeting a few friends for coffee, and finally have enough 3-ply tissue on hand.

Just the essentials

The lockdown has also given us a chance to better assess the things that we truly hold dear, and set aside some of our hard-earned cash for them, while trimming away the stuff that we really didn’t need all that much.

Those 2 long months have also made us think a little more introspectively about why we choose to be newborn photographers, or more broadly, photographers.

So, should photography be an ‘essential’ part of our lives? If by ‘essential’ we mean ‘necessary to survive’, then the answer is quite obvious. No it isn’t. Nor should it be.

We don’t need Abraham Maslow around to remind us that our most basic needs have to be properly met before we should even begin to consider anything else. A stack of beautifully taken photographs, however meaningful they may be to us, would never be able to feed us, keep us healthy, or ensure our safety.

However, we believe that photography is one of the most valuable tools ever devised by homo sapiens to validate and reinforce our oft-ignored psychological needs: Our need to feel love and a sense of belonging. This is probably one of the main reasons we all enjoy filling our smartphones with snapshots of our loved ones; We don’t want to forget all the people in our lives responsible for stirring up all those wonderfully positive feelings! And when we want to commemorate something that’s truly momentous in our lives—such as the birth of a child—scheduling a professional photography session might just be the best way for us to remember the beautiful panoply of emotions we were feeling when it all happened. 

Written by Timothy Fernandez ©Copyright 2020 Bows and Ribbons Photography