Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

The power of photography: time, mortality and memory

In the Guardian there is a really interesting article featuring a selection of artists, writers and photographers showing a photograph and talking about it’s importance and the importance of photography to them.

We take thousands of pictures nowadays, but do we still cherish them? We asked writers and artists, including Grayson Perry and Mary McCartney, to pick a shot they treasure – and tell us the role photography has played in their lives

Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry in his Camden squat in 1985, making a Super 8 film

When I was about five, my mother made a bonfire in the back garden and burned a suitcase full of family photos taken by my father. He had been a keen photographer with his own dark room. I don’t know why she burned them, but it coincided with them getting divorced and my stepfather moving in.


For the rest of my childhood, no one in the family possessed a camera, so I have very few photographs of myself before art college. Family snaps are somehow celebratory of the good times so there was little motivation to record our lives. As soon as I could afford it, I bought a clunky Russian Zenith SLR….read more of what Grayson Perry and the other contributors say here

The Guardian has followed up this article with a space where mere mortals can share their most important pictures,

Photography – share your most precious photo

Share with us your most memorable photograph with a line to tell us what or who we are looking at and why the image is so special to you

You can do that here

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