World Photo Day (Last update:18.08.20)

August 19, 2020

They say a picture paints a thousand words and a camera never lies but what about adding ‘a photo triggers a million emotions’……?

Today is international World Photo Day. The main aim of World Photo Day is to inspire positive change across the world, connecting people and raising awareness through the use of photography.

As I prepare for my daughters 18th birthday surrounded by a collection of photos of her, I forget time and lose myself in a sea of memories, moments, and recollection of her super speedy growing years. I take the time to be thankful for the opportunity a camera has given me to revive these memories through a little 4×6 image.

We capture moments throughout our life and never has there been so much ability, availability, and opportunity for a quick snap.

In health and social care settings we rely on photos to help us to understand who people are and what lives they have led and to understand who and what is important to them. We use them to find common likes, dislikes and similarities that help us as professionals to build relationships and gain greater understanding of who we all are as individuals. We use photos to help divert away from behaviours that may present when people feel anxious, worried or sad. The power of a photograph can never be underestimated and the more we can access them the better for the care and support we deliver.

Photographs also play an incredibly powerful role in training and development of staff, If you haven’t seen them already I strongly advise looking at the Tom Hussey range of reflection photos, as these really demonstrate the power of looking at the person behind the age, being person centred and they are a great tool to support new staff coming into a caring role for the first time. For established care staff, they act as a reminder of avoidance of task and duty and help to promote a culture of individual care provision that suits that person. Most importantly, it makes us take a moment to identify how short life is and provides an opportunity for empathy and delivering care with compassion.

So I ask the question, why stop taking photos? Consider starting a photography club in your service, have competitions for the best themed photos, involve family members in producing memory books and photo albums and as staff, capture those moments of joy at every opportunity for someone else to take a moment of reflection with.

Yes, we absolutely must comply with GDPR and consent, so let’s do that piece that we are duty bound to do, but not let it get in the way of celebrating life. Be reminded that a family member may be waiting to receive an updated photo of their loved one from you because they cannot visit (especially at this time) and in future they may be surrounded by photos of their loved ones that you took, forever grateful that you captured moments of peace, joy, love and happy times.

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Leah Cooke

Nursing and Residential Care Specialist

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