Moving pictures

How the world has become photography obsessed


Over the summer holidays, I have been able to spend some quality time with my 12-year-old nephew. As we chatted, I have found myself quietly pondering, ‘What was I doing, and saying, and thinking, when I was his age?’

In part, I can’t help but think my childhood was so much more straightforward. In a time before the distractions of Fortnite and Snapchat, I would ride my yellow BMX up and down our cul-de-sac relentlessly, read about witches in wardrobes, and wear clothes no fashion-conscious child today would be seen near, never mind put on.

I was also, I recall, obsessed with my Polaroid camera. Chunky yet portable, the alchemy and instant gratification of taking a photo and, 30 seconds later, having that image in your hand, was pure bliss.

Fast-forward to today, and I find myself guilty of sneaking my phone out of my pocket to snap pretty much anything. The indiscriminate nature in which I am happy to click away – and will I look at my picture of that brioche burger bun ever again? – does make me pang for the judiciousness needed for those precious Polaroid moments.

Of course, mobile phones are the game-changers. And many rightly point out that the camera tech that our phones now possess has democratised photography and film. (The brilliant film Tangerine shot on an iPhone is testament to this). Moreover, capturing an image will always be an effective way of connecting our memories together – one photo having the power to remind us of a time, a feeling, a mood that words struggle to capture.

At the start of the year we joined the Instagram community, inspired by our love of images at OT, along with a desire to find new ways to connect with our readers. 1500+ followers later, and on the back of a glorious summer, we thought we would launch a picture competition with a difference.

Called #OTonthego, we are encouraging you to share your photos while out and about with your copy of OT. From a cruise down the Nile, to a beach in Bognor, we want you to get your Android/Apple out and channel your inner Annie Leibovitz. To find out more, follow us on Instagram and visit our website. With £500 of holiday vouchers to win, it is well worth getting involved.