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Pictures of Photographers’ Most Precious Possessions from Around the World

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a-well-travelled-camera

You can tell a lot about people from looking at the things they value. A new project called “What We Really Value” offers a glimpse into the lives of people around the world through images of their single most prized possessions.

The project was created by credit comparison service TotallyMoney, which asked 50 photographers from over 20 countries around the globe to photograph their favorite things.

“The good news? There wasn’t a smartphone in sight,” the company tells us.

The photograph above is of the “well-travelled camera” owned by photographer Tanya Herceg Novi of Montenegro. “This is my favourite camera,” she writes. “My grandfather brought it over from the US in 1965.”

Here’s a selection of the photos that are found in the series:

A beloved toy "This is a toy my mom got for winning a school competition when she was 15. It is my oldest toy, I can hardly hold it now because it's so very old, but I spent my childhood with him, and I love him very much. He is 37 years old and remains unnamed." Biayna Yerevan, Armenia
A Beloved Toy
“This is a toy my mom got for winning a school competition when she was 15. It is my oldest toy, I can hardly hold it now because it’s so very old, but I spent my childhood with him, and I love him very much. He is 37 years old and remains unnamed.”
Biayna Yerevan, Armenia
Our old Ocarina "The ocarina is a musical instrument. When we were children, my little brother and I learned to play it. We loved it. Our parents did not love it quite as much as we did." Bistra Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Our Old Ocarina
“The ocarina is a musical instrument. When we were children, my little brother and I learned to play it. We loved it. Our parents did not love it quite as much as we did.”
Bistra Plovdiv, Bulgaria
My Smena 8 "My Dad got me this for my 7th birthday, and the first photos I took were on this camera. I used it for at least 8 years. Some of the best moments of my life ware captured using this Smena 8 and I still love that sound the shutter makes." Siniša Stanišić, Serbia
My Smena 8
“My Dad got me this for my 7th birthday, and the first photos I took were on this camera. I used it for at least 8 years. Some of the best moments of my life ware captured using this Smena 8 and I still love that sound the shutter makes.”
Siniša Stanišić, Serbia
My yoyo & life lesson "My grandfather made this for me. He told me: Little Froggy, I want you to remember that if you keep holding on to something you want to throw away from you, it will keep coming back. The only way to let go of something is to prevent yourself from pulling it close again." Marina Novi Sad, Serbia
My Yoyo & Life Lesson
“My grandfather made this for me. He told me: Little Froggy, I want you to remember that if you keep holding on to something you want to throw away from you, it will keep coming back. The only way to let go of something is to prevent yourself from pulling it close again.”
Marina Novi Sad, Serbia
My son’s knitted slippers "My mother hand-knitted these slippers for my son. I hope these baby shoes will hold dear memories for him in the future, when he grows up and his grandparents pass away." Vuk Belgrade, Serbia
My Son’s Knitted Slippers
“My mother hand-knitted these slippers for my son. I hope these baby shoes will hold dear memories for him in the future, when he grows up and his grandparents pass away.”
Vuk Belgrade, Serbia
My mother’s family photograph "This is my mother's family in 1934, Dehradun, India. She was the youngest of four siblings, she’s in the middle on the bottom row. She and her siblings were the generation that migrated from India to Pakistan when the country was born. They left their comfortable lives to start from scratch in order to ensure that we, their children, had a place we could call home. It is their sacrifices that have brought us where we are today." Roohi Karachi, Pakistan
My Mother’s Family Photograph
“This is my mother’s family in 1934, Dehradun, India. She was the youngest of four siblings, she’s in the middle on the bottom row. She and her siblings were the generation that migrated from India to Pakistan when the country was born. They left their comfortable lives to start from scratch in order to ensure that we, their children, had a place we could call home. It is their sacrifices that have brought us where we are today.”
Roohi Karachi, Pakistan
My hand-knitted mittens "These woollen mittens were knitted by my great-grandmother who was an exceptional and diligent woman, who worked hard all her life. These mittens are so special to me, as they keep me warm and I like to think that my great-grandmother is there, taking care of me, when I wear them." Leva Riga, Latvia
My Hand-Knitted Mittens
“These woollen mittens were knitted by my great-grandmother who was an exceptional and diligent woman, who worked hard all her life. These mittens are so special to me, as they keep me warm and I like to think that my great-grandmother is there, taking care of me, when I wear them.”
Leva Riga, Latvia
My great-grandfather’s clock "This clock belonged to my great-grandfather, and I grew up with it in the house. I was fascinated by it as a child, as I saw my father wind it every morning. It doesn't work anymore, but I hold on to it because of that memory of my father." Arshad Karachi, Pakistan
My Great-Grandfather’s Clock
“This clock belonged to my great-grandfather, and I grew up with it in the house. I was fascinated by it as a child, as I saw my father wind it every morning. It doesn’t work anymore, but I hold on to it because of that memory of my father.”
Arshad Karachi, Pakistan
My great-aunt’s dolls "These dolls used to belong to my great-aunt who was a doll collector. Over the years they have moved from home to home throughout the family. They depict what our harvest festival was like and how our culture has changed." Melissa St. Michael, Barbados
My Great-Aunt’s Dolls
“These dolls used to belong to my great-aunt who was a doll collector. Over the years they have moved from home to home throughout the family. They depict what our harvest festival was like and how our culture has changed.”
Melissa St. Michael, Barbados
A gift from my father "This was a present from my father. It is valuable and I care for it very much because he was cameraman." Angela Tirana, Albania
A Gift from My Father
“This was a present from my father. It is valuable and I care for it very much because he was cameraman.”
Angela Tirana, Albania
My grandmother’s pin "I don't remember my grandmother very clearly, by the time I was old enough to remember her, she was very poorly, but I do remember playing in her boudoir every time we visited. This pin is one of the few things that I kept when she passed away. My grandmother and I share the same name." Margarita Nicosia, Cyprus
My Grandmother’s Pin
“I don’t remember my grandmother very clearly, by the time I was old enough to remember her, she was very poorly, but I do remember playing in her boudoir every time we visited. This pin is one of the few things that I kept when she passed away. My grandmother and I share the same name.”
Margarita Nicosia, Cyprus
My grandfather’s poems "This notebook belonged to my grandfather in the early 1960s. He used to write his own poetry and also wrote out other people's’ poems which he liked. Because I never got the chance to meet him, reading his poetry and just looking at his handwriting makes me feel close to him." Hira Karachi, Pakistan
My Grandfather’s Poems
“This notebook belonged to my grandfather in the early 1960s. He used to write his own poetry and also wrote out other people’s’ poems which he liked. Because I never got the chance to meet him, reading his poetry and just looking at his handwriting makes me feel close to him.”
Hira Karachi, Pakistan
My grandfather’s coffee cup "This is the cup my grandfather used to drink his coffee from every morning. Now I do the same :)" Nikos Patra, Greece
My Grandfather’s Coffee Cup
“This is the cup my grandfather used to drink his coffee from every morning. Now I do the same :)”
Nikos Patra, Greece
My goodbye drumstick "This is the only remaining drumstick in my possession from my last music gig in Belgrade. I threw the other one into the audience for good luck. I call it my last performance, goodbye stick." Dejan Belgrade, Serbia
My Goodbye Drumstick
“This is the only remaining drumstick in my possession from my last music gig in Belgrade. I threw the other one into the audience for good luck. I call it my last performance, goodbye stick.”
Dejan Belgrade, Serbia
My brass knuckles "These brass knuckles were given to me by an old friend because I was robbed quite a few times when taking the subway late at night. Having these on me gives me confidence that I can do as much damage, if not more than my attacker. I’ve never actually used them on anyone, but it's good to know they’re with me if I ever need to defend myself." Anon Brooklyn, New York
My Brass Knuckles
“These brass knuckles were given to me by an old friend because I was robbed quite a few times when taking the subway late at night. Having these on me gives me confidence that I can do as much damage, if not more than my attacker. I’ve never actually used them on anyone, but it’s good to know they’re with me if I ever need to defend myself.”
Anon Brooklyn, New York
Memories of my schooldays "This is my box of random knick-knacks from my schooldays: campaign flyers from student council elections, notes we passed etc. Among them is a small book all my teachers signed when I was graduating. Looking through this box takes me back to a time when my worries were limited to how well I’d do in the next test." Amna Karachi, Pakistan
Memories of my Schooldays
“This is my box of random knick-knacks from my schooldays: campaign flyers from student council elections, notes we passed etc. Among them is a small book all my teachers signed when I was graduating. Looking through this box takes me back to a time when my worries were limited to how well I’d do in the next test.”
Amna Karachi, Pakistan
My late ‘90s TLR camera "This was the first camera I ever got. I was very little at the time, and it remains very special to me today - it’s my favourite thing." Nizamuddin Dhaka, Bangladesh
My Late ‘90s TLR Camera
“This was the first camera I ever got. I was very little at the time, and it remains very special to me today – it’s my favourite thing.”
Nizamuddin Dhaka, Bangladesh
A symbol of freedom "This is a picture of my passport, it is very valuable to me because it is a symbol of my freedom. I can go virtually anywhere with it, and without it I am trapped." Whitney Stone Mountain, United States
A Symbol of Freedom
“This is a picture of my passport, it is very valuable to me because it is a symbol of my freedom. I can go virtually anywhere with it, and without it I am trapped.”
Whitney Stone Mountain, United States

You can find the entire collection of 50 photos over on the project’s website.


Image credits: Photographs by TotallyMoney/What We Really Value and used with permission

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