Skip to main content

What we really value, through the lenses of 50 photographers

New photos from around the world reveal what people really value most

In a time when many of us can’t imagine a world without smartphones and computers, credit comparison site TotallyMoney.com approached 50 photographers in over 20 countries to find out more about what people around the world really value. The good news? There wasn’t a smartphone in sight. The photographers, who were contacted via a variety of freelance sites such as Fiverr and oDesk, were asked to take a photograph of what they value the most and provide a description of why it means so much to them. To showcase the photos and the stories behind them, Totally Money.com has launched an interactive online gallery: What we really value, through the lenses of 50 photographers. Items photographed include a measuring tape (David, Ohio, US), silver hairpins (Bernadette - Herts, UK), a handmade wooden pencil case (John - Ragaciems, Latvia), a Rubik’s cube (Sly - Digos, Philippines), and song lyrics (Christina, Haskovo, Bulgaria). Many of the photographers cited links with family as the reason their items mean so much to them. Others said that their item was valuable to them because it lifts their spirit and gives them confidence (‘My happy harmonica’, Ritesh - Hyderabad, India), because it reminds them of happy and carefree times (‘My rings’, Kristina - Koprivnica, Croatia), and because it represents their liberty (‘A symbol of freedom’, Whitney, Stone Mountain, United States). Perhaps most interestingly, while we saw a huge variety in terms of the objects themselves, it appears that our reasons for placing value on them are universal. Nathalie Nahai, Web Psychologist and bestselling author said: “What’s fascinating about the things people have photographed is the emotional narratives they carry. Whether a beloved childhood toy, a treasured Polaroid or a well-worn pair of hand-knitted mittens, each item tells a story of love, of loss, or of nostalgia. Many symbolise lost childhoods, shared experiences or memories of grandparents… Together, they provide a physical connection with those people or times no longer with us. The things we value most represent our passions and desires, what’s meaningful to us, and the moments we are unwilling to forget. They weave a rich tapestry of our lives and reveal hidden worlds of relationships and love.”

Notes to editors

About TotallyMoney.com

TotallyMoney.com, launched in 2007, is the UK’s leading credit-focused comparison website which sets out to make it simpler for consumers to compare credit cards, loans and mortgages. We believe technology can drive a fairer credit market and better outcomes for consumers.

About Nathalie Nahai

Nathalie Nahai is the author of the best-selling book, Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion (Pearson). She’s also a speaker, trainer and CEO of TheWebPsychologist.com.


For more information, please contact the press team

About TotallyMoney

  • TotallyMoney is the credit app built to help people move forward and achieve their financial goals
  • It’s the only credit app that provides customers with their live credit score for free
  • Almost 4 million customers have already signed up to TotallyMoney, and its service is rated 4.6/5 on TrustPilot
  • TotallyMoney is the UK’s 5th best financial services company to work for, with a 3 star accreditation that reflects ‘world class’ levels of workplace engagement
TotallyMoney Logo

We're on a mission to improve the UK's credit score and help people move on up to a better future.


TotallyMoney is an independent credit broker, not a lender. Our comparison service works with most leading lenders, covering the majority of the market. Though we may be paid a fee by lenders or brokers this never influences how our products are ranked.

We don't provide financial advice. Product information is obtained from independent sources and rates displayed may vary depending on your personal circumstances. While we make every effort to ensure that information is up to date, you should always confirm the terms of the offer with the product provider.

TotallyMoney is owned and operated by TotallyMoney Limited which is registered in England and Wales (Company Registration Number 06205695). TotallyMoney Limited is an Appointed Representative of TM Connect Limited, which is registered in England and Wales (Company Registration Number 06967012) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of consumer credit related activities (FCA FRN: 511936). Trading Address and Registered Office: Chapter House, 16 Brunswick Place, London N1 6DZ. Credit is available, subject to status, only to UK residents aged 18 or over.

We use cookies as described in our Cookie Policy. Continue browsing or click to accept.