THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY PHOTOS
There are different types of photography and while I appreciate all of them, there is something magical about portraiture that just captivated me. I wanted this first post to explain why Photography is so valuable to me, why I never want to stop taking photos, why I LOVE Photography, and why you should love it too!
Everybody nowadays has a camera. Thousands of family photos are taken every day with little regard to the meaning of each photograph.
But if I were to ask you what is the first thing you would rescue from your home if it catches on fire? What is it that you cry forwhen your computer’s or phone’s memory gets accidentally erase? The answer will always the same, your photos. It is easy enough to rewrite that paper and download your music again, but the photos of you and your grandpa at the beach when you were just 2 years old, that is not something you can just re-do.
A situation that perfectly exemplifies the true significance of a photo, is the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. People lost everything, but volunteers soon realized that family photos were more valuable to the survivors than almost any other possession they lost. So they started collecting all the photos they could find, cleaning and displaying them hoping that they would be claimed.
Survivors would come every day and sort through boxes of photos for hours on end, some of them desperately looking for snapshots of their lives before the tragedy and hoping they would find memories of the ones that were no longer there. It is only then that you start to realize the meaning of each and every photo we so carelessly take.
Photographs are tangible evidence of our family history that will be passed down through generations, and that is truly invaluable. Pictures preserve precious memories we have shared with friends and family. Photographs are a powerful reminder of the ones we love the most and sometimes of the ones we have lost. This is what I believe the heart and soul of photography is. In its ability to capture moments, relationships, love… there is nothing quite like it.
We all take pictures of our own loved ones, but some of us, are lucky enough to be invited to be a part of other people’s extraordinary moments, and that is what makes my job so special. Every photo I take is a story, it may be a routine pregnancy photo session for me, but for the person in front of my camera it is a monumental reminder of a miracle that is happening to her, something unique, beautiful, and life changing.
It is an honor to be invited to share these experiences; to be able to capture, not just the image, but the beauty of the moment. It is very special to be allowed to participate in the making of these memories and to provide people with something they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
That is the reason I love what I do and I don’t think I can ever stop doing it.
Now, there are many things I have learned through my job. It has really changed the way I see people and what is important to them. I have come to realize how silly I was growing up. When I was younger, I would simply refuse to have my photo taken. I hated to have my photo taken and I was determined to have my way, so in the very few photos I have of my teenager years, I always look quite angry. I see now how selfish I was.
Every time you get out of a group photo or stop someone from taking a photo of you, think about how that affects the person taking the photo. They don’t want the image because they want to anger you, they just want to be able to remember you, as you are, now. If you feel fat, you think you will look ugly, or you just don’t have your make up on, remember one thing: when your children and family look at your photo, they see YOU; not you body, your fancy clothes or lack of make up. So don’t deny them the opportunity to see what your life is like at this moment. Don’t take from them the chance to go back and remember you for who you are. Because once the moment is gone, there is nothing more painful than having removed yourself from a memory your loved ones could have treasured.