Why I take the picture.

Monday, February 10th, 2020

Hello. Either you are here because you know someone I took photos of, or…you are looking for someone to take photos of you! Or you are just browsing the inter-webs and thought, hey, I’ll check out what this lady is all about. Well. I’m happy you’re here. I hope I’m the girl for you. Because if there are two things I love. It’s making friends…and taking pictures. And when I say taking pictures…I do mean holding a camera and snapping away but it is so much more than that for me.

I’ll explain. It’s a time. It’s a feeling. It’s emotion and wonder and being grateful and seeing what matters. It’s being appreciative of the beautiful nature God put here on this earth, in actual nature, or in the love we find in another person. Some might propose that I should enjoy moments without a camera. That it gets in the way of truly seeing the world. I get it. I like to look at a sunset, breath it in, feel like I matter as the sky turns from orange to purple to navy blue with glittering stars peeking through. I take moments in this world without putting a lens between myself and the goodness. But I also know how important a photo can be. And I get this little burst of static electricity that makes me wanna…makes me have to take a picture.

I don’t want to get dark, but it might get a little sad for a moment. We don’t last forever here. We all know it. I’m actually terrified of not lasting. It’s one of my fears. The fact that we are finite. That there is an end. That I could lose someone I love, or be the one to be lost scares the shit out of me. If I check my blood pressure right now, I’m sure it went up as I’m typing this. My heart is beating a little faster thinking about all of it.

I haven’t lost anyone in my immediate family, but our family did lose someone very important and dear to us to cancer last year. At his funeral, there were so many pictures. Collages on tables, albums opened up to news articles, and a slideshow. Something to take the sting away. Or make it hurt more. Funerals are terrible like that. Comforting and painful all at once. This slideshow had photos from his youth, old family photos of him and his kids, and so…many….photos… that I took. At family reunions or of their family session, and of my cousin’s wedding. Photos of him laughing, squeezing his family, smiling, relaxing, feeling all the good things that life gave him.

I looked up at the slideshow when I couldn’t hug anymore or couldn’t find the words, needing a distraction, wanting to feel close to the person we just lost. I looked at those photos and they took me back to that exact moment. Like yesterday. Made a memory so much clearer. And I felt love amidst the sting. And I felt grateful for knowing him. I looked at his face, his eyes leaking joy and I wasn’t just seeing his happy life, but I was seeing the life he gave to others around him. So much sadness in this room, but as I looked around, others looked lovingly on the old photos of him, the new photos of him and whispered “what a great day that was.” “Oh that was a good vacation.” “ I remember that Christmas.” “He really loved…” Whatever it was. They were reminders. And I felt like I had done the right thing by taking the pictures. Someone squeezed my hand. “Thank you for those.” Someone else gave me a hug. “Those are some beautiful memories.”

I still don’t accept that it was his time. I could go into all the reasons why cancer is the devil, but the point of what I’m saying is that I took those pictures for the memories. To bring us back to that love. To be closer when we are so far away. We get older. We grow apart. We die. It’s what happens. To those needing comfort, to those needing to feel close to someone, maybe we open that drawer, our wallet, unfold the bent up Polaroid, hold it close to our heart, and pray. We dive back into that photo like it’s a different universe, transporting us through space and time. Ok, I might be a sci-fi nerd. But honestly. Photos take us places. Make us feel things.

Golly. I’m not saying hire me because we all die and you will need the photos I take. I hope it’s not coming across like that. I’m saying hire someone that will keep these memories for you. That invest that much into pushing the shutter. Or gosh, take the picture yourself at any moment if you don’t have a photographer to do it for you. Any meaningful moment. With any camera. The one you have in your pocket will do.

So here I am, just wanting to preserve some happiness…some love for you. Always hoping I’ll see you again and you can all smile on the photos in your homes for years and years. But when there are no more years…I know how much that photo might mean to you. I put all I have into what I do. And I’ll tell you something. It’s the most fulfilling thing I do. I think, oh maybe I should mention how being a mom is the most fulfilling thing I do, but I’ll be honest. I’m a much better photographer than a mom. I love my kids and I love being a mom, but some days…you get it right? That’s a story for another day.

Thanks for reading. Everyone go print yourself an album now. I know I need to.

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