As a photographer, I know the importance of capturing time. I don’t have artwork in my house. I have photographs. I have memories on my walls and magical frozen time on my shelves. Growing up, our family didn’t “do” family photos. It was no one’s fault in particular, but I assume 2 fighting daughters, imperfect bodies, busy schedules, lots of opinions, and the inability to make decisions always got in the way…and I hate that.
I hate that looking back, my mom was always behind the lens and never in the moment. I get irritated that all our family photos fit into 4 albums. It’s saddening that some birthdays went undocumented and that it wasn’t until I was in college that the pictures on our walls changed from when my sister and I were under 10, to a more accurate depiction of our 20-something selves.
But, I love that they changed. Perhaps it was because I became the resident photographer. Maybe life was more exciting so we felt a need to photograph things. It certainly helped that for years, my sister and I started giving my folks framed pictures for Christmas gifts. No matter the cause, the effect was over-the-moon wonderful. I love walking into our parents’ house and seeing the walls flooded with photo collages. There is something glorious about remembering those moments and feeling valued because someone else thought they were wonderful enough to be spotlighted. It’s what got me through a time when my father was sick. It’s what renews my faith in our family when we are at odds with one another. It’s what reminds me of home.
Wild Cotton Photography wrote a beautiful blog on why photos are important. I urge you to read it. Whether you are a grandma, new mom, or graduating senior. Life is always changing and evolving and we must take time to appreciate the moments and record them. She poetically shares her story about her nana and gratitude for photographs…and mentions how we southerners rust (which is a hoot).
She mentions, “The only thing between the past and the future is the click of a shutter.” Don’t let a negative self impression, scheduling, or fear of a bad experience get in the way of recording your memories. When you are up against the wall, lean into it. You can move it. You can change things. And then you can have a gorgeous image to remember that season of life. It doesn’t always have to be beautiful to be beautiful. Sometimes, honesty, transparency, and authenticity are the most beautiful things a person can posses.
So throw on your favorite top and take advantage of the back to school deals to get a great pair of shoes. Grab a camera, or schedule a session and record the moment. Every ounce of it. For one day, the kids will be too old to dance in their tutus. They won’t be interested in digging for buried treasure. Your husband won’t have that full head of hair and you or a member of your family may have passed. You will want these memories captured. Go grab a camera, but most importantly, get in front of it. Special event photographs are great, but life isn’t made up of special events spread out over the years. It’s the little moments and victories in between them.