When you talk to most photographers, some talk about how they picked up a camera at a young age and they knew this was a career they always wanted to have. Other’s talk about how they love showing people memories through their eyes. But what what is their real reasoning behind their choice to make this profession into a career?
I was asked recently what my “why” was for being a photographer. What was the deep down reasoning that I had for doing this? WHY do I show up for my clients in the way that I do? This image right here is my why.
I have always been very open in regards to my mother’s illness and the struggles we went through as a family before she passed away. it was never easy, it was hard, heartbreaking and an event that pushed me to be the person I am today. I remember riffling through boxes and boxes of old photographs, looking for the perfect image to show everyone at the funeral who she was. That one image people would remember her the most by. But I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find ONE sole image that defined her life as person. There were few images of us a family, images of her a child, of graduations…but none that REALLY showed WHO she was.
I remember wanting every and any picture of her I could get my hands on of her. It didn’t matter if it was old, if it was blurry or whatever, I wanted it. It was my only way of feeling connected to her now that she was gone.
I found so many images of me, my brother, my grandparents, my nephews…but very very few of just my mother alone. She was ALWAYS behind the camera, and hated her own picture taken. Then I found it…it was an image of her during her senior year…sitting on a fence post…holding a flower and laughing. Simple. Timeless. I now have that image framed in my office. I regret not finding it sooner and knowing the story behind it.
That same day, I also found my parents wedding album. Most of my adult life, I was always told there were little to no wedding images of parents, in fact my mother told me she burned it after they were divorced. Flipping through the pages, seeing what their outfits were, smooshing cake into each others faces, and seeing them smile while looking at each other during their first dance as husband and wife, I broke down and cried. I cried for days.
This was the start of my family’s story. It was the beginning of my brother falling in love with the mother of his own children, of growing up in the middle of no where on a farm, and of me planning my own wedding day. My parents didn’t end up with the picturesque love story, but it didn’t stop their story from happening, and this album was proof that their love was real. This wedding album, and the image of my mother as a senior are two of my most prized possessions now as an adult. They are memories that I may not have lived through, but they are moments I am able to look back on and feel connected to them as a daughter.
I hear EVERYDAY ” I don’t like my picture taken.” ” I am terrible in front of the camera!” GUESS WHAT in 10, 20, 30 years your children, your grandchildren, YOU will want pictures of yourself with those you love the most.
It doesn’t have to be a holiday..or someones birthday….it can be an ordinary Wednesday night. It can be you making pizza together in your kitchen, snuggling on the couch with your significant other. Whatever makes you..YOU..thats the business I am in, of capturing authenticity of you in your element. When was the last time you had your picture taken by a professional? When was the last time your parents or grandparents had a session of just the two of them together? I am guessing its been a while..since they are the ones probably always taking the pictures of their loved ones.
TAKE THE TIME. It is 2 hours out of your schedule…an investment that is worth every penny for generations after you to look back on. Images of their heritage..of where they came from..and what love looked like after 30, 40 or even 50 years. <3
This is my why. THIS is why I choose to do this. Being a photographer, is not an easy or glamorous life by any means It’s long hours, its days away from weekend family events and late nights…but every session, every couple, ever family I meet and love story I capture along the way is worth it to me and it should be to you too.
Finding that one image of my mother, and reflecting on my parents wedding day was the push I needed to make my career what it is today and it made me fall more in love with Tim, my significant other and start our own love story together.
So, don’t be afraid of a few snaps of the camera, don’t be nervous because you think you need to loose 10 pounds before you can snuggle with your babies while I grab a few shots. Don’t wait, because when the person you love most in the world is gone..all you have left are the memories you made together and the images that bring them back to life.
May 14, 2019