I don’t know how many times I’ve said or heard someone say they don’t want to get in a picture because they’re not ready, they’re not as thin as they would like to be, they’ll do it later, they’ll be the one taking the picture to avoid being captured in one. I am probably the worst at it. Somewhere along the road of my life, I decided I wasn’t “enough” to be captured in family photos. What do I mean by enough? It can mean many things, but in my example, enough covered almost every example above and more. At some point in my life, I started to care more about what others would think of my pictures rather than encapsulating wonderful memories.
Why am I blogging about this? My intention with this blog was to write about photography. What I’m learning as I tap into my awareness and creative side is that EVERYTHING involves photography. I’m not talking about posting on social media- that’s obvious. I’m talking about what it actually is…photography is capturing life’s moments- connections, love, loss, pain, etc. Life is just a series of moments and lessons strung together, and if we’re lucky enough to eternalize our memories through taking pictures, we have a better chance of remembering our lives as we age.
In an instant our pictures can become priceless and more meaningful (to us or our loved ones) than we will ever know.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic. Unfortunately, we’ve experienced an untimely death in the family last week, and death has a way of forcing you to reflect on things that may seem insignificant before your loss. I’ve had quite a few deaths in my family recently, and the older I get the more often it seems to happen. Here’s what I’ve noticed lately about one of the first things that happen after a loved one passes away: everyone scrambles to find pictures. Have you noticed that? EVERYONE. All of a sudden it’s the only visual reminder you will ever have of that person. In an instant, pictures become priceless and so much more meaningful.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about loved ones’ first reaction to death: everyone scrambles to find pictures.
As I write this I have this underlying overall feeling of sadness and regret. All I can think about is how many pictures I opted out of because of my insecurities. I think about my children and how important those pictures will be for them one day (hopefully). How many times have you opted out of pictures? One commonality I believe we all share is the feeling of uncertainty about ourselves. Why? Not one person scrambling for pictures sat there and zoomed in on their loved ones to pick them apart or see them in a negative light. It’s quite the opposite.
What do you think about when you look at a picture of a loved one who has passed away? I think about their light, energy, salvation, heart, smile, beauty, and I think about the way they made others feel. I don’t for a second think of what they’re wearing, look like, age…I don’t think about any of that. So honestly, shame on me for being so vain and selfish. Harsh? Nah. I know mothers who’ve buried their babies and would do anything for more pictures. Widows who have clung to pictures of their loved one decades later (to the point their photographs are faded and worn from holding onto the last physical connection they have of that person). How many pictures of you will your loved ones have when it’s your time to go? (Selfies excluded.) In my experience, there will never be enough…so do your loved ones a favor and stand in that frame. The 1/100th of a second it takes for you to do that will (someday) mean the world to someone else.