When a photographer loses a family member.
A week ago, I lost the most amazing and positive male influence I had growing up. My Papa. My mothers father. He was everything I wanted to be. The way he loved his wife set the standard for any man I dated. I traveled the long distance (24+ hours and 3 plane rides) to be there to say Thank You to my hero.
Seeing my nanny at his casket for the first time in 3 years, and realizing she had no idea who I was until I told her.... It broke my heart.
After his services and his burial, I had the opportunity to go through old photos that my aunt had. There was tears, there was laughter, there was amazement. But most of all there was a renewed sense of purpose for me, the photographer. I took these same photos and sat with my Nanny for several hours while she tried to remember the people and the places.
Digital images are all the rage right now, and often I get asked for packages that only include Digital files. But tell me, how old is the oldest image you have access to? 3 years? 5? Where are the snaps you took with your cell phone 10 years ago? How many phones have you gone through and lost all the images on them? How many computers? How many failed hard drives? These last few days made me want even more to provide the service I provide. Prints that last until your granddaughter and her child sit down to go through pictures to display at your memorial. Canvases that will be passed down to your great grand children and cherished for years and years. Memories that would otherwise be forgotten, now to be rediscovered in 10, 25, 35, and 40 years.
The below rediscovered memories are 35-41 years old... and all of them are scans of prints. Still in perfect condition. No files have been deleted or lost, they have moved from place to place dozens of times through the years.
I didn't know that my cousin Sean and I met much earlier than I remember meeting him. Certainly long before I was able to write to him and have the best cousin pen pal relationship like we did! (I love you Sean!)
And look! How young my aunts and uncle looked! They sure appeared to adore me!
Photos of me and my Nanny before life got complicated and we both thought we knew everything.
Oh I can't forget the images of me with my Papa. My super strong and smart hero that was supposed to be invincible.
And photos of me as a baby with other loved ones that have also passed on.
This one is amazing to me.... Its the only photo I have ever seen of my father before 2004 with me in it....
This is the only photograph I have ever seen of my 5th birthday.
I hope you have enjoyed my memories. I will cherish these prints, and I can't wait to share them with my children. Print your portraits, print your memories. Don't rely on your mind to remember every moment, and your story telling to share every experience.