You…yeah, YOU, the person in the family that runs from the camera. You put your hand over the lens when someone tries to take your picture, you purposely stand in the back of group shots hoping not to be seen, you threaten your friends and relatives to not take your picture, you haven’t had a family photo taken with your children EVER because you don’t like the way YOU look. You are adamant about other people getting photos and you may even be the one taking said photos of everyone else. Yeah, I’m talking about you habitual camera dodgers…stop being selfish. There I said it. You are selfish…..so very very selfish.
I spent the better part of the morning editing a photo for someone to remove an oxygen mask from their loved ones face as they lay in a hospital bed. Why you ask…… because it was one of TWO…I repeat T.W.O photos that they had of this person (besides childhood) and they want something to remember them by. This makes me SO sad. Take pictures of the people you love, get *IN* photos with people that you love….lots and lots of pictures. One day, they will be the only thing you have to physically hold on to.
Exist! Be in photos…be in lots of photos. The photos aren’t for YOU…they are for THEM. Your wedding photos-nope not for you! They are for your future family-so that they can point to them and say there’s my Grandma and Grandpa. You may enjoy them now, but let’s face it…they aren’t for you.
This is my WHY…this is WHY I picked up a camera. I wish I could tell you that photography has always been my passion. It wasn’t. Actually, I wanted to be in advertising, photography wasn’t really even on my radar until I lost my sister. You all know that story! It wasn’t until I had to sit down with a shoe box full of old photographs at the kitchen table and try to pick out the ones we were going to display at her funeral. You know, the memory board that sits on the easel at the funeral next to the casket that you can look at and remember all the happy times. The ones you can look at and remember their genuine smile, their quirky habits, the way they crinkled their face up when they laugh….yeah, I had none of those. We had lots of photos of us in front of cheesy backgrounds, lots of “sit here and say cheese” shots. I call them the “fake” pictures. Fake forced smiles while dressed in fancy Easter dresses in front of dated backdrops and cheesy props. What I really wanted were the photos of her throwing their head back laughing, the kind where you look at the photo and you can almost HEAR her laughing. I wanted photos to remember her quirky habits like how she would cough and always pull her shirt up over her mouth. I wanted photos of the look she would give when she knew she had been caught doing something she wasn’t supposed to. REAL LIFE. I had none of that. That’s when I decided to pick up a camera. I wanted to give people what I didn’t get to have…..and now I get to document my family the way I wish my family was documented. Because one day, those photos with your bad hair days, your less than perfect makeup and hideous choice of outfits will be the ONLY thing your family has to hold in their hands. It will be the thing that helps them grieve when you are gone…and it will be the thing that they hold of great value and will be more sentimental than that heirloom silver dish you left them. Trust me, those us that have been there……we know.
Stop being selfish…be in photos. Exist. The photos aren’t for YOU, they are for THEM. I don’t know about you but I don’t want my loved ones to have to edit out an oxygen mask as I lay in the hospital because it’s the ONLY thing they have and trust me, they don’t care that you put on a few extra pounds.
In my “mom” voice: I’m only telling you this because I care about you-get over yourself and go take a selfie! <3
I’ve never posted these photos-really, they aren’t anything special, they aren’t going to win any awards, no magazine is going to want to publish them….. but they are REAL life. They’ll never forget my obsession with watermelon! MUAH HA HA HA HA!