As a Fort Collins photographer, my job is to photograph other individuals. From newborn sessions to family portrait sessions, big and small, I'm always the one behind the camera. It's been recently however that I've realized the importance of also being in front of the camera. A cold morning like this, not too long ago, my mom and I were chatting over a hot cup of coffee. Although I can't remember what brought up the topic, it was a conversation I will never forget.
As some of you may know, five years ago my family and I experienced the loss of a loved one. My younger brother, only seventeen had so much life ahead of him, yet it was cut much too short. Levi had a smile unlike any other, and although he was shy, when he spoke he had such an impact on everyone around him. As the oldest of four, I remember my mom living behind the camera, always photographing us kids. Through disposable cameras, to Polaroid, to the coming of the Digital Camera, we have albums upon albums of photos. Some photos are torn at the edges, some have little love notes and the date with her script on the back, while others are faded in color. Today, those albums are like gold, each and every photo.
What started as a joyful conversation, laughing at memories behind those photos, quickly became quiet. Tears came to my mom's face as she said, "I only wish there were more photos with me in them, more photos of me with each of you." I then too, was holding back the tears.
I wish I could go back in time. I wish I could photograph my mom, taking photos of all of us. Photograph her reading us our favorite book, Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch. Take photos of her dressing my sisters and I up for our big dance recitals, or Levi for his karate classes. I wish I could take photos of all six of us dancing in our living room making up dance moves our favorite songs. I wish. But, like this photo below, having even just a few of all of us couldn't be more special.
Time is so short, and life is so fragile. While we may not like our photos taken now, what will they mean to us in the future? To our loved ones, to our children? I challenge you to get inside the photo with those that you love. One day, they will be the biggest treasure of all.