What other photographers and I create through photos will be regarded as family treasures one day. Imagine if those treasures were lost, how would you feel? I can tell you from personal experience it hurts the heart. Family photography is important because it shows our stories and gives credence to our lives.
What if you lost your photos?
As I write this right now, I can tell you that the thought of losing family photos makes me tear up. Why? Because at this moment, I don’t know if I will ever be able to recover the images from my son’s early childhood.
When I was learning photography, I made one of the most critical mistakes a digital photographer can make. I had all of my files on a single external hard drive, and that drive has failed. Will it be able to be recovered? At this time, I do not know, but I still have the drive, and the cost to recover it is substantial. Now, I back up all my work on two drives as well as a cloud-based service.
I haven’t given up hope yet because I still have the device stored, but it does draw a cloud over my heart when I think about it.
Furthermore, I have moved so many times after my divorce; I believe I have lost the only prints from those images.
Simply put, the thought of never having those images again in my hands bothers me.
Why are family photos important?
Which leads me to ask why family photos are important to us?
Family photos document where we have been and give us roots so we can reflect and build on our futures.
If we slow down long enough to consider how quickly life passes, we realize time evaporates as quickly as the mist in the morning.
I can’t believe that my son just turned 11 years old and will be going to middle school this coming year! When did that happen?! I swear it was only a few years ago when he was learning to say his first word, “Bubba.”
Life happens, and we get wrapped up in the day to day of life while we plan for our futures, and before we know it, years have passed.
However, family photos allow us to travel back in time and reflect on the precious moments of our lives. When we look at an image of our children at an early age, we have frozen that instant in time, and we can hold it in our hands, it becomes a treasure.
Family photography becomes our sounding board for our lives.
I became a photographer because I wanted to be a storyteller. Growing up, I was always surrounded by storytellers when I did not have my nose in a book.
I listened to vibrant and hysterical tales of hunting and fishing trips told by my father or his stories of growing up in a family of 14 on the backside of a mountain in Spring Creek, NC. I also listened to my Mother and Grandmother talk about the old ways sitting on her front porch in the summertime in Hot Springs.
Their stories left an impression on me that made me want to tell my own.
I was reading a book today by photographer and author Jerod Foster, and he said something that resonated deep within the well of my soul that as photographers,
“We are, in essence, story caregivers.”Jerod Foster, Storytellers
Using my camera as a tool, I am continuing in the tradition of my own family’s heritage, but I’m using a different art form. Historically, stories were initially told vocally through oral tradition, then we developed writing systems, visual art, and today we now use digital tools to tell our stories.
From the moment I picked up a camera and learned how to use it adequately, I became a family documentarian. That is a serious responsibility!
Start Taking Family Photos
It may surprise you that I would make a statement that we need to start taking more family photos today. I mean, we live in a digital age where everyone is regularly taking pictures with their cell phones, but do we create quality images that way?
It may sound cliché, but I am preaching to the choir on this one!
I’m guilty of focusing so much on delivering images to clients that I forget to take pictures of my own family! If anyone does not have an excuse, it’s me.
If I can forget to document my life, how much easier is it for others?
Grab your cameras and take pictures of the day to day life of your family, but don’t forget to get in some the shots too. Don’t worry if the kids are messy or if your home is not in perfect order, just document. I will join you!
And finally, once a year, hire a professional photographer to come to your home and do a lifestyle session. I would love to be that person because as much as studio shots are precious, I believe capturing the little moments at home are even more beautiful.
If you are interested in booking an in-home session with me, feel free to contact me here. I want to help you remember your family as they are today for the future!