The first thing people usually ask me when they find out I’m a photographer is either, “What type of photography?” or “How did you get into that?” My answer is, of course, always the same: I have been in love with photography since I took my first film photography class (that’s right, no digital yet) my first semester at the community college! It’s been nearly 20 years since then and I have photographed friends and their families on and off in that time and even worked at a portrait studio for a while. But that’s not really the interesting part of the story. The best question is why? Why do you spend your time photographing people? I could say because I love it and that would be the truth, but the real answer is very personal. I photograph because of my Grandmother!!!
Why I spend my life photographing others
My grandmother, Patricia, or Patsy as my Papa would call her, was such a huge influence on my life. Although we lived almost 6 hours away, I would talk to her often on the phone and loved spending time with her. Like most women, she hated having her picture taken. We even have home movies of her waving off the camera and although there was no sound recording, I can always hear her saying, “Get that thing outta here!” So, the photos I have of her are few and far between. So, when she passed away in 2002 I lamented the fact that we didn’t really have a whole lot of photos of her past her 20s. Don’t get me wrong, we have some snapshots throughout the years but she never had her portrait made. What I wouldn’t give for gorgeous portraits of my lovely grandmother. THIS is why I photograph! At the end of the day, I want my clients to be remembered, to be cherished, and to remember all those important moments.
Cherish your memories, Print your portraits.
I mean, isn’t that why we photograph weddings? We want to remember all of the things that we will likely forget about that day. My passion for photography focuses on the lifecycle of the woman. Her early years followed by maternity portraits, portraits of her newborn and then of her children and family as they grow. I want to photograph women as they age because every part of her life is important. I LOVE generational portrait sessions where I can have sometimes four or even five generations of women in my studio celebrating their family. (Of course the guys join in too but the women, so often critical of their appearance, are my focus!)
I want my clients to cherish their portraits. I want them to print them for the wall or in an album so that future generations won’t miss out on that family history. In next week’s post I’ll talk about why printing your photos is so important but the short answer is that digital files are not archival, they are corruptible. Professional level prints that are archival are the best way to preserve memories.
Capture who you are today because tomorrow comes fast
I am grateful for the photos that we do have of my grandmother but I truly wish that I (or even someone else) had known enough then to know that we would treasure every portrait once she was gone. Life is short and unexpected things pop up so please don’t wait until it’s too late to capture who you are right now! Babies grow quickly, children change so much over the years and you’ll want to remember every bit of that just as much as your family will want to remember every bit of you!