Recently, I was tasked with digging deep and really finding my "why." I didn't have to spend hours looking deep within to find the hidden meaning of why photography and portraits are so dear to my heart and light a passion in my soul.
This is my "why."
This and everything it embodies is why I do what I do.
My "why" is not just because I love taking pictures or photography is "fun." It is far more. I feel photographs, whether they are a portrait of someone or a candid moment, are such precious treasures. I've always felt this way, but it wasn't until the sudden and untimely death of my father that I realized how important my "why" was to me. How much I felt it down to my very core and my very soul.
The portraits I took of my father a few years ago are the last beautiful representation I have of who he was. They are something that will hang on my walls until the end of time. They speak so much to who he was; the crazy Southerner who loved his Scottish heritage so much he played the bagpipes (admittedly not very well) and wore a kilt. A man whose fire engine red beard faded into gray as the years went on. A man who couldn't get his hair to lay flat no matter how much he brushed it, whose eyes lit up with happiness when he was with his family. They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words, but to me, the images above speak words well beyond count. When I look at his portrait I can feel him shining through. I would be lost without this image. Words cannot even express how thankful I am to have it and the others I have of him with the rest of my family.
I was recently contacted by a past bride who was updating me on how things have been going since the wedding. She told me about the sad loss of her nephew to cancer this past December and how thankful she was to have the family portraits of them all together. She said how wonderful it was to see his big smile and remember the wonderful kid he was. I will be completely honest with you all, I was in tears.
This is not the first time I have received such emails or cards. Over the years, I have received many notes from family members looking back on their portraits after the loss of a loved one and just how much they treasure having those moments captured in beautiful photographs. I am so honored to have been able to capture those moments for my clients.
Beyond family loss, portraits capture who we are in a moment. They capture a tiny newborn in their quiet, sleepy moments. Moments that are so very short, as newborns grow quickly into babies, then into toddlers, then into children, and before we as parents know it, they are grown. As we live in the moment, such as during the sleepless nights when you are first home with your new baby or tough days of adolescence, it seems like things will never change; but they do. Your sweet tiny little baby slowly begins to sleep through the night and become more independent. Your teenager will graduate from high school and head to college. Things are always changing, it is so important to capture these moments in your life.
This is why I am passionate about what I do. There are so many moments in our lives that contain beauty and life and joy beyond words. These moments deserve to be captured in a way that creates a keepsake that will be treasured for generations to come.
This is my "why."