Remember that kid in your class who was always sticking a camera in your face? Yeah, that was me. Fortunately, my friends were tolerant, and I have a lot of great memories stored in a box in the basement. We get together now and then and relive our adolescence, laughing at the absurdity of the fashions and our naive, crazy selves.
I’ve always loved taking pictures. I remember my mother’s Polaroid vividly; snapping the picture, the paper emerging from the bottom of the camera, peeling the paper and waiting impatiently for the image to develop before our eyes. And the smell of the paper, oh how I loved that smell! When I was finally awarded my first camera, I was ecstatic. I took countless pictures of cloud formations, my cat and any other subject that stood still long enough to be captured.
Though I was inexplicably enamored with the photographic process, it never occurred to me that taking pictures of people was a likely career choice. I pursued and achieved a BFA with paint and pencil as my media of choice, but I never once picked up a camera in a classroom. It was not until my daughter was born that I began to think “hey, I could do this.” More recently, that turned into “hey, I SHOULD do this.”
Why? For a lot of reasons, but most specifically it’s because that as a parent I know how quickly the time passes. Families like mine and yours share the same struggles, working long hours and worrying about all they’re missing out on in the lives of their children. For me, taking pictures serves not only to mark the milestones in our family’s hectic life, but to remind us of how far we’ve come over the years. Capturing these moments allows us to move forward knowing that our memories are safe in print, able to be recalled at a glance.