It’s funny how when you’ve been doing something so long you don’t remember when you started or why you do it. A couple of years ago, my sister was rummaging around in my mom’s old photo albums looking for a photo to post on Facebook for Throwback Thursday. She ran across a photo of me, I was 4 years old, with a camera in front of my face. It was then I realized I’ve been taking pictures pretty much my whole life. I was that kid on the 6th grade field trip lagging behind, making the teachers mad, because I was stopping to take pictures of EVERYTHING. When I got my first camera, I took my sisters out around our farm on a photo shoot. I would also set up my dolls with blanket backdrops and take their pictures. In high school, I took a photography class as an elective and truly fell in love. It was then the dream of becoming a professional photographer was born.
I first started my portrait business after my children started school. With the boys in school, I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands and realized if I didn’t try to follow my dream I would always wonder. Just as my business started to gain traction, tragedy struck my world and my life ground to a halt. Photography took on new meaning as I used my camera to process what I was going through. The only time I felt normal was when I was behind the camera.
Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out why I love taking pictures so much. I knew I loved photography but couldn’t really pinpoint exactly why. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago I figured it out. It was after my first public speaking event as I was gathering everything together to save in a binder. All of the emails with the coordinator, my drafts and practice copies of my talk, even a copy of the power point slide that announced who I was to the audience, were being gathered together to be saved. It dawned on me: I am a MEMORY SAVER.
I love taking pictures because it allows me to freeze a moment in time. Family photos are a way to document what the family was like at that moment. Senior photos mark coming of age for high schoolers. Travel photos and landscape photos allow me to freeze what I’m seeing to share the moment I experienced with others.
Photography is universally understood. Photography freezes time. Photography captures memories for future generations. Photography allows me to share how I see the world.
This is why I love photography.