Imagine if you loved someone more than anything in this world, and you had little or no meaningful photos of them…
Sounds terrible, doesn’t it?
That happened to me.
Every Friday night of my childhood was spent with my great-grandparents, Carlos and Maria. It was an evening especially reserved for my sister, my aunt and me. I did not realize then how much the time spent with them would mean to me nor just how much they meant to me. I’m lucky enough to still have grandpa Carlos around, but my grandma Maria passed away just after I graduated high school. She was undeniably one of the most important people in my life. This snapshot was taken on the day I was born…
…it is the only picture of the two of us together.
It hurts me that there’s not a single picture of the two of us that shows how we feel about each other– and how much she meant to me.
Grandma Maria did not like to have her picture taken. The only other picture I have of her very nearly didn’t happen. I was testing my first camera, running a roll of black and white film through it when all of the family was gathered at our house. I asked if I could take a picture of her and my grandpa together. She said no at first, but the rest of the family convinced her to do it for me. I am so glad they did…
…everyone in the family has a framed print of this photo in their house.
I’m so grateful that these two pictures exist, but I still feel like something is missing.
Had I realized just how greatly I would miss having pictures of her –pictures of us– I would have certainly made the effort to have them. I would have explained to my grandmother that even though she doesn’t like having her picture taken, she needed to take them because SOMEBODY LOVED HER –I loved her– and I needed those pictures in my life.
For me, photography is never about vanity. I don’t believe photography can ever be just about one person (even if there’s only one person in the frame). It is a shared experience– an expression of love. You get your picture taken not only to have a nice photograph, but because SOMEBODY LOVES YOU.
I believe having your photograph taken is a way of saying to the people that love you: “I love you too.”
That need that will never be fulfilled drives me every time I pick up my camera.
So while I will take traditional, everybody smiling at the camera photographs, because I think it’s the right thing to do… I need to create images for you that communicate love and connection.
Who are the people that matter most to you? Your husband… wife… dad… mom… best friend?
The pictures I create for you are for you– but they are also for the people you love. So tell me all about those people– who they are and why you love them, and I will make every effort to capture images that are a true expression of the love you have for each other.