I think that you are either a photographer or you are not. I am not talking a professional toting around a fancy camera taking pics for money…although even though I am not professional I do always have my Canon around my neck. I am talking about those of us who document our lives with photos. It can be a fancy camera or a cellphone, those of us who are photographers capture our lives in pictures, and enjoy going back and reliving the moments.
As I already hinted, I am a photographer. ( not for money, and not for hire) I just love taking pics, and I love looking back through my years of photos remembering the moments. I get it from my dad’s mom, who always had a camera and a video camera as far back as I can remember. Some of the best times as a kid were spent looking through all her photos of the family growing up or watching the home movies. That gene got passed on to me…and my husband often calls me Mabel. I value all the old family photos, from both my side of the family and my husbands…although we do not have very many from his side.
There is nothing I love more, than getting together with family and passing the box or old photos around the table and reminiscing. Sometimes it is a virtual table on Facebook as long distance family and friends look at each others digital pics. ( I have also been known to get distracted looking at a total strangers public photos on Instagram or facebook, getting a small or sometimes large peek at their lives)
My mom on the other hand, is not a photographer. She doesn’t enjoy taking pictures, nor does she seem to enjoy having them. We have very few photos taken by her as we were growing up. I gave her some photos a few years ago and her response was ‘ I suppose you want me to put these in a frame?’ I get it (Ok I don’t, but I try to)… she just doesn’t enjoy them like I do. She always said she just couldn’t take good photos. My answer always was the more photos you take the better they get. Plus its not always about taking a good photo. It’s about trying to capture the reason why you are taking it. If that moment doesn’t really matter then it won’t be worth capturing in a photo.
Some people, those non photographers, say ” put the camera down, and live in the moment’. To those people I say ‘ I can’t’ and ‘I won’t’! Taking pics of my life is almost as vital as breathing…. ok, that is an exaggeration but it is almost as vital. I am afraid of forgetting this moment. And that moment. And that time in Vegas…I want to look at that pic and instantly be back to where we had those good times. And that time at beach, oh and that trip to Victoria….’oh and remember how small she was’? ‘Look how young we were’. It goes on and on. I am afraid of forgetting all the little things. I am afraid of my memories becoming a blur. I want to remember. My photos are how I do that. I suppose its living in the past…. but our past is how we became who we are now. ‘Oh look at this….that was taken in our first house…remember that hideous wallpaper? ‘
” OMG what was I thinking with that perm?”
” Judging by the outfit, this was somewhere around 1992″
” Look kids your parents were cool once”It isn’t even about taking great photos, so many of mine are just photos. Random moments in a day. Sometimes I do try and capture some that are worthy of hanging on the wall, which is what most of my ‘art’ is. Family photos or pics of places that I have been hang on my walls in matching frames with some sort of organization and style in mind. Some of them are pretty good. But after 30 years with a camera and now more expensive equipment along with really good cell phone cameras you would expect some decent and wall worthy photos. I have so many, that I really am able to just print out the best ones that will end up in a photo box that I hope one day will end up being passed around the table at family gatherings. Of course there is also a lot that are just a rotating screen saver on my computer as well.
I don’t apologize for my photo obsession. Those of us who are photographers are living in the moment! We just want to preserve that moment for ever!