This past couple of weeks have been a difficult one for me.
My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, 1 month after a checkup telling us he was cancer free. It was shocking, heartbreaking, and sudden. Within a few days he had passed after his kidneys failed him. What breaks my heart is that I had planned a vacation to visit my parents by myself and photograph them as a couple. I never got to do that, he passed a couple of days before I was able to make it down to Washington.
While I was at my parents home, after the memorial I went to my parents bedroom and looked through their wedding album.
That's right....I said wedding album. Not pictures on a phone screen. An album that I held in my hands while I sat on their bed. I don't recall ever seeing the photos before, and it made me really happy. I honestly don't really remember my dad being really "happy" guy. While looking at the images I saw a different man. He was happy. It was his wedding day, and there was no denying he was young and in love. My parents looked so cute! Seeing the images really brought peace to my heart. It was nice to see what he was like when he was in his 20's, Seeing him interact with my mother in a really loving way was emotional for me. It made me realize that there was another side to him. It healed my heart in a way.
When I am making portraits, they are really for the children.
Yes, you will enjoy the photos as well. But the images over time will have the most impact for your kids. They will get to have beautiful images of your family, and share them with their children, and grand children. They will get to see someone that they have heard about, but might not know. The memory and the emotion that photos bring can be a very powerful thing. Once you are gone all that your family will have will be memories and photographs. After the past couple of weeks I have had, I can tell you without a doubt that photos matter.