While it's fun to play with new gear when it comes out, or try the latest lighting or processing techniques, it's important to remember what photography is truly about: recording forever those that we love and care about. Even the most exciting, high-paying commercial job I will ever do will never hold a candle to shots I take of my family (grumpy as I sometimes may be about having to haul the camera out).
And in those times when we forget what's important, we need a little reminder. Here's one I received recently. It's an email from a 2006 bride. She's given me permission to post it here, and I think it speaks volumes about the importance of photography:
I keep forgetting to send you a note, or I may have already, who knows. My brain has not worked for a few months now. When it came time to find pics of my father as people remembered him, I turned to my wedding pics. We used them on the obit and pretty much everything else. I wanted to thank you for being the person to capture him and his spirit. i cherish those photos.
Wow. That definitely set things in perspective for me. Her father wasn't ill at the wedding, but suffered a seizure since then which took his life.
At weddings, I always try to be aware of older relatives, or those that have certain conditions where they might not live much longer. But every once in a while God brings home someone you didn't expect him to, and that's why it's important for you, and me, to continue to capture those around us that we love.
My father passed away when I was 19. I am almost to the point where I have had more years alive without him than with him. After hearing this story, I asked my mom to email me some shots of us, and here they are:
A funny thing on that first picture - those of you that have seen Trevor before will probably think that I photoshopped him in, but I didn't :) Oh and my dad looks like he's 12 in all these shots.
So, go out and take some pictures of your family this week! I certainly will.