Early this morning, while checking my news feed on Facebook, I saw this blog post making its way around my set of friends like wildfire. Curious, I clicked through and found a fellow photographer who was sharing a letter from one of her clients. A letter that touched her deeply, as it has now done for me. Please, read this lady’s story, and let it change the way you view each moment.
None of us are promised tomorrow, and yet, all of us somehow seem to frivolously spend our time and our resources, never appreciating what we have until it’s gone. As a professional photographer, I’m more guilty of this than anyone. Somehow, my own family ends up like that of the shoemaker’s, where everyone has beautiful pictures, except for us.
This realization first started to come about while designing Christmas presents for the grandparents. Each year, I give them a brag book or album of Caleb, containing pictures from throughout the last twelve months. Last Christmas was easy, as it was Caleb’s first year and I had enough images to fill ten album. But this year was a different story entirely. I found myself scrounging for pictures, as suddenly I realized that I had not picked up the camera as often as I thought. What I thought was every other week, really was every other month. And that broke my heart. Here we were, at the end of an entire year, and I had only a handful of images to show for it.
So, I made a promise right then and there to take more pictures during the holidays, the time of year that is all about family and togetherness. Unfortunately, my promise soon went the way a new year’s resolution and I found myself getting tired of always hauling the camera around everywhere. After all, it was *so big* and just such an inconvenience.
Then, while sitting in the living room one day, I saw Caleb run over to my grandmother and wrap his arms around her legs, looking up at her with a big smile, as she looked down at him with her eyes full of love. I sat there, my eyes brimming with tears of pure joy, and thought to myself, “Oh, I wish I could save this moment forever.” I then stood still as I realized I could save this moment… and if I didn’t, I had no one to blame but myself.
Running to the bedroom, I pulled my camera out from the bag where it had sat for far too long, and it didn’t leave my side for the rest of the vacation. Where the images great works of art? Not really. Did I go over each one with a fine tooth comb? Hardly. Were lighting conditions less than ideal? Absolutely. Did I care? No. All that mattered, was that these moments would be remembered.
Now, here we are in a new year: 2012. And I want to do everything I can to make sure this new promise doesn’t end up just another discarded resolution. My family is important. Our memories are important. One thing we’ve always said is that if something is really important, you sacrifice for it. Whether that means time, resources, finances- whatever it takes to make it happen. So this year I want to keep that camera a little closer than before. They don’t have to be works of art, though it’ll be nice if they are, they just have to be… remembered.
So to all my friends: make sure to make the most of each day. Cherish these moments, the big ones and the little ones, and make 2012 worth remembering.