When I was young, taking pictures was just fun to do. The old Brownie camera was my favorite...oh, my, was that a long time ago! After I married and began having children, picture taking became a way of documenting their growth and lives as individuals, with their friends, and as a part of our family. I photographed everything. It was just something I did, day after day. I have pictures on the walls, on table tops, in multiple boxes, and in albums dating back years and years.
Once the children moved out of the house and went off to college and later married, the photos became fewer and fewer. Now graduations, weddings, and family reunions became the order of the day, while all the time I was beginning to age a bit. Suddenly photography took on a different meaning and purpose. Where before it had been documentary, now it was becoming something for me with an urgency attached to it. I felt driven to snap my husband, children, and their families before I started forgetting people, things, and events. Photography now becoming a means to an end....a way of keeping my memories alive and real as I progresses thorough the aging process. I could refer to them as could my children to help me to remember our past together and relive the happy and emotional times we all shared as a family.
At this time I started creating formal albums devoted to single events like the weddings, holidays, visits, and reunions.
I also kept time-line albums for each of the grandchildren to give them when they married. After my parents passed away, I discovered many old black and white photo albums dating back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and some college keepsake books filled with pictures. Somehow photography seemed to be in my blood!
The picture taking continued until we all got together in February of 2009, for a 3 day celebration of my 70th birthday. We rented 3, vintage 1930’s old CCC cabins at Douthat State Park here in Virginia where I enjoyed one of the happiest birthdays ever. It was there that I noticed my daughter with her Canon taking picture after picture of our family and the nature around us. It was apparent she loved what she was doing and it showed in the moments in time she captured. Suddenly I had that old lightbulb moment. It was time for me to pass the baton of family documentation to my talented daughter and two sons. The time had come for me to start using my little point and shoot Canon to take pictures of my sewn items, my art, my crafts, and the flowers in my yard. I had taken enough pictures over the past 45 years to job my memories for as long as they could be jogged. There was no pressure or urgency anymore...I was finally clicking the shutter simply for the fun of photographic instant gratification. Anytime I feel the urge, I can return to the boxes and the albums and simply sit, remember, and enjoy the memories of my life.Yes, pictures and photography are a wonderful blessing....blessing #6.
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”