My Simply Complicated Life

Welcome to the blog of an ordinary mother who sometimes just might have something extraordinary to say

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Take a Picture, It Lasts Longer

If you know me, you know how much I love photos.  Actually, love is probably an understatement.  I am borderline fanatical (bah, borderline - good one, Jessica).  This obsession really spun out of control after my girls were born especially since the birth of my youngest, likely because she is the baby (the last and final creature to inhabit my uterus) and the full-circle completion of our family.  Capturing each stage and step on film (or memory card these days) means that I’ll forever hold onto those moments that otherwise slip through my fingers.  Call me crazy but if I could, I would cover every blank space of wall in my home with pictures of the ones I love.

Before discovering my dear photographer friend Jessica and prior to another great friend, Kristin, starting her own business, I spent close to a mortgage payment on packages and frames from Picture People.  You would have thought I was a company shareholder!  But no more!  Now I am heavily invested in the unbelievably ridiculous (ridiculous in a good way) talent of these ladies as well as another amazing superstar (Lori) who is unfortunately not local to Orlando.  I can’t leave out Ashley, Brie or Henna, other good friends who also take incredible pictures.  All of these women exude talent – it radiates through them.  Their natural creativity is inspiring!  It’s also a little dangerous for someone with an indulgence like mine (wink).  I am very proud of them and wish everyone could see how special they are and what they are capable of!

Why so “interested” (to put it lightly) in photography, you may ask? 

Pictures tell a story.  To the people that are in the photo or who were there when it was taken, they recreate the emotions and the situation that was taking place when the flash went off.  To someone viewing the picture in a frame on your wall or in an album, it puts their imagination to work trying to figure out what someone said to make you laugh or what the weather was like at the beach that day.  This tale-telling aspect of photography makes any expense involved priceless.  And it is an expense but one that I’ve created a “fund” for because it’s so important to me.

It deserves a spot in my budget because I will never have those moments back.  My girls will never be as young and innocent again nor will I remember them so small and pure.  As hard as I try to hold on to those memories, my imperfect brain will fail me.  A picture, as they say, will certainly outlast my fading recollection.  Some people are blessed with a photographic memory but sadly I can barely recall the day of the week majority of the time.  For those of you like me, a photo whether printed or stored on your hard drive, is a memory incarnate – a tangible instant. 

Often someone will reminisce of a time from our past.  They will narrate the story down to the song that was playing in the background yet I am completely at a loss because of my dulled memory bank.  It’s like hearing the account for the first time which is bizarre when I am an actual “character” in the story!  It’s those situations that really put into perspective the value of pictures, as they truly help me to jump back in and live the moment in a way that hearing the words cannot.

What is funny about pictures, especially ones of me, is that as unhappy as I may be at first with how I look (whether it's the dissatisfaction of my weight or a funny face I might have made) - I am eventually grateful for that photograph.  I am able to recognize the beauty of having been caught "as is" at that point of my life.

There you have it – a snapshot of one of my passions.  And if you’re wondering, I don’t always have photos taken professionally.  I do take some myself but of course, the caliber is incomparable to that of the ladies mentioned above.  It’s similar to the old saying “those who can’t, teach” - except for me it would be “those who can’t, pay others to!” 

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