Wednesday, January 22, 2014

real life photographs

I love to take pictures. (go figure)
This isn't anything new--it's something that has been programmed inside of my brain since I was young. I remember my very first darkroom class--I was in the (6th? 7th?) grade, and I would go out in the field behind my house and take pictures of the shadows coming off the fence post, so I could take them to school and watch them develop.
As soon as I could drive, I remember times I'd hop in my little Jeep pickup and drive up the hill to take pictures of the plains rolling into mountains.
Photos purely for the love of taking photos.

But in today's technology driven world, there are now two kinds of photographs we take.
1. Photos for others.
2. Photos for ourselves.

Photos for others are fun! 
We think to ourselves, what would my friends like to see? What bits of my life do I want to share with the world? Who will "like" this? I love taking photographs to show to my friends, and all of you out there in Internetland. It's such an easy way to share little pieces of instant artwork. I love taking pictures of favorite things to eat, and sharing the recipes here with you.....but those photographs aren't for myself. 
Why would I need a picture of a glass of juice? I don't, I promise.
We make sure photos for others are visually pleasing, and set up "just right".

Photos for ourselves are taken for several reasons, but most of all because we want to remember a specific moment in time--a real moment.
Some may be artistic--we like the way the sun is falling on the trees and we want to remember it. Some may be to document milestones and important events. But I've found, the photos I take for myself, are mostly "just because"--there was something special in that exact sliver of time that I want to preserve.
Real moments, real photographs.
 ....and usually far from the "perfect" picture.

[side note. I can't tell you how thankful I am for my little camera on my little phone. before I had a decent camera phone, I'd lug my big camera everywhere. It was a huge hassle, but I also missed so many little moments hiding behind my giant camera. I love that I can take out my phone and snap important moments that I don't want to miss.]

after a lonnnnnnng day downtown, around Christmas time 
Sometimes these two categories  (photos for others, photos for ourselves) overlap--we want to share some of our favorite moments with those around us, and that's exactly what all these wonderful gadgets and gizmos and applications are for.

We HAVE to make sure we are not taking less and less photos for ourselves, because we are too concerned about taking more and more photos just to share with others

up late one night crocheting! bracelets for the whole family.
If we take too much time to make sure our photo is perfectly perfect and "share ready", we might miss the moment all together.

my lu was sick. Luna proved herself to be the best cat ever--she stayed by her side all day, even following her in and out of the bathroom. I had to remember this.
Almost four years ago, Robby and I went and stayed with his grandparents right before they moved from their home of 50+ years. I photographed their house inside and out, and took a few candid snaps of them. I didn't have instagram then--the photos were purely for Robby's family--we put together a book of Nana and Papa's house so everyone could remember that little yellow home after they moved.

Nana passed away peacefully on Monday morning--she lived a long and full 89 years. I went back and looked through the photos I'd taken, and was so happy we had them--a few real life moments that Robby and his family can have forever.

Nana, The Rummy Tile Queen

Moral of the Story:
Take pictures. 
(from time to time) take beautiful perfect photos to share with the world.
(but) make sure you are taking quick snaps here and there of those little moments where life just happens.
and then put the camera away, and enjoy it.

to see nana and papa's house look HERE and HERE


janet said...

i agree that photos are our windows to our lives - I also photograph absolutely everything and my latest obsession is putting together photo and story books from the 32 years I have been married. it's so much fun to go back and relive all those memories.

so it's not only important to TAKE those photos, but have them printed in some fashion so you can share the stories that go with them.

eden said...

I love this and I totally agree with printing them out too! I fell into the trap of wanting to take photos for others all the time, so I took a break from instagram for a month in order to just be there. And I quickly realized how special the photos of my girls, my family, my home that I just took to have and not to share. And I ended up hardly sharing any of them once I got back on IG and they are still my favorites. Sooooo, (sorry this is so long winded, ha!) I have a much better filter, (nope not sierra ;) for taking and sharing photos.
Also, one quick photo can evoke a ton of memories surrounding the event so, it's really all you need! Thanks!

Krystina Olsen said...

You are my favorite person in the world, Sheena. So many things I've been mulling over appear on the screen as I read your words. There are sooooo many blogs floating around out there, and they all have something beautifully unique to offer, but I find myself itching to hear what you have to say ... yours is my favorite in all the world. I think that if we didn't live thousands of miles from each other, we might be true friends. Our brains and hearts think alike. I feel you're my kindred spirit! Anyway - you rock and I love your guts. Thanks for sharing your big beautiful thoughts!

Hannah said...

love this, sheena!

gram said...

Beautiful picture of grandma!

Caitlin F. said...

I love the message of this post! I catch myself taking photos for other too often sometimes, and I needed this gentle reminder to take them for me. Thank you for writing this :)

Also, I'm very sorry to hear of your loss.

Faith Yates said...

great post. so sorry to hear about your nana but how wonderful you had photos to look back to/through.

The Bebebirds said...

Love love love this post. It's so true! We can't forget about all the little meaningful pictures that maybe only we will like.

Missy said...

So so true. I love this. Great reminder!