"Capturing Life"

The Importance of Family Pictures

My Dad was usually behind the lens but this particular time my mom was our family photographer.

All my growing up years I have fond memories of my dad, our family photographer, taking pictures to document the wonderful memories of life.  This was “back in the day” of film cameras and, while he knew some basics about picture taking, he was not by any means “professional grade”.  He didn’t need to be.

The photo albums in my mothers collection show moments such as our family trying to have a family portrait on Christmas day via the timer on my dad’s camera.  Invariably the timer would trigger the camera to take the photo before my dad would have time to get back into the picture and we’d have his backside someplace in the frame with the rest of us laughing.  There are the photos of our family at Yellowstone National Park with the lovely Old Faithful in the background and my mother sternly telling us to get down from the railings in the foreground.  There are pictures from our family’s ocean property where we camped with another family on a regular basis.  There are the photos from every Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthday, graduation, vacation, family reunion and any other event my dad had his camera ready for.   We have gathered together over the years to view the slides and look at the photo albums that contain all these years of family pictures.  We laugh, we remember and we bond once again.

In my view, family pictures are one of the important elements in the heritage of each family.  They transcend time and help us return to the early days of our family unit, before time and older ages took us each in our own directions.  Ric and I already cherish our own family pictures and the memories they evoke even though our kids have not yet completely launched from our home.

This past Christmas season provided me the opportunity to participate in “memory making” events.  The kids of some very close friends of ours asked me to take secretive portraits of them for their parents’ Christmas gift.  It was so fun to meet up with them, spend an hour or so playing, and provide them with some great family portraits that will hopefully be cherished by their parents in the years to come.  I love these young people and was honored that they asked me to participate in such a fun gift.

I also photographed an intimate wedding just after Thanksgiving, capturing the beginning of many memories ahead.  The bride and groom had both experienced great loss in their lives and found new love.  It was the beautiful occasion of their new future together.

My own family Christmas time was filled with the joyful memories of our first Christmas with our future daughter-in-law.  As you can well imagine, this photographer took a plethora of family pictures, carrying my camera every place we went and trying to capture photo’s on the sly.  Sadly, however, my family is well on to my trying to be sly and discreet and know all my tricks so it’s more difficult to capture them unaware.  Still, I managed a few photos of them living life in their own unique ways and was able to get those memories documented for our family.

Just after Christmas another family arranged to have me do portraits while they were all together for the holidays.They are a growing family as they add new generations and they desired photos to document the stage their family is currently at.  For every family unit there is a unique bond that occurs.  Why not take the time to capture those memories along the way?



3 responses

  1. Anna

    Thanks for sharing!

    February 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

  2. Nice group of photos and great write up

    February 6, 2013 at 4:33 am

  3. Wayne

    Sandy, beautiful photos and such heart-warming stories. Thanks for sharing both with us. The story of your dad setting the camera timer and running back to get into the photo cracked me up! I hope our kids look back some day with similar memories and stories.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:28 pm

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