Eighteen years. For eighteen years I have been a mother. That little number hit this girl right in the heart.
On year number 17 and 364 days, I decided to look through some old photos. Just little snap shots that are all boxed up from the moves. As I was looking for the box, I even had a thought that I was being a bit cliche. Going in search of pictures that would summarize the last 18 years. I kind of sighed at myself, let out a little smirk, and pulled out the box, dusted it off and cracked it open. I started grabbing pictures a handful at a time. I was overwhelmed at what began to happen to me. I started reliving all the little moments. The preschool graduation picture where my son winked at me, his first day of kindergarten when I had given him my camera to take a few pictures of his classroom to help ease his nerves, the very first time I saw my little beauty only minutes after his birth, pictures of him playing video games, riding his bike, halloween costumes…they just kept coming and the tears did too. Happy tears celebrating all the little moments. Loving most, the pictures that weren’t even the big moments. Even the ones out of focus that showed a glimpse of this house or that one. Pictures of us hiking up trails…no make-up, messy and real.
What came next surprised me more. I started to panic. The very best part of this experience was holding the pictures in my hand. Having the moments right there. But the memories stopped. Stopped about 6 years ago. When the world went digital and I quickly jumped aboard. Forgetting to do one thing. Forgetting to print our pictures. Not realizing the value of the print. Hard drives have crashed and some of those memories are gone. Panic, as I realized my other two son’s entire lives are being captured digitally. There will be no box of pictures to go through on their day number 6,569. Unless I do something right away.
The next blow to my heart was that ever since I started my profession as a photographer, I have become a bit of a perfectionist. For years of their lives only few snap shots exist. Since I had a state of the art camera, I felt I always needed to use it to capture my kids. Only more often than not, I wouldnt want to lug that big ol’ beauty out of its resting place to capture the little moments. Their lives began to get captured in shoots. Not the worst thing ever, but those blurry snap shots that tell a big story, or the quick shot of the kids playing around, those were history.
All of these feelings happend within seconds. I was only a few handfuls into the pile when I looked to my husband, with tears in my eyes, and said I know what I want for Valentine’s Day. I want a really good point and shoot camera. One that is easy, goes into the diaper bag, and most of all hits my standards for a good picture. After shooting with pro gear I could never have a camera that when I push the button would have to wait 10 seconds for it to click. I could never get that timing right again. So the search began.
I found one, and did I ever find one! My camera arrived poetically on Valentine’s day. I quickly opened the box and started to snap away. I was in LOVE. It did everything I hoped it would do. Just enough professional options to make it work great but super duper easy and FAST….push the shutter and instant click. Bring on the snap shot!
I have been clicking away, capturing all the little moments. Happy as can be. On the first of every month, I vow to send whatever pictures I have taken for the month, to the printer along with a few oldies and goodies that I find on the old hard drives.
Almost as strongly as I felt to get the camera and to print pictures from the last 10 years, I felt convicted to share this with you. Hoping that maybe my experience will give you a glimpse into your own future and the power of the snap shot in your own history. I love what I do as a photographer. Truly, since the big eighteen, I have never loved what I do more. Knowing and understanding the gift that I give to each client by capturing moments. But my job cant help you capture the little moments in between the big milestones. I encourage you to capture these little moments. Don’t be over critical of the picture, I am here to tell you, as a perfectionist even, it won’t matter. It won’t. We can never get those moments back. In the middle of all of the growing up and busy life that comes with the territory, it can be hard to appreciate it. But years later you will want to. So take a second and snap the shutter and then print out the memories.
A few snapshots from yesterday. Imperfectly PERFECT memories.
Snap away friends, snap away.
Camera Information and Recommendation: Canon G12. Only around $400 and the best point and shoot camera I have ever used.