The Importance of Photos, Even Snapshots on Your Phone
"One of my favorite things about photos is that we don't know their significance until years or decades later."
- Kimberly Aker
I had this thought yesterday when I saw an old photo of my husband and nephew, Cavan. It was from 2011 and Cavan was making a silly face. He was 4 then.
It isn’t pretty, but it is very special to me and my family! My sister in law, Bryanna, took it I think.
Yesterday, before seeing the old photo, I was taking his birthday photos and he made the exact same face at me multiple times because he’s a goofball, always, especially as a middle schooler. Lol.
So when I saw this old photo later that day, I was hit with how truly important it is to capture moments. Moments that you may not view as significant until many years later.
Of course, I make a living professionally photographing moments for people with lifestyle sessions. Professional photos are wonderful and I certainly love having them for my family. But I can't be there for all of your life's little moments. Hell, I can't even (and don't want to, hello work) photograph all of my life's little moments professionally.
Thankfully these days it is SO easy to photograph moments with our phones.
I have a whole free course you can sign up for here to learn how to take better photos with your smartphone.
With a few simple tweaks you can take better phone photos without added difficulty.
This old photo of Cavan isn’t a professional photo. It’s just a cute snapshot taken at Christmas. But it captures his funny facial expression at a younger age and that is precious.
When I took this photo, I just knew we needed photos of our grandparents.
That was basically it. I didn’t know the last time they had professional photos taken and they were honestly getting very old. I didn’t want to regret not having professional photos of them.
I also wanted to show my grandmother that age is beautiful just like being 20. I truly believe that and want to help change the way the world views age.
8 months later, I turned 25 and all I wanted to do for my birthday was go see my grandparents and spend the entire day with them and my family.
I’d brought my camera to video my grandpa telling the funny stories he always tells. He is SUCH an excellent storyteller.
But I began to realize he was not the same. He kept repeating himself, he’d mixed up the gas cans and put diesel in my sisters car, he was more distant.
On the ride home that night I was talking to Trey about it and just started crying.
I realized my grandpa had dementia. That was crushing.
The year before I had made it a goal to document them and their stories so that my children would be able to know them, but now Papa was no longer going to be able to be the funny guy with the excellent stories for me to record for my kids. All I had were pictures from gatherings and those professional photos I took of them 8 months before of my grandparents being themselves and being as in love as ever with each other. The last time, really, that I’d see them be themselves together.
I knew those photos were important when I took them, but I didn’t know they were “your grandpa’s mind will never be the same and your grandparents won’t ever have this flirty dynamic again” important.