Every story, moment, feeling, emotion, is able to be captured. People have amazing records of history through art, photographs and writing. Everyone has their own version of the memories. They become the stories that we tell, folk lore that we have learned, and the history passed down from generation to generation, changing and growing as they evolve and finally reach our children and their children’s children.
Throughout my life, I have always photographed as many moments that I could. I have photographs from when I was in 6th grade, dancing with my friends, 7th grade at field hockey practice, 8th grades dinner dance, and so on throughout high school, into college, and the camera never stopped after that. Moment after moment captured inside of a frame. History recorded and documented through the photographs, through my eyes. Mind you, they aren’t the best photos, with my 35mm, yellow, under water camera, that my mother said “I don’t care if you break this one.” I would gladly take that camera with the hope that I could capture the story of my life.
My life long journey of photographs are all stored now in albums, boxes, canvas’s, on the walls in frames, on social media, and so on. They sit near my parents stories and their parents and so on. They are browsed through periodically and I feel all of the emotion from the day they were taken. Newer memories don’t even make it off of my hard drive.
Some photos are just memories of people who no longer exist in this world. Photos of people I miss and I wish they were still with us. Sometimes I long for our friendships, as they were, when we were younger. I no longer long for this because I feel sad. I gladly embrace the photographs (the memories) and I am amazed to have them all. However, I can’t help to allow moments of wanting to reach back in and be that person, if even for a second. I long to feel that moment and the power of just being there again. The thought of embracing someone who I can no longer, sinks in, as I reach back into these images.
I have contemplated the idea of creating a wall of frameless collaged photographs, however the fear of ruining all the photos holds me back! I often find that I want to hold onto the memories more than I should. I can remember details when I look at the likeness. The distinct smells around me, the feeling I had at the moment, the laughter or lack their of, in the captured story. I can remember conversations and all that was around me. It’s as if, just a photograph, can bring that life back to me.
My photography has led me to my career. A successful career of photographing others, capturing their lives and their happiness. I spent years loving that I was a part of someone else’s memory, if even for a moment. I love that there are walls around the globe with photos that I have taken. Friendships that I have created by just being on a beach in the Dominican Republican and emailing a photograph to a stranger because, I captured their memory.
Their have been moments in my life that I chose to not hold my camera in my hand. I have just recently (6 months ago) completely stepped out of that pain. I gave up on wanting to capture many moments when I sat through a divorce, the death of my mother, the loss of my home, the turmoil of my family, and I lived a disconnect from that life. I forced myself to photograph happy family’s because it was my job and yet it killed me internally for about a year. With the holidays in full swing, I long for my mother and wish things were the same, if even just for one more photograph.
I am now back to my old ways, capturing moments as they come to me. I am free to recreate memories and make sure that the future knows the people from their past. I embrace that my children will remember their stories, even if it brings a pang of ache, for a moment. I photograph our family as it is now…
My journey to capture life continues, I will be remembered for the portraits I have taken and I will grow, even if I cry a tear or two when I look at my walls.