I was chatting to someone recently about photographs. She mentioned how she always has her camera out taking photos of her family - kids at sports games, candid holiday snaps, generational photos at family events. When her father died she gathered up photographs of him with her, him with her children. As you do, whenever a loved one passes the first thing you reach for is the tangible remainders of precious memories - photographs. She said it was sad that her siblings then realised that they didn't have a lot of photographs with their father, or him with their kids. And so even though family sometimes protested that she always had her camera out, it showed her that documenting her family's life through photos was important and valuable.
This person also told me how herself and her children walk past those photographs of her father on their wall at home everyday. Her kids often talk about her dad and their fond memories. The photos weren’t tucked away on a dusty USB, or saved in a bird’s nest of folders on the computer. They were out to be enjoyed on display.
This conversation was a simple chat over coffee, but it was profound because I realised that all too often I hear the opposite story; "We've never had family photos done", or "I'm never in the photos with my kids, I'm always the one taking the photo". I know myself how true it is to regret the photographs that were never taken.
Photographs are a celebration of our lives. The photographs I have of my loved ones are the greatest possession I own. And I get to create photographs for others to enjoy and cherish too. I love being a photographer, there is nothing in this world I would rather be doing.
Take the photo. Be in the photo. Exist in photos.