“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
― Ansel Adams
“Lindsey, I want you to take a picture of me while I’m all dressed up so there’s a nice one for my obituary”.
“What?” I asked. “I’m not doing that. Stop talking about that.” I said as I looked over at my grandmother and started to roll my eyes.
Then, in her I-mean-business tone she said “Now Lindsey, I’m serious. I want a picture where I look nice.”
This was one of the first things my Grammy had ever asked me for and you’d better believe I wasn’t going to let her down.
At the time, I was annoyed that she was forcing me to think about her mortality but pleased I could offer her something that she wanted. Now, 2 years later, I have never been more grateful. She passed in March of this year. Afterwards, I was faced with the daunting task of looking for pictures of her – and I knew the ones I’d taken that day were in my archives somewhere, quietly waiting for re-discovery.
I found that picture, the one of her with a beautiful smile:
Then, I found one ten times as precious. It was taken seconds after the first one. I have no idea what she was laughing at. I wish I could remember. Regardless, I have this...and this is the way I'll always remember her, laughing from the inside out.
And that is what photography means to me – freezing time for just a moment. Holding on.
Will you hold on with me?
Are you a mom? A daughter? A sister? Who do you want to freeze time with? For me, it's everyone that's important to me. It's my mom, my kids, my husband. I need pictures of them all.
But you know what else? I need to be IN the pictures too. I need them to have pictures of me. It's easy to look the other way and to say "maybe next year" but honestly, when your children are grown, there will be no greater gift than having pictures with you.