Are You Sharing Your Story? Just Do It!
I am supposed to be writing an article about how to take better pictures, but I can’t stop thinking about how hindering and overwhelming that can actually be for some people. Avoiding taking a picture because they want it to be a perfect picture. So, just for today, let’s not focus on taking better pictures, but on the simple act of just taking a picture. As the Nike slogan says “just do it”! Why? Because our memories are not perfect. Details of events typically become a little bit fuzzy after just a few weeks. Taking pictures helps to preserve our memories – FOREVER! I’m being a little obsessive about this topic right now. I haven’t taken many photos over the last several months because my father-in-law was very sick with cancer. My husband was gone much of the last year caring for him. Keeping up with life became so busy and overwhelming that I often failed to pick up my camera for several weeks at a time. I’m screaming inside now just thinking about all of the great memories over the past year that I probably failed to document just because I was feeling too busy or too tired to take the time to take a “good” or “perfect” picture.
The last week of my father-in-law’s life was in our home while he was on hospice. He was an unbelievably inspiring man that my husband, me and our children were very, very close to. During that week, I hauled out a box of old photos that my father-in-law had given to me and spread them out all over my kitchen table.
I would just sit and smile at these pictures of my father-in-law who I had become so close to over the years, loved dearly and didn’t want to have to let go of. I sat in awe thinking about all of the stories that he had told me about so many of the images that I was looking at. I felt relieved knowing that I was going to have these images to keep forever and that I could look at them over and over again. When my three children saw the pictures on the table they went nuts! They had a blast looking at the pictures of granddad while he was serving in the Marines, seeing a picture of his own granddad with a “fancy mustache” and vacations in the Smoky Mountains where we now go on a yearly vacation carrying on my husband’s family tradition. My kids have carried on and on and on about these pictures. This one big box of pictures helped to bring some very special memories and laughter into a very sad and difficult time. They helped my children connect to their granddads past and also have given them something tangible that they can remember their granddad by for the rest of their lives. That, to me, is absolutely priceless!
Last year for Christmas we gave my 5 year old daughter a Fisher Price camera that also shoots video. The resolution is horrid, especially in low light, but she loves it. I almost didn’t buy the camera because it I knew it wasn’t going to take “good” pictures. On our last Christmas day with granddad she shot this video of him reciting a Christmas poem to her. She watches it over and over and especially loves hearing the sound of his voice. She said to me “hearing granddad’s voice makes me feel like he’s always with me”. She wouldn’t have this special memory if I hadn’t quit obsessing about image quality.
(Our last Christmas with granddad. Not a perfect picture, but THE perfect picture!)
So what are you waiting for? Don’t wait until you can take the perfect picture or even a better picture. Just take pictures! Start sharing your story today. Just do it!