Since as long as I can remember, photography has been a part of my life. As the daughter of a photographer, I didn’t think much of the fact that my Dad’s camera came along with us on every trip to the beach, every bike ride along the Charles, and each swim at Walden Pond. But I remember how surprised and thrilled we were later on, watching slideshows of all the candid photos my Dad had taken of us. As we watched our water fight from the week before replay in front of our eyes, we would sit together in the living room, laughing at ourselves and all our antics. It was something we all looked forward to, and I knew those photos were special and the moments attached to them would not be forgotten.
When I was 8, my father deemed me responsible enough to have my own camera. To my delight, I was given a beautiful red “Canon Snappy” for my birthday. Now I could be like Papa 🙂 It wasn’t long before I was running around snapping away at everything in sight. I had a particular fixation on my dolls and stuffed animals, which I would spend hours posing and setting up just so. One day, my Dad pointed out something that has stayed with me ever since: Stuffed animals, dolls and “stuff” will always be around, but people come in and out of our lives, and the time we have with the people we love is fleeting. I took what he said to heart. In the years that followed, I relished the feeling that with my camera I could stop time, if only a tiny piece of a moment, and store that memory of that person and that place forever, so nothing would ever be lost completely.
Now in the age of digital cameras, iPhones and pictures that practically take themselves, we are virtually inundated with images each and every day. We document the details of our lives with ease (even down to what bagel we had for breakfast at the train station on our way to work). But as much as the noise, silliness and minutiae are necessary fun and distracting ingredients of everyday life, the real stuff still lies in the bonds we share with others and the awe-inspiring moments in life that can never be recreated because they are uniquely and singularly beautiful…like the well of emotions on a new mother’s face as she looks into her child’s eyes for the first time, or the proud, if somewhat pangful, moment a father gives away his daughter’s hand.
I am incredibly lucky to bear witness to so many of these inspiring moments, and grateful to have my camera to help me tell these stories. These are the stories we return to time and again like a favorite book that begs to be reread. The ones that soothe and comfort us and remind us of who we are. The ones we put in frames and hang on our walls that breathe life into our homes and our hearts. ♥