Take a Picture … It’ll Last Longer

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When you were a kid, if someone held their gaze on you for a tad too long, it was well within your rights to unleash this “genius” retort: Why don’t you take a picture? It’ll last longer.

Ooh, burrrnn.

More than being a schoolyard quip, it’s also plain ol’ good advice.

I grew up around cameras. My dad took many snaps of the family with his trusty Canons. We had stacks of thick photo albums, some with loose prints and a few stray negatives slipped into the already crowded, sticky pages. And the overflow of the overflow got piled into the deep drawer of a long, mahogany coffee table in the basement.

I’m kind of relieved that some of those pictures remained deep in that drawer. But I’m still happy they exist, these records. All parts of the transcript of my story.

I’ve heard plenty of new mothers say that they don’t have many (or any) recent pictures of themselves. For some, it’s just the busyness of bees, forever short on time. While for others, it’s by design. They wanted to wait until they’ve dropped some extra pounds …

Or until that weird tuft of hair at the top of their head decides to cooperate with the others and lie flat …

Or until they have a chance to put on some concealer and lip gloss …

Or until, until, until.

Being able to capture a moment, a story, a feeling with a one click of your camera … it’s storytelling at its best and most simple. It can be touching, funny, magical, all in one frame.

Then last week I read a blog post by Utah-based photographer Justin Hackworth about the importance of taking pictures. It was short, but quite sweet and raised a great point: These pictures really aren’t about you.

In fact, the photos aren’t even for you, Hackworth said. “They are for their children, for their families, who will look at those pictures and be so glad someone had the foresight to take them.”

So, moms. Yes, your little puffalump is cute pie warmed up with an extra dollop of cute on top. But take a moment here and there, while you’re watching your kid explore this new world, and turn the camera on you.

Get in frame. Take the picture, capture the moment, hold it, and make it last longer.

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That’s it for us this week. We’ll be enjoying the American Thanksgiving holiday. Be sure to catch us Monday for the last installment of our A-Men Monday dads series.

Have a safe and joyful week/weekend.

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