So you think you have time?

I've been taking pictures for over 14 years. I’ve taken pictures of people from maternity, birth, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings, etc. But one subject I’ve covered is the one subject nobody wants to talk about. It makes people uncomfortable and it makes them sad. But I know all too well, it needs to be talked about. So I’m gonna do it.

Time; We all think we have it. We all think it’s going to last and our time will not run out. But times up and it can come so unexpectedly that it hits you like a bullet. What I’m talking about is time with our loved ones. We always think we have time with them. We don’t need to go visit, we have time for that tomorrow. We don’t need to call, we have time for that another day. We don’t need pictures with them (or of them), we have time for that later. It’s always later, it’s always tomorrow, it's always another day. But we all know, time doesn’t wait. It keeps going and it can run out before you get around to later. It can run out before you get to it tomorrow. It can run out before another day comes. That’s when you don’t realize how important those moments were, until all you have left is memories. 

Take the Photos and print print print! When I was a little girl, we took photos, sent them to be developed, and brought home the prints. We still have so many memories that I can look at from time to time. They are printed and are kept not only for me, but my family, friends, and children. I can hold them in my hand, hang them up with pride, and make a scrapbook of all the great memories I've made. It is a really beautiful feeling. Our children’s generation is not so lucky. Everything is on phones. Maybe saved for galleries, if they're smart enough to back up their memories. But if they lose that phone, tablet, or camera, they are lost. I have had this happen to me many times. I take such great photos just with my phone of my children, then I lose my phone or it breaks. Those memories are gone. Man I wish I would’ve printed them. That image file on my phone, email, or gallery may not make it to my kids by the time I’m too old to remember my old password from 67 years ago when I was a young 30 year old. A printed picture will. A printed picture can be kept, taken care of, shared, and treasured in a way my phone from 5 years ago never will be. P.S. I still don't know where that phone is.

Take photos with your kids. Personally, I moved around a couple times when I was younger. From household storage, cleaning out, and another household storage, I’ve lost so many family pictures. I would’ve loved to bring them out and show them to my own children. I wish I could find some with my parents in the picture holding me. They are so rare because usually one parent is taking the photo. Get in the photo please. Children do not care what your hair looks like, if you put on some weight, or if you are currently trying to grow a beard or grow out your bangs. They want to see you. I know this because when I look back at old photos of my parents, I don’t notice anything like that. I notice their smile, how they held me, and I remember their perfume or cologne when I was younger. It is really a beautiful thing to capture.

Take photos of your elders. I cannot stress this enough. Our elders do not have the time. I don’t care if they are 50 or 77. Their time is not guaranteed no matter their health or activity level. Get portraits done of them. You will treasure them and have these prints to look at for comfort when they are not with you anymore. It can’t get more blunt than that. I’ve taken portraits of elders, the sickly, and those ready to pass away. It’s never too late to take the photos. I speak so bluntly because I didn’t take my own advice. I waited for the portraits. Then my grandmother was taken very suddenly from me and the only photo I took is of her hand holding my grandfather's hand before she passed. I could’ve taken more pictures. I should’ve. Now I live with regret. She and I always planned for later. She and I always planned for another day. She and I always planned for tomorrow. But we ran out of time. Don’t make the same mistake. Book those portraits today.