Why Photos Matter


To be honest I don’t have a lot of family photos, I have an album of photos of my father from birth to about 3, some photos of my mom with me from birth to 3. The only photo of have with my mom, dad & I is a candid photo someone took in their living room. My parents separated when I was 3, and through my broken childhood I never got a photo with them together. My mom got some photos done of my and my sister a few times from ages 4 to 6 at some big box retailer. My mom did sometimes buy those crappy school photos of me so I have a few of those. My dad remarried and I remember we got a family photo when I was about 10 (yes we wore matching sweaters and brought the dogs in the studio)

But life happened, that is the only professional photo I have with my father back in the mid 1990’s. 

Why does this matter? Well lets go back to October 2013, we planned a family session but the weather was crap and my brother was off work late. No big deal we can do it later, and planned for Thanksgiving 2013 when my dad’s family was in town, I mean I am a professional photographer and could take the photos myself.

My father called me the Monday before Thanksgiving, we had been playing phone tag for weeks. It was really nice getting to chat with him about our family photos that were going to happened on thanksgiving. We talked about my business and how afraid I was that I just quit my job a few months before at Starbucks and just doing photography full time. It was getting late so we said goodnight and he said I love you then I said I love you too.

That night at 2am I was up editing some photos watching tv and the phone rang. It was my brother Terry crying that our father was dead, my heart sank, I lost my shit. My step mom got on the phone and I can’t even remember what she said (I think it was about him being gone), I remember I said ok Ill be there soon (I lived about 45 min away) I was in shock, I just talked to him 4 hours before.  The next 6 hours were like a bad dream, it was the last time I saw my father. I don’t even remember if I hugged him I just remember his mother Rachel crying, my sister Melissa saying Diddy and just us sitting around crying. That was the hardest night of my life. (I still to this day wake up with panic attacks in the middle of the night sometimes)

I was asked to do the slide show for the memorial (which please pay someone else to do it, that really was too much emotionally for me scanning photos, gathering photo and working on them in photoshop) I realized we have almost no photos together, I have a few snapshots from before age 3, a few more from random parts in life and thats it. To this day I am very sad I don’t have any professional photos of us together, something I could hang in my home. I guess what I’m saying is don’t put it off like we did, no matter the reason, make photos matter. I wish I would had more then anything in the whole wide world. If you feel fat, tired, broke, busy just stop making excuses. I swear your kids will not care, they will want those yearly photos (and snap shots on your phone) when they grow up and your gone, its all they will have of you.

Last photo I have with my dad, which was about 10 years before he passed away.