January 22, 2010

Get in front of the lens, people want to remember you.

I know it seems like we’ve been in hiding for the last little while with the lack of fresh content on the blog and with our absence at the Marions Nous Wedding salon. It’s because we’ve been going through an extraordinarily difficult period as Tim’s father passed away very unexpectedly a week and a half ago from a heart attack. No warning signs, no nothing. It was and still is a shock to us all.

Mere days before, Tim and I had just attended a refreshing series of seminars at an event called Mystic 5 (images and a blog post to come soon) where we came away inspired to take more pictures of the people we love in our lives – our parents, our siblings, our friends – and each other. We looked at each other at the close of the last session and I said, "Tim, doesn’t this make you want to go straight home and take pictures of your parents together?" We both realized just how much we wanted to remember their faces, their gestures, their expressions.

But that last photo session was not to be. Instead, we have spent the past week flipping through old family photographs – chuckling at the fashion sense in the seventies, smiling fondly back at the beaming smiles of Tim’s parents in their youth. We felt a pang in our hearts going through images of Tim with his dad – as a little boy building a chair together, sauntering down a park path, and years later – his dad beaming proudly on the wedding days of his children. Going through the mounds of photographs – colors and edges slightly faded with age – we found ourselves immersed in a visual history of his life. Images breathed, recalled and imparted stories, personality and love.

So this is why we do what we do.

I think we’ve both agreed that we need to get in front of the lens more – for each other and for our children to come. I need to remember how Tim looks when he’s about to play yet another prank on me. Tim needs to remember my face when I’m deliriously happy (usually after a productive shopping spree!). Because those small, seemingly insignificant visuals will mean the world one day. Photographs are important. And we say this not just because we’re photographers – though we both have a new sense of purpose for the work we do – but as a child to our parents, as siblings, and as husband and wife. Your life, your relationships, the people you love need to be documented and remembered.

A few gems we’ve come upon this week: