When you watch the news of a tornado ravaging a town, the people in the rubble are sobbing that they have lost everything– even their photographs. When evacuating for hurricanes, people pack their family photo albums. And some people have even run back into burning buildings to save their photographs.
Sometimes the importance can strike you without a catastrophic event. I took Thatcher and Ethan to South Carolina a week ago to visit their GREAT grandparents– who are 93 (and a half) and 90. I only took a few quick snapshots, but when I looked at them on the computer, I started to sob. My grandparents were two people who always encouraged me, motivated me, and spoiled me rotten. I spent weeks with them in the summer and they would travel to visit us almost every other weekend. I was overjoyed that my boys had the opportunity to meet them, and through these quick snaps, they can have a memory of them forever.
This image was particularly moving to me… Thatcher has always looked like me, my dad and my grandaddy, he is a “Lanier”. I have always been grandaddy’s little girl and we spent a lot of time together when I was little– snuggling, playing and reading. So when I saw this on the screen, it immediately took me back to being a very young child. I can still remember his rough hands, the pen he always keeps in his shirt pocket that would poke me and the sound of his voice when he would read to me. What adds so much to this is that my dad is right there with him, sharing in the story.
Being able to provide these kinds of memories for families is why i love my job. Knowing the wedding album I am creating will become a family heirloom or that the framed wall portrait will hang in their home for decades, stopping time forever… this is why I am thankful each and everyday that I have the priviledge to photograph families and couples and children… and love.