In more recent years, it has been refreshed in my mind how important my family has been and will always be to me.
My family and my love for photography go hand-in-hand. My loved ones have inspired me and encouraged me greatly in all of my endeavors, especially photography. Whether they are aware or not, all of the people mentioned below have played some hand in finding this passion. I don’t think I could thank them enough, although I’ll certainly try everyday.
My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. She is still alive today, however, it is becoming painfully apparent that she may not be around for much longer. A fact that is extremely difficult to accept. When she was diagnosed, we convinced her to move down to Florida and we spent a glorious year together. That summer, she said, was the best she’d had in her life. We did all kinds of activities and had so much fun, but there was one particular moment I remember that had to do with my photography. I was questioning whether I wanted to give it up and my grandmother unknowingly inspired me to continue. My mom pulled out a book that she had made of my photos and shared them with grandma. My grandmother cried while looking at my photos and told me how beautiful they were, that I need to continue taking photos because I see angles that most people don’t. I haven’t given it up yet and probably never will. Thank you Grandma Sherry.
When I was 16, my mom and dad gave me a camera for my birthday. A Canon Rebel EOS. It has been my trusty companion ever since and I’m almost 22. My parents taught me everything they know about photography. I have seen the photos they took on vacations and of nature and learned from that. They taught me about the camera functions and what could be interesting subject matter. I remember as a kid always having pictures taken. We would go to the park and do photo shoots, we would go to the zoo and take pictures of every animal and for a short time, they got me into modeling. I can’t imagine how many rolls of film we went through. Only realizing it now, a camera has always been a part of my life. If not for the exposure (pun intended) to photography all my life, I may not have found this passion. Thank you Mom and Dad.
Finally, my little sister, although only 8, has inspired me as well. She used to be really shy and still is sometimes, but she is the one who made me feel comfortable asking repeatedly if I could take a picture. She also prepared me for anything that might happen on the other side of the camera. A facial expression change, a moving target or a sudden zoom in were all things she challenged me to capture. She made it easier for me today to talk to strangers for my photojournalism classes. She has made me less shy. I feel that through all of that practice trying to convince her to let me take a photo, I know how to word a question better or differently when people are hesitant to let me take their photo. She has also been a subject of mine for years and has made me see beauty where I might not have before. Kids make everything different. Where I saw beauty in only the happy faces, I now see beauty in her silly and sad faces too. Rather than just taking a photo of an expression, she has helped me learn to capture moments. Thank you Emily.
With a rejuvenated sense of importance, I have tried to take even more photos of my family recently so that I can remember everything they have done for me. I can’t think of a better subject than my beautiful, loving family that has inspired me so much and continues to do so everyday.