"Forever is composed of nows" - Emily Dickinson
I'm once again coming in right under the wire with my one blog post per month!
Honestly, I was kind of stumped on a blog for April because well… I have pretty much no new content to share. I’ve been feeling pretty stuck creatively (with words and with images) and have started this blog post a handful of times only to backspace right out of it.
This blog is the start of a mini-series over the coming weeks or months (we’ll see how quickly I can crank these out) that focuses on art, on service, and on my intentions for this little business of mine.
So brace yourselves – you’re about to get a good look into my heart. Thank you for coming along with me for the ride.
Art, at its essence, is all about storytelling – and storytelling was a very key part of my upbringing from the very beginning. My dad used to tell me and my younger sister stories every night before bed. The ones we loved the most were based around the classic Disney princesses. Mary and I would sit in our beds, bundled up in our blankets and surrounded by our stuffed animals, while he sat in the doorway of our bedroom and we dreamed up new adventures together.
(He was also an avid Lord of the Rings fan. He read every book in middle school, which is an impressive feat in and of itself if you consider the attention span of a middle schooler combined with Tolkien’s word count.)
While the details of this story are for another time, my dad was injured quite severely in 2005, at 40 years old. It was a whole ordeal, and all in all while he was able to be physically saved, he was left with irreversible disabilities and is unable to care for himself.
(I’m going to hit the pause button here, because it’s a weird situation and it certainly can’t be fully explained in two sentences. Maybe I’ll tell you the full story sometime over coffee. Or maybe wine.)
The emotional experience of "losing" a parent before my sister and I were able to build many of our own memories with him was trying, to say the least. We didn’t get the opportunity to get to know him the way he would have wanted us to know him.
Personally, I will never be able to find enough pictures of my dad’s life. I will never, ever get tired of hearing the stories of him at his best – the time he and my mom flew to the Bahamas and back in 24 hours, just because they wanted to go. The time he woke up before dawn to hike a mountain in Maine and took so long to come back that my mom thought something terrible had happened… but he just lost track of time picking wild blueberries at the summit to bring back to her. That he would run an extra lap with his high school teammates who were struggling to finish their distance run on their own. I have no memory of any of these stories on my own, but through the images and stories shared by the people closest to him I have been able to build a more complete picture of the man my dad was, and the man he would want to be remembered as.
My obsession with stories and images comes from my dad in nearly every way. Before he was injured, he ingrained the importance of stories and beautiful things in me by showing me mountains and the ocean and by taking me and Mary on so many adventures through our own imagination. Once he was injured, he showed me the importance of stories well-told, and the impact that images can have to help tell those stories.
Pictures and stories are so much more than just something to be shared on social media, or something aesthetically pleasing to have in your home (though, hopefully, they are both of those things too!). Beyond that, they are the story of your life. They are the story of your love. They are meant to capture You, as a person – You, and your incredible story – You, in the way you want to be remembered. They are your legacy, to look back on in another 10 or 20 or 50 years, or maybe to show your children (or your grandchildren, or your great-grandchildren).
These images are the story of your life.
As much as I love the aesthetically pleasing nature of images, I love a story even more – and I am so thankful for the opportunity to pursue a craft where I can connect with people on a personal level in an attempt to convey their story through photography. Being able to serve people by allowing them to create memories and images full of emotion is the greatest honor in the world. To those who have trusted me with theirs so far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me a chance to capture your most special memories.
I believe in the power of a story.
I create so that we can capture a moment in time, so close to your heart, for you to hold for the rest of your life. I desperately want to make sure they your own story is told in a most beautiful way.
I create so that we can remember.
And I promise you, your story deserves to be told.
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