My parents drove from Oregon to visit us over the weekend and I really wanted to take some professional photos of them while they were here. I realized some time ago that the only recent pictures I had of them were the ones I get each year on a Christmas card and the ones I’ve seen on Facebook. Certainly nothing nice enough at least to my standard for a wall display. Mom said the last ‘professional’ photos they had taken were when my baby brother and I were still living at home. Let’s just say that was a very long time ago and that was a big splurge for our family.
For the last couple of years I’ve wanted more [recent] photos of my own relatives, specifically my parents. But life is just so crazy busy for me that when I do find down time I don’t want to do much of anything except play a video game (my dirty little secret). So my goal is to start working on getting pictures of my own family (if they will let me). I realize this is going to be challenging just trying to convince family members into letting me photograph them, but I at least want to try. Like many of them, I don’t necessarily like being in front of the camera either, but having professional or quality photographs taken of yourself isn’t always about you, but rather for your loved ones.
So when my parents told me they were coming to visit this month, I tried to prepare them as much as possible with the idea that I wanted to take some photos of them. I did wonder about how they were going to react to the idea, but surprisingly they were totally open to it. I explained that it would be very low-key, just a handful of picture for myself [and for my kids]. Nothing fancy, nothing extraordinary, just 15-20 minutes of spending time with me and my camera close to home.
Saturday I waited for the rain to die down as much as possible after they arrived and then we drove to the bike trail that is literally right around the corner from my house. It’s paved so it was easy, enjoyable walking while we conversed among just the three of us. Memories came pouring back from when I was a kid and when we would go places. I’d forgotten how silly my dad could be and yet at the same time super smart, always pointing things out and explaining things to me. He really hasn’t changed.
And my mom, well, it was nice to see her laugh and be silly too! I’m smiling all over again looking at this image with the flower I asked her to hold up. And that’s what photographs are supposed to do, right? Remind you of how you were feeling at a particular moment or evoke emotions over and over again when you look at it. Why did I not do this sooner? This moment alone made me feel so extremely grateful for being able to photograph her.
Thanks mom and dad for giving me the honor.