by Tanya Boggs, The Hard Truth: Love, Loss and the Importance of Family Photography Charleston SC
I have been wanting to write about this topic for quite a while. But it’s such a difficult thing to talk about that I’ve been blocked about how and what exactly to say. Or maybe I’ve just been avoiding it. But it continues to come up and begs to be addressed. So here goes…
The idea of losing people (as well as furry friends) we love is one of the reason’s I find so much value and meaning in photography. And this idea of loss has been one of the driving forces behind many of my decisions not only in my personal life, but in my business. It even affects my approach to working with clients. But no one ever really wants to talk about losing loved ones. It’s not a comfortable subject we discuss in public forums. Whether it is the people who you are closest to, or the loving pets that greet you daily with unconditional love, the hard truth is that our time in this world is limited. (Death and Taxes, right?)
This is one of the reasons why I think it is so important to leave a legacy, a vault of treasures that can be revisited by others after you’re gone. It’s important to those we might leave behind (whether they know that yet or not) so it should be important to you. I’ve lost too many people close to me far too early in their lives, and I will forever appreciate the photographs I have. Family Photography (Charleston, SC) can be the keepsakes of memory that remind us of the way people smiled or the gestures they made when they laughed, and the photos allow us to look into the eyes of those that we loved and continue to love, and find comfort and joy.
Why do I feel an urgency to tell you this? Why write publicly about something that is so personal to me? Because I’ve heard it from so many others as well: clients, friends, acquaintances. And I’ve seen and heard about too many missed opportunities that led to regrets.
Recently a client called me to schedule another session with their cute dogs. It turns out that Molly, their super sweet Jack Russell Terrier, had been diagnosed with cancer and would only be around for about 9-12 months. My clients wanted to be sure they got some great photos with Molly while she was still spunky and feeling herself.
(Take a look at more of our Family Photography Charleston SC, HERE!)
The one thing that worked in their favor was that they had time to plan! We are not always given the opportunity to make sure we squeeze in all the last minute wants and needs before tragedy strikes.
I know first hand. My family has had its share of tragedy! I had the unfortunate experience of losing my brother in a car accident when he was only 26 years old. I lost a cousin when he was in high school. I lost an aunt when she was 48 and her 2 daughters were devastated. And I lost my father just before his 60th birthday. So I know plenty about unexpected tragedy and how important photographs can play in the lives of those that remain.
(Left: One of my favorite photos of my father taken on the weekend of my wedding. He had such a great laugh!)
During the holiday season of 2012, I was scheduled to photograph a client and her extended family who were visiting from out of the country. Their time here got busy and cramped with obligations, and they decided to cancel the session. I was heartbroken in the Spring of 2013 when her brother also died in a tragic accident. I wanted so badly to rewind, go back and photograph them while they were all together for the last time. Him with his 2 young daughters, my client with her brother and their aging parents as well!
My advice… Slow down. Enjoy the time you have with the people you love. Snap photos to remember the beautiful moments! And if you’re like me, and you’re never IN the photos, maybe it’s time to BOOK A SESSION to be sure there are pictures of YOU with the people you love! One day they’ll be glad you did!
What are some of your hangups that keep you from being in photos? Are there photos that you cherish? I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments below!
If you’ve got a list of hangups or reasons you don’t want to be in your family photography (Charleston SC), it might be time you take a look at my Real Women Wednesday segments to inspire you to embrace your inner beauty! Nobody else care’s about that extra 10 pounds that only you see.