Don’t Disappear From Your Own Family Album
Have you ever noticed that there’s always one person in the family who volunteers to take all the pictures? They’re usually the same people who really hate having their picture taken.
You may have thousands of photos of your family, but does your family have photos of you? Don’t laugh! If you’re always the one behind the camera, make sure you give other people a turn at taking the pictures. You don’t want your kids having to describe “what Grandma looked like”.
Now if you’re guilty of this particular “indiscretion” you probably think you have a pretty good reason. Your left earlobe is longer than your right. Or maybe that one side of your hair always pops up. Well THAT’S a really good reason to excuse yourself from the family photo album. Okay I’m being sarcastic, but I’m trying to make a point.
What’s more important?
Having a huge box filled with happy, spontaneous memories?
Or having a few perfectly crafted, less than objectionable photos?
The right answer is the huge box of filled with joy. That’s one lesson that our family learned the hard way.
You see, we had a few people in our family who did NOT want their pictures taken under any circumstances. A few of them just didn’t like the way they looked on film and tried to avoid pictures as much as possible. We actually should have called one of them “the blur”. Any time someone so much as removed a lens cap she darted out of the room. Even so, we managed to get a few snapshots of her every year at Christmas and birthdays and christenings. She looked wonderful on film, beautiful actually – especially to the people who loved and miss her. But at least we have a couple of hastily snapped pictures from every occasion.
The other person had an excellent reason not to have her picture taken often. She was born with a birthmark on her face. Not as big a deal today as it was when she was young. Back then people stared at her and derided her from the time she was born until she was old enough not to care what people thought.
But film was a different thing. We have a few pictures of her, carefully posed so that only one side of her face shows and we cherish the photos that we have. But we have nothing spontaneous, nothing where we’re playing with my Barbies together, or getting off a ride at Disneyland. Her line would always be the same “I don’t want to spoil the picture, so why don’t I just take the picture”. I don’t have a picture of my beloved Grandma holding me for the first time, or of her opening her gifts on Christmas morning. We can’t even imagine how she must have felt, going through what she did. But every time we go through the photo album, Mom and I can’t help think about the photos we don’t have of her – or with her.
So do yourself and your family a favor. If you don’t really like having your picture taken, either get over it or give in. Have someone you trust who knows your best side, take a bunch of photos of you and the kids or grandkids and then choose at least three or four out of each gathering, that you can live with. Or if you have one of those “blurs” in your life, strategically place people with digital cameras or videos around the room, just to take a bunch of candid shots and capture your person when he or she isn’t thinking about anything but having fun.
And that goes for videos too. Make sure that your photo and video history includes all your family members talking, laughing, telling stories and enjoying each other, media shy or not.
Years from now, no one is going to care if your left earlobe is longer than your right or that side of your hair always pops up. What they’ll want to see – or wish they could see – is you.
Trust me. Your grandkids will thank you for it.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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