Today I’m continuing my series called the C Word: A series based on providing tips for people and other photographers who might be dealing with people/families with cancer. Disclaimer: These are my thoughts and opinions. My goal is to help people understand more about those with cancer – their journey and their thoughts. I’m not an expert by any means – my father was diagnosed with cancer only 3 years ago – but I feel as though this may be helpful to some. Take or leave it.
Tip #3: Make Memories.
When I started writing this series, I got an email from an old friend of mine. Her aunt passed away from cancer this past year; here are her two cents about my series: I wish we would have had more pictures of her with us doing normal things. Grabbing lunch, playing with my younger cousin, celebrating Christmas. Pictures that showed her full of energy and life. She was tired, weak and fragile in the last stage of her disease, and that's not how I want to remember her. When I look back at all of the wonderful times I had with my aunt, I just wish we would have had more photos. Silly, fun, random photos.
Today's post is much more practical. Here's something you can do with very little effort: make memories. Did you notice I didn't say, "Take more pictures"? You see, taking pictures for the sake of taking pictures and making memories are two different things. Let me explain the two...
- Right before dad's surgery in September, I did a photo shoot of my parents. Their first official photo shoot with me - I've photographed them before, but never like this. This was intentional - we set out with the purpose of creating beautiful photographs of just the two of them. (And boy... they're beautiful! Go look at them here!).
- The very next day, dad was admitted into the hospital for some pre-surgery procedures. Throughout the day, I made it a priority to capture those memories. (You can view them here.) Waiting for the doctors; mom and dad's goodbye; dad's hospital room; etc. I knew someday those photos would mean a lot to us - maybe even more then the photos I had taken of the two of them just the day before.
Take a look at these two photos below.
They're taken only a day apart, and yet they have completely different meanings. One photo was taken for the purpose of being a photo and the other was taken while a moment was happening.
Here's my point (yes, I'm almost done)... DO BOTH! Step 1: Make memories. Step 2: Take pictures while you're making memories. Go grab lunch, go to the fair, climb a tree, fix a car, make cookies, go shopping, take a detour, stop at the market. Then... take pictures. On your phone, on your point and shoot, on your humongous professional-level camera - it really doesn't matter which.
Step 3. Enjoy. Enjoy life while you can.
Side note: (Insert shameless plug here) When was the last time you had family pictures done? Not formal portraits... but REAL photos taken by a professional photographer that capture the essence of who you are as a family? Do you have those memories? What's that you say? You need photos done? You're at the right place. Click here. End side note.