Amanda Joy Photography

The importance of things

PersonalAmanda Mohinani1 Comment

Everyone has stuff.

We accumulate many things over the span of our short little lives, but some things carry more significance than others. Some of our belongings are discarded quickly when they become outdated while other things carry delightful memories and must be kept. Treasured. 

You can learn a lot about someone from their stuff. 

When my dad passed way in October, we began to slowly go through some of his belongings and distribute them among our family. The process is long, emotional, and yet somehow intriguing. 

One of my tasks was to go through his old camera equipment and decide what to keep, donate, and let go of. 

My father began teaching me about photography when I was in high school. I remember our technical talks about apertures, stops of light, and temperature of white balance like it was yesterday.  

He learned photography early on from his own father and began shooting sporting events in high school for the school yearbook - it's where he met my mom and their story began.

You could say it's become a third generation family tradition now. 

Needless to say, I didn't have the heart to get rid of any of his equipment - especially since some of it was passed down from my grandfather. I packed it up carefully and brought it back to my home to be displayed in my office and around the house; old film cameras that I don't even really know how to use... but they're connected to me in some small, meaningful way. 

Partly because my dad's face was pressed against them when he photographed my mom for the first time - a pom-pom girl on the sidelines at one of the sporting events he was covering - almost 50 years ago. 

And partly because they represent his love for me and his deep, intentional involvement not only in my life but in the lives of the rest of my siblings. He never pushed me into photography but thoroughly enjoyed my interest to learn - something the two of us shared for the rest of his life. 

It became our thing. 

Daily car rides to and from technical college consisted of figuring out lighting angles, ISO sensitivities, and manual flash settings. After I was married, our long distance phone calls regularly turned to editing techniques and posing tips. And somewhere along the way, he joked that he had nothing left to teach me; that I had passed him up completely. 

Regardless of his continued ability to teach me new techniques, his legacy has left me with the reminder that you can make a difference in someone's life by simply being interested. Intentionally, deeply interested. And now every time I see his cameras sitting on my shelf, I'll remember.... 

You can learn a lot about someone from their stuff.