The other day I read an article on The Huffington Post called “So You’re Feeling Too Fat To Be Photographed” written by Teresa S. Porter. I’ve got to say, it really struck a chord for me. Honestly I don’t remember the last time I’ve ever been so personally touched by something I’ve read. Take a chance to read it for yourself.
I’ve never liked the way I looked in pictures. Ever. My parents weren’t really big picture takers, but managed to take some when my sister and I were kids. They seemed to stop when I was in my mid-teens and my sister was about nine or ten. There were a few here and there… we had a few of the Olan Mills pictures in there, a few of specific outings. Once my daughter was born that changed for a while but tapered off as time went on and we went back to our usual routine.
So here we are. I’m 47 years old, my daughter is an adult and has moved out, my parents, grandparents and a best friend are all gone. I have very few pictures of all of this. I only have a handful of pictures of my husband and I. Since I homeschooled my daughter, we didn’t even have the usual school pictures to mark our timeline other than from the annual Girl Scout dance. We took pictures of places we went and things we did, but not of us.
There was always such an air of caution in taking pictures… cost for the film, cost for the developing, trying to use the roll sparingly to capture the whole event and then holding your breath to find out which ones “came out” and which ones were a waste of film. Looking over them, it’s amazing how many of those moments you forget about until you have that picture to jog your memory.
I’ve had a few digital cameras over the past 12-15 years. While I was caught up in the novelty of being able to see my pictures immediately, I like many people left the pictures on my computer only to lose them to a crash or a virus later. So I didn’t change, but I should have.
The digital camera has changed life for all of us over the past several years. Being able to now upload our pictures to Facebook or Photobucket or Instagram allows us permanent storage and access solutions like never before. Our pictures are no longer trapped in dusty frames or in boxes in the garage. Not to mention our ability to share them. Being able to see pictures from a delivery room across the country within minutes is the true joy of this new technology!
My husband bought me a beautiful camera a few years back before our trip to New Orleans and I’m slowly trying to change my habits and take pictures. I’ll admit, they’re mostly for Facebook, but that’s okay because that means I can’t lose them either. It’s a hard habit to break, but I’m working at it.
So if you’re like me, try to remember to pull out that camera and take pictures. Lots of pictures. Capture the memories. When the folks in those pictures are gone you’ll be thankful to be able to look back at that day and smile. I know this holiday I will. (And then I’ll post them to Facebook.)