Why Take Pictures? ▌Fort Huachuca Photographer, Arizona

I think about it all of the time, but I seldom write about why I am a photographer. This week I was reading a brilliant autobiography called "Clara's War" by Clara Kramer. It is a survivor's story about a young Polish girl hiding in Nazi invaded Poland from 1939 throughout the war. While reading this book I came across a couple of passages that resonated within me for days:

"We had already lost so many friends. We mourned the fact that we had nothing, not one photo, to remember our friends by. We decided to go to Mr Domanski and get our pictures taken to have something to remember each other by. We wanted a token of our friendship to survive the war, even if we didn't."

"'Please, Bolek, there's a wooden box with pictures in it. Can we keep it?' He hesitated, then opened the trunk and took out the box. He still hadn't said a word, but he finally looked me in the eye. The box was hand carved from Russian birch and inlaid with an intricate pattern. He could tell how valuable it was. I didn't care about the box's value; I just wanted to keep the photos that proved that our family had once existed in an almost divine state of happiness and love. Our life was all there. The weddings, the brises, vacations in the Carpathians, trips to Rosa's in the country. And even the picture of the four of us on our way to Paradise Hill. There were dozens and dozens of photos..."

These descriptions reminded me of how much my images mean to me. Photography took on a whole new meaning and purpose when I became a mother in 2006. The moment I realized my newborn was changing, changing so quickly and in ways I might not remember in detail many years from now, I started to record those details with the camera. When my husband deployed to Iraq after our second son was born, he watched The Baby grow through my images. When he came home from Iraq he would search through the thousands of pictures I had taken and see all of the moments that had passed while he was gone. I do, always, have the sense that someday, generations after me, will have the images in hand, they will see the love our family shares, they will see traditions, they will see history, they will perhaps see places that no longer exist. It's really pretty powerful, the photograph, when you stop to think about it...

Today I take pictures because The Bundle is two weeks old. And he will never be just two weeks old ever again...


Holly said... at March 31, 2010 at 3:59 PM

yes indeedy.....have faces to put names to is important. It is about who you are and where you came from, it's about the path you leave behind you.

We never know what tomorrow will bring so document today for those who will ask later.

AEM said... at March 31, 2010 at 9:05 PM

looks like your shirtless 3 shot turned out perfectly! :) So sweet!

Julie Rivera Photography said... at April 1, 2010 at 10:54 AM

This is truly some of the best work I have seen from you, Karyn! The skin is so creamy and pure, the blanket has just the right amount of brightness, your sweet baby is captured perfectly. Magical. I know you must be in love with these!