“Take the picture.” This is something I’ve heard and read in so many places over the years. It’s true. For most of my life, I was the obnoxious friend or family member taking excessive photos. I wanted to be a photographer. Photos meant so much to me, mostly because there were parts of my life that were difficult for people to talk about that I wanted to remember so badly. Photos helped me do that. Over the last few years, something changed. I stopped taking as many pictures, and I’m in even less.
I lost my mom when I was 22 years old. We had a terribly rocky relationship my entire life, which also meant we have very few photos together. Over ten years later, it still hurts not having much to look back on, no memories frozen in time.
You don’t realize how fast life happens until it’s too late or how important a moment is until it’s gone. Tonight, I lost my grandmother. She despised being in pictures. We’ve been sneaking pictures and forcing her to be in them for years, and I am so incredibly grateful for that. She recently turned 80, and we threw her a birthday party, where we took posed family photos. I’ve never seen my granny willingly pose for so many photos. I’ll never forget that day.
Life is too short to regret something as silly as not taking photos.
I say all of this to reiterate the importance of that phrase, “Take the picture.” Take the picture. Make those plans. Answer that phone call. One day, you won’t have anything left of a person. And you won’t realize it until it’s too late. I am choosing to make it a point to record more memories, to take more pictures and videos. Life is too short to regret something as silly as not taking photos of and with the people and places you love. It’s so easy to take photos these days so we have no excuse!
What if you already do this? You take dozens of pictures and capture all the great memories you experience. Go the extra mile and have them printed. There is something so much more meaningful than scrolling through photos on your phone or posting them to social media. A printed photo is a tangible representation of a memory, a physical memento from your past.
Today, I’ll be printing and framing the photos that are the most special to me, starting with the last photo we all took with granny. I urge you to do the same.