One thing I’ve noticed recently is how much I’m appreciating all the photos that were taken over the years. Obviously with the emergence of cell phone cameras, it has become so much easier to take dozens of photos to get the right one. And digital cameras have become nearly automatic in every way.
“Back in my day”, photos were taken cautiously, trying to get the absolute “right” shot because you only had 24 or 36 pictures to a roll. You’d snap a photo, cross your fingers and make a wish, and hope it came out the way you were expecting.
How many of you remember developing a roll of film at the pharmacy (like an absolute barbarian!), having to wait a week or more simply to get back that little envelope and realize only half of them came out properly? They’d be overexposed, or underexposed, or someone would have the dreaded red-eye, or wasn’t looking at the camera after all. Or worse, they were all developed, as long as you paid no attention to the darkened corner where your “automatic” camera lens didn’t open all the way?
Thankfully, that isn’t the way it works anymore. We’re able to create wonderful memories quickly and easily, and see immediately if everyone was looking in the right direction or if they were too much in the shadow. And even if it was a once-in-a-lifetime shot (Big Foot playing pinochle with the Loch Ness Monster and a Chupacabra, for example), if it didn’t come out right, there are all sorts of software programs to enhance it and turn it into what it was supposed to be.
But looking at old (and not so old) photographs, I’ve come to appreciate all them. The good, the not-so-good, and the really bad ones. I can look at them and almost be transported back to the day each was taken. Each is a memory in the making, and when something happens, something life-changing that ensures that no more memories will be made – ever – you value them even more.
Some of my recent favorites have been of everyday occurrences. Pictures that I took of my husband without him knowing I was taking them. I have a plethora of images taken from a distance or with his back to the camera. Strangely those have become my most treasured photos. To me they represent his physical distance from the family, looking out for us from beyond. They make it seem as though he truly is our special caretaker. He is apart from us, yet still a part of us.
There are several I have plans to enlarge and keep on my wall, and I know my children have a couple they want, as well. In at least one, it’s difficult to even see him in the photo and unless you know he’s there, it just looks like a lovely sunset.
I spoke of taking pictures – lots of pictures – at my husband’s Celebration of Life service. I cannot stress this enough – please take as many photos as you can and don’t stress over the wrinkles, goofy look or extra pounds. Because when you look back on an image of you with a loved one who is no longer with you, you won’t notice anything but a beautiful memory.
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