I love to take photos. Photos either on my camera, or with the camera on my phone. I take photos of scenery, flowers, my garden and wildlife we come across on our walks. I take photos and videos of my grandchildren when I am with them and looking at the photos later makes me smile with the memories they invoke.
I love to take photos. Photos of those I love and who love me. So, I am often the person on the other side of the camera taking shots and making memories by doing so. I am less likely to be in front of the camera having my picture taken. Like many, I don’t like to see photos of myself. I always feel self-conscious that I look too fat in photos. I admittedly do need to lose some weight (quite a bit actually) and this affects my self image. For this reason, I don’t often volunteer to be in photos.
This evening I walked past a frame with multiple pictures of my son Adam, who passed away. I pause as I walk past for a moment to soak in the images of my son. Adam was never particularly keen to be in photos, but I am so glad I was able to capture those images to have their comfort now.
It got me thinking. What will I leave behind for my children and grandchildren when I am not here anymore? Will I let my vanity and reluctance to have my photo taken due to my negative self-image rob my family of a pictorial history of our lives together? I know when I look at photos of people we have lost, I don’t for a minute think, ‘Gosh, Mum looks chubby in that photo!’ Instead, the photo generates memories of the time when the photo was taken. Of a special Christmas, a Wedding, a Birthday, or just a family meal together.
So, I will do my best to remember that when someone points a camera at me. I will endeavour not to worry about whether I have a few extra kilos than I would like. I will do my best to smile for the photo and to realise that one day, my photo may be a comfort to those I love.
Those we love, if we are loved well, won’t care about how we look. They will care about how we love. If a picture gives them the warmth of memories of someone who loves them completely and utterly, then that picture is worth more than mere words can say.
Photos carry memories more precious than all the riches in the world.