This past week and a half has been a challenging one for our family.  I have grown a little wiser and learned to appreciate, a little deeper, the meaning of my job.  When reality hits your family like it did ours this week, we tend to slow down and soak life in more than usual. You think about all your family and friends near and dear to your heart, life becomes precious, little things don’t bother you, and we take time to reflect on our lives.  My husband’s uncle, Erasmo Enriquez, passed away on Aug. 3, 2012 which was days before his 62nd birthday.

Our lives were quickly turned upside down as we struggled to function in this fast paced life we live.  Let me tell you, it was not easy… On the day of his death, I had two consultations and helped photograph a wedding. The next day, I photographed a dear friend’s surprise party for his father who was turning 60 years old. I squeezed in a Dancers In Motion session that following week.  Then we buried our uncle on his birthday, Saturday Aug. 11, 2012. Immediately following the funeral service I helped photograph another wedding. Talk about emotional overload. Since I rested yesterday and had a chance to soak it all in, I am thankful for this experience.

Some things I learned…

  • Make time to have professional pictures taken of your loved ones. A dignified photo is necessary in times like these. However, it is so easy to let time slip by and not have a professional photograph made.
  • Photography helps keep memories stronger. Memories can fade over time, but a single photograph can take us back to that moment in our lives.  They help us to remember who we are and where we come from. Our cousin said it best, ” I only have pictures and the memory of my father now.”
  • Make time for family and friends, and celebrate these moments. Enjoy these moments whether they are sad or joyous occasions.
  • See the beauty in each moment, in yourself, and in others.  Don’t pick on the little things that do not matter.  If there is something you don’t like about yourself or your situation… change it!  You are alive and capable of making changes in your life.  Take advantage of the joys around you and don’t sweat the small stuff.  Embrace who you are without nit-picking everything you don’t like about yourself.  See your self through God’s eyes and know that he loves you unconditionally.
  • It is sad but true, we rarely get together with our loved ones.  Mainly we ALL gather for weddings and funerals, and those are two very different occasions. However, they both celebrate life.  These times are special and bring families together.

As I reflect on this past week, I realize that I am a stronger person and photographer for going through all this.  I am thankful for God who lead me into a profession which celebrates life.  It encourages me to become a better photographer so I can continue creating beautiful images.  In certain circumstances, we may only get one chance to take a photograph. A photograph that will stay with a family for generations…

The photo that his great grandchildren will see everyday as they grow up. It is a blessing!