As a lover of the senses..touch, taste, sight, sound, smell…I often find myself searching for the meaning in the tangible and the not so tangible. What gives meaning to my life? It has never been enough for me to be OK with the “doing” without the “why”. I want it to mean something to me. I want it personal.
Many times in my career I have contemplated why I choose photography, or why photography choose me. I have wondered about the course I should take with photography and how within that given course I can make a difference, or contribute to something more, something better.
I am still on my journey to finding out all the ways I can and should make a difference with my photos, but tonight one of my reasons was set in concrete.
I was musing through my friend Nikki’s blog and came upon a woman’s blog. This woman is a photographer and has taken beautiful photos of not only others peoples children, but her own. I started reading and was immediately sucked into something real and something unmistakeably meaningful.
Her daughter Ava at the age of 3 died in a tragic accident. Her blog, started before the death, chronicles a beautiful life before and a beautiful life after. As I read and watched her photos tell their family’s story I was..in a trance. I knew that these photos she had taken of her baby were some of the most important reminders of happiness, hope and life that she will ever have.
Read her story and ask yourself the questions that a story like that demands you ask.
What gives meaning to your life?
For me, one of my “meanings” come from trying in my own way to help people remember and cherish the nature of their lives. To document something that is real for them. To be there when important moments happen and try to give them something tangible as a reminder of the intangible things that can only exist and stay deep in the resting place of ones soul.
There is a Native American and Aborigine superstition that taking a photograph of a person steals a part of their soul. Maybe they are on to something. Maybe its less like stealing and more like copying or borrowing. Maybe its the reason so many of us are drawn to beautiful photographs. Maybe.