I wanted to write a post on the demise of my Rolleiflex which is in the camera hospital right now undergoing emergency surgery. I thought I'd do a "greatest hits" selection and started going through my hard drive looking for some 6x6 magic.
I came across the folder of images of my Dad which I haven't looked at since I took a workshop when I was in NYC a year and a half ago. I can finally look at them and not feel conflicted. They are an important record for me and had I not taken them, I would be stuck with cheesy family photos of my Dad that didn't say much about him at all. I don't remember the days we took photos at the zoo, or my 2nd birthday party, but these images, as raw as they are, make me feel like my Dad is right here in the room with me again.
Photography as a record has come up a lot in my conversations lately. Katie told me she was glad I was recording Jaylen's life right now and that she wishes I had been with them from the day he was born.
I've started shooting weddings which is all about recording a monumental day and making it look as beautiful as possible.
Then the suggestion came of joining an organisation that holds portrait sessions in the hospital rooms where a baby has been stillborn. Photographers are contacted by the hospital and have time with the family to create a record of the baby for the parents. It's something I have been thinking of putting my hand up for a while. Then, tragically, a situation came up on my circle where it was needed, I did not take the photos though.
The idea that in the midst of a tragedy there is still that need to record, to validate that moment, that life, that if we don't we might one day lose the faces of our loved ones to fuzzy, faded memories- ultimately, that the photo is as important as the experience itself.