What Does Photography Mean to Me, Part 4 // Guest Blog

This is the LAST week in this series, and I am so sad to see it go! I've saved one of the best for last, though. This blog comes from Wendy Mills, a dear friend who has been an encouragement and an example to me. A few years ago she and her husband experienced the loss of her son, Christopher. I have never once heard complaint or anger - only powerful stories of how God has changed her heart. Wendy recently wrote a book called Rejoicing Through the Rain, which is published and available on Amazon here! (PS Be sure to read the captions - they are a big part of this story!)

Ask someone, “If you knew your house was going to catch fire and burn down in the next 15 minutes, what would you grab first?”  After the kids, the dog and the spouse, most of us would say pictures.  Why are pictures our most valuable possession? Here are just a few reasons:

1. Pictures are evidence of our existence and a recorded history of our short time on this earth. The Bible says we are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. We all want to leave evidence of our mist behind.

This is a picture of my mom (holding me), my dad, and my three brothers.  Priceless!

This is a picture of my mom (holding me), my dad, and my three brothers.  Priceless!

2. The puzzle of our life is an accumulation of a lifetime of moments.  Think of photos as a picture on the puzzle pieces.  When you put the pieces together, the picture of our journey on this earth is revealed.  Leave that puzzle as a legacy, and your grandchildren will be able to meet you, get to know who you were, and develop a connection with their past.

This is a picture of my father-in-law holding my husband (left) and my son, Christopher (right).  I love seeing these pictures, 26 years apart, side by side.

This is a picture of my father-in-law holding my husband (left) and my son, Christopher (right).
 I love seeing these pictures, 26 years apart, side by side.

3. When a photograph captures an event, apprehends an emotion and detains a memory, it is locked away for safe keeping, growing more valuable over time.  Pick up a picture 10 years later and it will transport you back in time, bringing into focus the very moment the photo was taken.  You will re-live the experience and resurrect the emotions associated with it.

This is a picture of Christopher holding Chelsea. He was so excited to have a little sister he grinned for the first three months. They grew to have a big brother/little sister-love/hate relationship where he could pick on her all he wanted but nobody else was allowed that privilege.   

This is a picture of Christopher holding Chelsea. He was so excited to have a little sister he grinned for the first three months. They grew to have a big brother/little sister-love/hate relationship where he could pick on her all he wanted but nobody else was allowed that privilege.   

4. Photographs seize details and give us the gift of exploration at our luxury.  Life moves so fast, it’s all but impossible to capture the clarity of moments in our mind because the details of a moment are gone in a split-second of time, never to be repeated.  We may remember the forest but photos give us a chance to examine the leaves on the trees.  Sometimes a leaf in itself tells a treasured story. 

This picture was taken to record Christopher being mean to Chelsea. We had gone to visit Christopher at school and Chelsea would not leave him alone. She wanted some big-brother attention so she was pulling on him, poking at him and doing everything she could to get him to turn his attention her way. He finally got irritated at her enough that he grabbed her, flipped her, and held her upside down. She whined until he let her go and it wasn’t until I looked back at the picture that I realized they were both grinning from ear to ear.

This picture was taken to record Christopher being mean to Chelsea. We had gone to visit Christopher at school and Chelsea would not leave him alone. She wanted some big-brother attention so she was pulling on him, poking at him and doing everything she could to get him to turn his attention her way. He finally got irritated at her enough that he grabbed her, flipped her, and held her upside down. She whined until he let her go and it wasn’t until I looked back at the picture that I realized they were both grinning from ear to ear.

5. Pictures capture real life.   The small, mundane, real moments of our lives are just as important as the major mile-markers.  A mundane picture today may become a great treasure tomorrow.

This picture was taken on Mother’s Day, 2008.  We had gone to visit Christopher at school and as he was walking us to the car to leave, my daughter grabbed his hand and held it as they walked away together. Exactly one year later, Mother’s Day, 2009, Christopher passed away unexpectedly. This sweet picture of everyday life is now one of my favorites. I can’t remember why she had a box of tissues in her hand but now, it is a perfect fit for this photo.

This picture was taken on Mother’s Day, 2008.  We had gone to visit Christopher at school and as he was walking us to the car to leave, my daughter grabbed his hand and held it as they walked away together. Exactly one year later, Mother’s Day, 2009, Christopher passed away unexpectedly. This sweet picture of everyday life is now one of my favorites. I can’t remember why she had a box of tissues in her hand but now, it is a perfect fit for this photo.

Pictures hold a vital part of our life so take lots of them.  Also, be sure you are not always on the “Say Cheese” side of the camera.  As I was going through my pictures I realized that sadly, I’m not in many of them.  I need a photographer to follow me around for a day and record my existence! And take pictures of anything in your life that makes your life, your life.  Your house, your kitchen, your bedroom, your workplace, your co-workers, your cars, your school.  You will appreciate having those pictures around three houses and two cars later.  Oh, and be sure to keep them organized.  I went through 5 huge 18 gallon tubs before I found the pictures I wanted for this blog.  I have to go clean up my mess now.  God bless.

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.