January 19, 2023
Yesterday I missed a text message from a dear friend and client. I had turned my phone to focus mode and turned off texting while working away in Lightroom and Photoshop on photographs to submit for the upcoming PPA Merit Image Review as I work towards earning my Master Photograper Degree.
Hours later, I opened up my texts to find that message I had missed from this friend telling me that his father had died that morning. However, I did not immediately text back. Instead, still sitting at my computer with Lightroom open, I pulled up the multi-generational portraits I photographed back in 2020 of my friend’s family along with his parents. We scheduled that session knowing at the time knowing his father was in failing health and we’d be limited in where and how we could photograph the session.
I often tell families that there are two times to have portraits made — now and when it’s too late. And I am so thankful this friend recognized the need then to have these portraits created before his father’s health had declined any further.
As I sat there and looked at each photograph I captured, I was struck once again with the unique power that a photograph has to capture a legacy of love and of life and of laughter. Portraits last longer than memories and are proof of the ties that bind generations together.
After spending hours focused on perfecting the edits on photographs to make them hopefully “merit worthy,” that text message was a reminder of why I became a portrait photographer. While working towards the degree means that I am always improving my skills to serve you better, earning certifications, degrees, and accolades have never been my focus.
I know without a doubt that I was called to use the camera and the power of photography to help families create that record of life and love that will outlast memory — to create legacy.
In memory of Roger Milam