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Photographs Of Loved Ones-family-photo-portrait

Photographs of loved ones are probably the most valuable items that we own. Irreplaceable personal items.

At the time of writing, it has been 9 years since I lost my son, Christopher, to cancer. Nine years of pain and despair. The photograph above shows me displaying two valuable items that tie me to his memory.

The first is a hat I gave him that he wore for a few minutes, two days before I lost him on December 28th 2014. I wear this hat, all day, every December 28th. Every year I take a self-portrait with the hat, call it Hat Day, and post the image to his Facebook page.

The second item is the framed portrait of Christopher. Now this was a fortuitous image for sure. While on a visit to Scotland, and with new flash units in hand, before heading out to dinner one night I asked Christopher to sit for me. No dress up, no preparation. I wanted to shoot a split-light portrait. It took a few minutes.

That became my signature portrait of him, it hangs in my home, and I see it every single day. If you told me that I had to give up that portrait in its entirety or donate a kidney, the kidney would be gone. That’s not hyperbole.

Photographs Of Loved Ones – Even In Movies.

I watched the movie Man Of Steel recently, and the home of Superman’s adopted mom Martha Kent, was pretty much destroyed. In one scene she is seen wiping dust off of the family photo albums, checking the individual images, and clutching the albums to her chest. When Superman says “I’m sorry” looking around Martha replies “It’s only stuff Clark, it can always be replaced.” I know, it’s a movie. But that scene is so accurate.

And that’s the point. Furniture you can replace, and often do. But that photo of your kids, sister, mother, etc., can never be replaced. Moments in time, captured in a fraction of a second, and capable of lasting many lifetimes.

Beyond the mere act of capturing photographs of loved ones, family photography encapsulates the essence of love, connection, and the beauty of shared experiences with those close to us.

The process of creating photographs of loved ones itself also becomes an opportunity to strengthen the bonds within the family. During a photoshoot, families get together and engage in shared experiences, creating memories that extend beyond the final printed images. The laughter, conversations, and moments of connection during the session contribute to building a stronger familial foundation.

Passing down family photographs from one generation to the next establishes a sense of continuity and tradition. As children grow, they can revisit these images, gaining a deeper understanding of their roots and the evolution of their family over time. This shared visual history fosters a sense of belonging and pride in one’s heritage.

If you have photographs of loved ones from previous family generations you are lucky. Many people don’t. If you don’t, and I don’t, it’s a great time to start the process of building legacy image collections to be passed on.

In a world where time waits for no one, family photography serves as a means to pause, reflect, and celebrate the moments that define us. It is a celebration of love, growth, and the enduring bonds that tie families together.

Yes, as a photographer I have a vested interest in someone booking me to take photographs of loved ones. But let me be clear, my desire to create photographs that will become family treasures is intense, it’s passionate. I believe it to be a noble pursuit, and I hope that you will engage in the endeavor of creating photographs of loved ones in your family.