Oahu Portrait Photographer | My reason why
As promised a few days ago on the blog, here is one more of my reasons why I am a photographer today. To recap quickly, my first reason was because I moved away from my family. I am an Ex-Pat. And proud of it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss my family back home like crazy! My second reason was because our first daughter was born prematurely at 31 weeks. We didn’t know if she was going to live long enough for us to take her home, so we documented her little life through photographs. Here is another reason why I do what I do…
My Reason Why #3
Nowhere to call home. It’s not that we are nomads or have never had a home. We have always lived in a house. We were never homeless. But we were active duty military for 21 years and moved 7 times over those 21 years. This was such a contrast to the way my husband and I were raised. I was raised in the same home, on the same street, with just about every one of my cousins and family members within the same little town. I could walk to cousins to play. We all went to primary school together. We were always over at one another’s homes. Nothing but a bike ride away from most of my family. We got together for every birthday, major life event or celebration. It’s just what we did. I didn’t know any different. In fact I assumed everyone did life this way when I was growing up.
My new Normal.
Once I got married and moved to the US, and especially after my husband joined the Air Force, we were without any family close by at all. It was such a foreign experience for me to not have family members down the street, or available at a moments notice. It took a long time to get used to the isolation. In fact, I don’t think you ever really get used to it. But it didn’t take long to realize I had to make our house a home for us, and especially our children. We lived in Florida for 5 years, and in fact moved twice while we were there. We were pregnant with our second child when we found out we were moving to California. The home we bought our first daughter home to would not be the home we bought our second daughter home to. Then we moved to Texas, and Hawaii, where we had our third child, our son. Again, not the same home as we bought either of the girls home to. So home really became wherever we were together.
Appreciate the small things.
Living a nomadic lifestyle and never putting down roots anywhere for too long makes you appreciate the smaller things in life. And one of the small things I realized early on, that was extremely important to our family, was taking photos of the homes we lived in. Not just taking photos of the homes themselves, but also having photos taken within the home. The purpose of this was so the kids could look back at the photos and reminisce. Often times they look at a photo and say, “Oh, I remember when we painted the walls in my room.” . Or, “I remember playing in those trees”. Without those photos, more often than not, those memories would be lost. Even a simple photo of the children sitting on the step, with packing boxes all around them, will bring back a flood of memories. It truly is amazing to be able to walk back down memory lane with them.
We had a lot of family photo albums growing up and it was so much fun to go through them from time to time. Even now when I go back home, I still love to look at them. They take me back to another time. Memories start to flood in and a feeling of nostalgia washes over me. All of a sudden, I am lost in the world of my childhood. I want to be able to provide this for not just my own children, but for my grand children. And not just my own family, but for my clients. I love taking portraits of families in front of their homes, or in their homes. Especially military families, because I know first hand how important these photos will be one day.
Take the photos!
Obviously, the photos don’t have to be perfect or professional. They just need to be taken. But make sure you print them. It’s fine to have a back up copy of them, but make sure they get printed. Because years from now, the cd is going to be corrupt, or the hard drive will fail. The USB will no longer be able to be read or there will be an entirely new format for viewing photos. But if you have something tangible, a piece of paper, or framed portrait, you can look at it without electricity or technology. And you will have it forever.
Oahu Family Photographer: Debbie Leanne Photography