Professional photographers like me like to think that what we’re shooting is incredibly important. So important that there could never be a more important photo ever. We take our jobs very seriously, especially when it comes to photographing moments in history like presidential inaugurations, world records being broken, tsunamis, wildfires, and anything else of note.
But when we come home, we tend to put down the camera. We’re tired and we don’t want to do what we’ve been doing all day. Sometimes, a photographer’s family is in front of the camera the least, sort of like a shoemaker’s children have no shoes type of thing.
Occasionally it takes an event that rocks our world to realize that the most important photos may not be outside the living room.
The photo at the top was taken last October when my family got together one weekend in Dallas. Most of my family lives up there and it happened that several of us out-of-towners were in town at the same time. That’s my granddad, Dr. Sam Huggins, on the left, and the woman that practically raised my whole family, Louise (aka Weezy), on the right. I caught them in a moment of laughter as we all sat by the pool.
About a week ago granddad passed away after never fully recovering from surgery to remove cancer in his lungs in Feb. He was 83 and strong. We all, including him, knew that he would make it through, but infection got the best of him. He passed in his home, surrounded by family, with a view of his garden.
Plans were made for his service and my cousin Ruben volunteered to put together a slide show. I went through my photos and found a hand full of images of granddad, which were then added to the slide show.
It’s photos like these that really affect me. They make me laugh when I remember when they were taken, but cry to know there will be no more.
Over 50 of my family members gathered for granddad’s services. We all sat and watched the slide show together, erupting in laughter at photos of bad hair cuts, Halloween costumes and crying baby faces, and reflected on Super Bowl trips, back yard parties, weddings and baptisms. There wasn’t a sad moment in that slide show.
I came away with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the life that I have and the ability to capture moments of the lives around me. Those photos, family photos, are the most treasured.
So photographers, don’t forget that the shutter still works after you punch out. Those of you who aren’t photographers, enjoy your family and every once in a while, remember to pick up the camera.