Yeah, I know, not everyone loves getting their picture taken. I'm one of those people. Guilty. I'd rather be behind the camera than be in front of it. Before the digital age, influx of technological advances and access to social media in the palm of our hands, we had tangible photo albums to look through of loved ones from the good ol' days that our loved ones would tell us about. We were in those pictures as little ones. Now it seems as though people only want things with the sole purpose of posting content on social media to keep up with the Jones's. I am not a fan of those articles that try and push print products because so and so said it's the cool thing to do. I don't need a 30x40 canvas of my family perfectly displayed on my wall like some Pinterest board. I'm not that person, never have been. If that's you, cool, no offense intended. I'm just not that person and I know there are others out there like me. You will never see or hear me push products on you. I have very few family photos up on my walls, but what I do put up are random pictures from vacation and genuine moments that I sneakily caught with my camera. I value quality time and real moments with my loved ones over anything else. Maybe you're that person too.
The point of all of this is to say that tragedy can strike anyone at any point in time. We are not promised tomorrow. When it's all said and done, all loved ones have to look back on are photos, the memory of the ones we love the most. This has never reigned true to me until the loss of my younger brother who tragically took his life on August 1st 2018. I know it can annoy my family and friends when I'm always pointing a camera at them at random times. The faces I receive in return are pretty hilarious, but I don't regret it, ever. I'm not a stickler on posing, having my kids say cheese at the camera with their phony fake smiles to appease me for a photo. Nah. I'm not about that life. I take a more casual approach and am sneaky when it comes to those who don't like getting their picture taken. I've had a lot of practice with my own family, haha! I used to try and force photos and have learned that it never ends well and the pictures usually reflect that.
The last time I saw my brother was February 2018. I asked him if I could take some pictures of him. He willfully agreed, thankfully. These are the last memories I have of him and I'm so grateful that I was able to take these pictures, as is our family and his friends. We cherish them. It's all I have left of him, minus the memories that can never be replaced but they're not tangible, they're only memories. Memory fades over time. So being able to look back at them and remember the vivid laughs, the conversation that took place while taking them, it is forever embedded in my memory and I can look back on the pictures and feel what I need to feel.
All this to say, even though it may pain you for a brief moment, just take the damn picture. It may be the last one you take and it may be the last memory your loved ones are left with.