When I was little, Grandma Moore, my great-grandmother, was the family photographer.
When we gathered for special family events with my father’s side of the family, Grandma Moore showed up with her Kodak camera hung around her neck. Our family photographer. Norma Moore also took an interest in genealogy and was our family historian. She traced our roots back to the Revolutionary War, which cemented a position in the Daughters of the American Revolution for me.
The small Kodak camera box, tethered by a thin black strap, swayed over her bodice and came to rest on her waist. When she was ready for a picture, Grandma Moore planted the one-inch heels of her black lace-up shoes squarely in line with her shoulders and stood still. Norma looked down over her glasses and flipped up the cover of the view finder. Without fully counting to three, she pressed the button. Click! Ready or not, she took the picture. With the twist of a small crank, the roll of film inside the camera turned and another picture was taken.
Later, the local camera store professional developed the amusing black and white photos. Surprised looks, a few closed eyes, and an occasional set of rabbit ears behind someone’s head were the by-products of my great- grandmother’s speedy trigger finger. White scalloped borders framed the family images. Pasted in leather-bound albums, the pictures documented our family history.
Every family needs a family photographer. Someone who captures the clothing fashion trends and the crazy hair-styles. A person to stand in the present and save moments for the past. The family photographer is the memory maker.
“Memory…is the diary that we all carry about us.” (Oscar Wilde)
The loss of a loved one interrupts life’s timeline. There are no more tangible memories with that person. The last photo is frozen in time.
“You never know when you’re making a memory.” (Rickie Lee Jones)
Today, we all can be family photographers. With the advent of camera phones, we are able to capture anything, anywhere. The color is vibrant. And there can even be videos. But, let’s not forget to go a little old school too. Print out some of the tiny images from your device. Give yourself the opportunity to hold a special picture in your hands, put it in a frame, or keep it under your pillow.
Be the family photographer and go out and make good memories!
(Originally posted under the title Say Cheese March 17, 2012. Edits were made. Pictures were added)