Why Photography Matters to Me

I think everyone has trouble writing about themselves, but I am going to give this a shot today to really hone in on why I created my photography business and why images are so very important to me today, years after I started doing what I love. I am going to get fairly personal here, because my “why” hits deep.

If you have perused our “Your Photographer” section you probably already have the basics, and the usual story, “I loved photography from a young age”, or “I couldn’t put down the camera once I picked it up”. I have always been drawn to creating, by painting, drawing, sculpting or through the camera lens itself. That is a give-in I think for any photographer who truly LOVES what they do. Photography is a passion of many, and it is an accessible passion. The why is the question most people don’t usually get the fill answer to. For a while, I didn’t know why. Shooting was easy enough once I learned the basics. I learned quickly that I had an eye for composition and details which translated well to photography, over the other artistic mediums I was exploring. Photography gave me a reason to just walk on some days, to slow down, to see things I would normally pass on by. I did this a lot when I first started out and it was cathartic in a way; a form of meditation. As my business has grown, the time to take photos for me and me only has dissipated. Something I am now in the process of getting back.

When I was beginning, those were my reasons. Exploring, Creating, Seeing. Today those reasons have changed. My life has changed quite drastically in the last two years and I feel these changes make me a better photographer and better viewer. This is the hard part to talk about, but its something that drives me and pushes me beyond anything I ever imagined before. This is the why. This should be the why for everyone.

2.5 years ago, I was married and living in California, working a day job and doing photography on the side. I loved what I was doing. Being away from home (Canada) was hard, but I had great friends and my in-law family around me. I have always been a bit of a nomad, so moving around was my normal. Being away from my immediate family and childhood friends, who were scattered all over the country anyway, was something I got used to. Facebook and phone calls a few times a year were enough to hold things together. Visits were limited to once every year or two for most of my loved ones, and I would try to travel a few times a year to different cities/provinces to cover most ground. Like most people do, I told myself I had lots of time for visiting and reconnecting and I prioritized building a life in California. It had been a year or so since I had seen my sister, who at 9 years younger (18) was in the golden age of one word text responses and being too busy with her friends. We both had our own lives and figured, there is always more time.

I got a phone call at work on a hot June morning and realized far too quickly that my old mantra of having all the time in the world was false. I was informed that my sister (the only sibling I grew up with) had been killed in a car crash and I would never talk to her or see her again. Many thoughts flooded my mind. How I was going to get home to Canada to be there for my family. How her friends were doing. How much there was still to say. No matter what the question, there were no answers. Nothing to make sense of the time we had, and the time that had been taken from us.

It took a long time for the news to sink in. The last time I had seen my sister was a year before in Newfoundland when we spent two weeks together visiting family (she lived in Alberta with our mother). That was the first time we had reconnected in a few years as well, so plenty of lost time weighed on my shoulders. If you have ever lost a loved one, you know the healing process is a long one, and never fully complete. This brings me to the “why?”. The only thing that brought me solace in this time of pain and heartache were my photographs of my sister. We tried many times to get a family portrait taken, but just never made the time, assuming we would always have MORE TIME. We didn’t. Not once have we sat down in a picture together. Not once did we get a photo of our family together. Luckily, my passion for photography previous had resulted in many photos of my sister goofing off, socializing and just hanging out. These were the things that connected me to her. That proved she once existed and kept her alive in my mind. Photographs are truth. They are memories. They are proof we are in this lifetime together. The bind us, tie us and they last. They last longer than life itself and they tell a story of who we are and where we came from. When people perish, images do not. This is why.

Since my sister’s death, I have moved back to Canada, divorced, and reconnected with my true passion for imagery. I am building a life with my loved ones always close to me, however far they might be. Time is a luxury that should never be taken for granted. Capturing time is my goal.

Here are a few images that have kept me going. They are not all “professional photos”, but I value them all. They are images that make me smile. That tell the story of why. Thanks for reading.

Wedding Edmonton PhotographerIMG_7877sz



Similar Posts