These are photos of a little boy getting his hair cut… that’s what someone would think while scrolling through these pictures, and they’d be right of course. But, when documenting your children and family, frame by frame throughout the years, what you’re really doing is something much more interesting and wonderful.
I still love to look through photos from when I was a child and feel the waves of nostalgia. I remember those little, fleeting moments of my life so much better with a visual reminder. The feeling of gliding and spinning on my roller skates. The rush of cold air sledding in the winter. Sometimes I’ll even look at photos and remember certain smells or textures. Like the smell of my grandma’s house on Christmas or the feel of our orange, velvety couch that we all piled on hundreds of times over the years when I was a kid. It’s like I’m there again.By photographing your family, you’re creating a visual history for your children of memories and moments that may otherwise be forgotten. You’re creating a storyboard for the future, where the pieces of an amazing and unique life can be remembered, retold, and relived.
For these photos the story would go something like this…
“There once was a little boy who was afraid to get his haircut. He would cry and scream, panic and shake, and at one point was asked to leave a Sport Clips Hair Salon before he even got to the chair. His mommy felt terrible and didn’t know what she was going to do because the little boy’s daddy didn’t want him to have long hair. They were in a real pickle!
Enter Nana, the hero of our story. Armed with a pair of scissors, a kitchen stool, and YouTube hair cutting tutorials she saves the day! Now, instead of crying, the little boy chats about the birds he sees out the window and his favorite cartoons. He giggles when Nana uses the squirty bottle to wet his hair and he knows that as soon as he’s done getting his haircut, he gets to run and play with Gramps. All is right in the world again!”While that’s how I tell the story, when my son sees these pictures years from now I wonder how he’ll remember it. He might smell the coffee that was always brewing at Nan and Gramps’ house or feel the soft cotton towel that was carefully draped around those little shoulders each time he came for a haircut. Maybe he’ll think about how he watched the birds eating at the feeders and how it was hard to sit still because he was really excited to go play with his grandpa. Will he see Nan’s hands and feel the tenderness and warmth like I do?What I know, without a doubt, is that he’ll look at these photographs and feel love. It’s these little ordinary, but truly extraordinary, moments that impact a life and build bonds that last forever. The kindness, patience, and love that his grandparents give to him and all their grandchildren is such an amazing thing and I feel so blessed that my son gets to experience it often. I can only hope that my need to document his life with my camera lets him relive these beautiful stories again and again.
So, feel free to be that mom (or dad) who always has a camera in your hands. Whether it’s a full frame DSLR or the camera on your phone, it doesn’t matter. Just take those special photos and please, PLEASE remember to back them up and print them so that someday your children can remember their childhood and feel all the feels.