Photographs | When They’re All You Have Left…

Missy & GaryMissy Mwac

One of my favorite photographers is also an internet superstar and satirical blogger. She’s known as Missy Mwac (Mom With A Camera). If you’re a photographer, you probably already  know who she is. She guides new photographers as they navigate the “murky waters” of professional photography, all with humor and a wee bit of sarcasm.

She also is the  creator of  copious photography memes. They reflect the humorous side of what we do as well as make you stop and think. My favorite says ” if you don’t think photographs are important, wait until they’re all you have left”.   That one struck a chord for me and reminded me of why photographs are so important to me.

As much as I love Missy, I am writing today to tell you about Joan. As with any job, photography can become routine and I struggle to prevent it from becoming monotonous. I remember the grumpy photographer that took our school photos and I never want to be that guy. Smile, click. smile, click…

Joan’s Photographs

jolted me back into reality and reminded me that what I do is a lot more important than , smile, click, smile. She reminded me that I create memories that will be cherished for a lifetime. That those photos can mean much more than I could imagine.

A couple of years ago I was hired last minute by a sweet older couple to do some beach portraits for them at The Breakers. On the phone Joan had told me that she and Marvin had been coming to Fort Walton Beach for decades and had never had their pictures taken. She explained that Marvin was dealing with some health issues and it might be their last trip.

Joan's PhotoMarvin was a retired dentist who had been dealing with brain cancer, his scalp was scarred from multiple surgeries and he struggled to walk. But amazingly he was bright and cheery, we spent the entire session laughing and joking  and enjoying Marvin’s quick whit. He was funny and interesting and it was obvious he and Joan loved each other deeply.

I received this email Christmas of 2014. It still brings
tears to my eyes to read.Marvin & Joan

Photographs may seem like a trivial thing as you go through life, spending time with the ones you love and celebrating those special moments. But, the truth is; someday those photos will be more important that you know. Those small windows in time that allow you to relive those moments, for even just a split second are more valuable than gold.


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