On a gorgeous afternoon in La Jolla, I was walking down the sloping drive to the sand at Scripps Pier for an engagement session. And as I was chatting with David, I dove beyond the usual small talk of sports or weather. I asked about the colorful bracelets he wore. He shared of battling cancer, victory, and remembrance. The colored strands were more so much more than a fun burst of color. They were a reminder that he had fought and overcome. The little brackets around his wrist were a daily reminder of his story.
This Sunday with coffee in one hand, and my iPhone in another; I was listening to my pastor. As I was tapping out his points into Evernote, I had to stop. A particular sentence caught me. I stopped listening.
I went back and underlined, and then went back again and bolded the words. (Neat features like this, are why I take notes with Evernote in the first place.) His sermon this Sunday was on heaven, and even before he dove into the text for the morning out of I Peter. He said, “People live forever.” Let me re-phrase his words, to what I took away that morning.
PEOPLE are Forever
His words echoed the Why behind my blog. When I first started my photography business, one of the exercises that I did was list out my values. As well-intentioned as it was, my notes listed things like beauty and wonder. Both of which are incredible, but neither are the root of what I do.
This past week, I absorbed so much from the photography conference I was attending. And like stepping stones to the other side, they lead me to the heart of the matter. My pastor’s words were the final stone. The last piece I need to step across the stream. Photography has value and lasting worth because of people. While this may be a duh, something that we take for granted. I think we miss its full value.
When I say that people are forever, those words encompass so much more. People are forever, because of the stories their lives share. I don’t know how many times I have been inspired by someone sharing their story. Life is real and raw, and when that is shared. It continues beyond the now. It is of lasting worth.
I love what I do because I value the people in the stories I share. Each journey and love story is unique to the people living them out. The love and community shared in each moment, vividly shares their life, their story. It is something that should be remembered and retold. Photographs hanging your wall capture magical moments, but more than that. Photographs offer us a chance to remember those moments of life and share those with the ones we love.
Several months later, as I photographed David straightening his tie, and adjusting his cuff links before he walked down the aisle to see his lovely bride. The rubber bracelets were still there, though they didn’t quite fit with the ensemble. But if you knew his story, you knew why. And documented in each photograph that story of triumph lives on.