One moment. One picture.

Photos are all we have left of a man that once was. As time goes on you forget the physical things and you only remember snippets of reality… but you mostly remember the emotions. Anyone who has lost a friend or family member understands this… It’s a heartwrenching ache that you cannot escape.

It’s been just over eleven years since I’ve seen his face, heard his contagious laugh, held his hands, felt comforted by a hug or even heard his voice. And it’s these things that I miss the MOST.  I am sad to say I don’t remember exactly what those things sound or even felt like. And THAT might be the hardest part. Knowing that I have forgotten….

My dad died when I was 20, when my sister was 17, when my brother was 22. My mom lost her best friend and the man that she loved. It more than hurt. It ached. It burned. And then we felt a million other emotions that I can’t even begin to describe and/or wish on my worst enemy.

However… we survived. You always do. As time went on the pain faded and we started to heal. Now we look back the memories and smile. My childhood was filled with laughter, travels and endless humor. He was by far one of the most amazing people I will have ever known. I am not sure anyone will ever surpass him. To be honest, I am not sure I want them to.

I know that we were lucky enough to have him for so MANY moments… and while his time here was ultimately short, we truly were blessed. He was a wonderful man, friend… but most of all he was an amazing father. It’s photos that bring him “back” to life; even for just a second. The memories flood over me when I see a picture of him. I close my eyes and it takes me back to where we once were. I can feel his hand on my shoulder, hear his laugh, remember his touch. Even for just a second… he’s back.

But I think the part that always gets me is knowing I’ll never have new moments. This is all there is. Nothing more.

Savor the little moments. Appreciate what you have… but most importantly, make sure you say it and do something about it. Life is too short for anything else. Take a million and a half photos. Print them. Live in the moment. Travel… See the world. Laugh hard.  Have no regrets. Take chances. Because one day you’ll be looking back wishing you had done more.

Where it all began.
This is the photo that reminds me of why I love photography so much. It’s one moment, but it’s REAL. It’s a father and son moment. It’s my dad in one of his favorite places in the world with his son. It’s authentic. It’s raw. But it gives me MORE.

I don’t think I have ever felt so much looking at a photo until the day I saw it on my brothers night stand shortly after he died. It struck a cord in me… and ever since then I found myself obsessed with photography and wanting to do something about it.

Thank you for allowing me into your lives. Hopefully I am able to capture these kinds of special moments for you… and give you half of what I feel when I look at this photo.