This was one of my first thoughts. I am a professional wedding photographer. Before that, I was a student photographer. I have held a camera in my hand since I was 16 to document friends, parties, landscapes, news events, and finally, a bit of my family.
The day I lost my father, this was one of my first - painful - thoughts: I did not take a portrait of my father. And this was for many reasons: First, because I’m 30 years old and I thought I had so many more years with him. Second, because he did not like to have his picture taken. Third, because, as we say "The shoemaker's children always go barefoot."
All these reasons do make up for the fact that I wish I had taken more pictures of him or document my family so much more than I did. I knew he was sick and I should have taken his portrait, but I remember how I could not bear the situation of taking a picture thinking “in case he dies.”
You search, you find, and you smile
A few days after the funeral, we started digging up on old pictures. Fortunately, our childhood vacations were fully documented by my parents and every picture of him we found was like a treasure. We smiled, we laughed, this would bring us the happiness that had been sucked up by our grief.
Like everyone else, as we grew up, we stopped taking and printing pictures during the new digital area. I look through my Instagram account, and all our computers as well. I found our USA trip from 2013 and quickly printed an album.
What did my father’s passing teach me?
I’ve always loved being a wedding and family photographer. But since my father’s passing a few months ago, I don’t “think,” I KNOW that my job is so important, and I know it more than do my clients. When I talk to my clients who are around my age, I want to tell them: “seriously, for the love of God, please, please, please, make sure you hire a pro photographer to document your family and your wedding.” I am documenting memories and creating photographs that I know -- from the pain and the joy of it -- that they will be so happy to hold in their hands because once someone you love dies, this is all you have left.
When my clients hire me, they think about how they want the pictures to have and hold. But professional photography is so much more than that. The photographs I create are little treasures that they will dig into one day, full of tears, to remember one of their happiest moments.