I don’t consider myself a blogger. Posting photos to a “photo blog” is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require much imagination. For a business, blogging and social media posting both require a good deal of time. For me, and our small business, posting and sharing are always the last things to get done. When something big gets added to our workload, posting grinds to a halt.
And that is where we’ve been for a couple of years now. My mom had been suffering with Alzheimer’s and I needed to find more time to spend with her. She’s gone now and thankfully, her suffering is as well. Which brings me to the point of this post… we all need to do a better job of photographing our parents and grandparents and documenting their stories.
I recently photographed a couple on their 50th wedding anniversary. It was a gift from their kids and represented the first posed photos of them since their wedding day…fifty years ago. It reminded me of how I missed the chance to sit down with my parents, turn on the video camera and document their stories. I miss their voices, I miss their humor and I miss them. As a parent of two young kids, every conversation I have these days seems to include how busy, if not hectic, things are. Time really flies by.
The good news is that our smart phones have great cameras and video recorders and we usually have them in our pockets. Our phones have made it extremely easy to dictate a list of questions to Siri while on the way to visit parents. My advice is to start now. Here are some tips: Have a few questions ready. If you don’t get to them all, just pick up on your next visit. Ask some easy questions like their memories of their wedding day, where they bought the dress, who was there. Ask how they met, ask about their childhood, their favorite vacations. Have your kids and siblings provide questions. As many questions as you have, they’ll probably have a great story. Create a folder on your phone and keep all of the photos and video in one place. If you can, be sure to make a backup of all your work. You could lose it all in an instant without a backup. Here are the links to backing up your iPhone or Samsung phones.
Here are some tips to capture the best photos and videos of your parents… simply stand or sit with your back close to a bright window (no direct sunlight) and have your parents face you and the window. Get in close. Simply hold your phone still for the video recording of your questions. Take the still photos when you’re done. Your parents will likely be much more relaxed by the end of the questions. Take lots of photos from now on, if you need to make room on your phone, delete the photos you don’t love. Have fun!
If you don’t think you have the time for photos and video -or if you’d like something more formal with the whole family, send me an email and we can schedule a photo session!
My mom in 2016