Being a parent, I often reflect on my own childhood and the amazing life my parents have given me with their love, care and wisdom through the years. Memories are with us always, but memories are not something tangible and are not always easy to share through words.
It was important for my parents that we as a family every year go to a professional photographer and take family portraits. I remember as a little girls having my mom put my hair up with a big bow, put a little blush on my plump cheeks, and Vaseline on my lips for some shine to look my very best for the family shot!! I remember like it was just yesterday staring at the man behind the big bellow camera waving a stuffed monkey my way for lots of smiles.
Perhaps it is these memories that sparked my interest in photography at a very young age.
Today, however, there are no large bellow cameras, and very few portrait studios around. For me that is sad. It seems like a lost art.
There are a billion photographers out there…but many are a brand new crop with very little experience behind the camera. There really is nothing like a pro. It takes years of testing and shooting to acquire the skills needed to capture those classic, archival, beautiful portraits your family history will need for the generations to follow.
Every family has their own stories, and being part of that story is so special! When the family gathers for reunions or events surrounding weddings and Mitzvahs, all the family stories about grandparents, great grandparents, great, great grandparents and cousins from decades before, “ who looked like who”… and so much more are discussed!
Conversations arise from family get-togethers about “who was who,” what they did for a living, physical attributes, and basically all the good history that makes up your family tree and your own personal history and DNA.
I am having a Mitzvah for my daughter next year, and our Synagogue is having many discussions with her class and all the families about each family’s journey to this country and who our relatives were. Each family is bringing in wonderful classic portraits taken decades ago of relatives in classic black and white (and sepia). These studio portraits are professional and timeless.
Photographs can capture and declare to yourself and to the world who you and your family are, where you came from, and who and what you are a part of today. Having followed in my family’s tradition, I, too, have wonderful family photos of my children growing up, and am so happy to have this historic documentation.
There is nothing like beautiful professional studio photography. I hope you do the same for yours and let us be a part of your family history for generations to come !!