Thursday, July 22, 2010
I am Thankful for Family Portraits
Family portraits are the pictures I most cherish, whether taken by a professional or using a tripod and built in timer. We have very few family portraits from my childhood. I have one hung in my home office that was taken before Darlene was born.
I discovered the importance of family portraits by accident. Mom used to complain about our family not getting together enough. Her sister, Betty, lived less than a mile from her and had a large family. They all lived pretty close and got together often. I lived in Tennessee and Shirley lived north of Atlanta making it difficult for us to all be together more than once or twice a year. Mom commented, “I just wish I could see you kids all together more than once a year.”
A light bulb came on and I decided to surprise Mom with a professional portrait of the four of us. We went to Olan Mills and had the portrait made of the four siblings. When we presented it to her I suggested, “Mom, now you can see us together any time you want.” It was a lame attempt at humor.
The following year we went back to Olan Mills with the entire extended family. That portrait is a cherished possession. It captured us together in a way that has never been repeated. I resolved to take a group portrait every time I am with family. It is a challenge. Usually one or more are not happy about getting their picture taken that day. There is some resistance. But over the long haul it is those group portraits that I return to most often. And I suspect this is true for most people.
I am not overly pleased with the pictures I took this afternoon, but I will cherish them for the remainder of my days. When I look at them I will feel close to the ones I love.
Saint George Island, Florida
July 22, 2010