Life is short. Take more pictures.

January 24, 2020

This is not a new concept. I’m not the first person to tell you this. So why aren’t you doing it as often as you should?

Life is short. Take more pictures.

Ted & Virginia Dul, April 2019

I knew way too many people who have left this world before anyone was ready to live without them. The most glaring example in my life, the one you’ve probably heard about if you’d been following me at all, is my first mom. Her name was Judy. She was only 34 and she left behind two babies and a husband. It was tragic and terrible, in part because she was so young.

Another example I don’t talk about as much is grandpa. His name was Ted. He was Judy’s dad and lived to 94 years and four days. He left behind a wife, five daughters, a daughter-in-law, 19 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. And guess what? It was still tragic and terrible. Even if he had lived to 110, I would have been heartbroken over losing him. He was the kind of man you don’t forget, but I know that one day my memories will start to fade, and it breaks my heart.

It also makes me so grateful that I once had the foresight to take photos of him. I get to keep a little bit of him with me no matter what. Some things might slip away, but his face never will.

When you love someone, they are never with you long enough. They can’t possibly be. This is why I think it’s so freaking important to pick up the camera and take the photos.

I was too young to take photos of Judy, but I feel so fortunate to have taken photos of Ted. In fact, I literally JUST looked online to double check his date of death for this blog and above his obituary is this picture I took a few months before he passed. It might be one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken.

Composition-wise, it’s boring. We’re not in the mountains or hanging out at the beach. There isn’t a beautiful sunset or amazing light. In this picture, he’s sitting on a patio swing on my parent’s back porch around noon on an overcast day in Metro Detroit. There’s nothing spectacular about it. Except there is.

His name is Ted Dul.

So, what I’m telling you is that you don’t need me or any other professional photographer to take your pictures every time. Sure, those shoots are fun and obviously I recommend them for beautiful images you can be in, but those professional shoots aren’t the end all, be all.

Life is short. Take more pictures. You never know when a simple picture of your daughter, husband, mom or grandpa will be the last one. Let’s all vow to take more pictures of (and with) the people we love this year. We owe it to ourselves.

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