Today is a dreary Thursday. A Thursday filled with busy hustling as I work to complete the last of my work before we welcome our baby home some time this month. My list includes a lot of normal editing tasks and one: ‘Quire 2011 photos’. To be honest, I’ve put off the request for a few months, because it involved grabbing hard drives that are stored away and poking around on them to find images – much easier than the giant task that my brain makes it out to be.
In 2011, Rural King asked for some local farmer photos. I didn’t have any from our area so I called up some client-friends and asked if I could chase them around a handful of fields. They obliged and I ran around with a stuffy nose the rest of the week because I wasn’t prepared for the dust. Nothing came of the images, mostly because the king’s budget was ‘free’ and well….they couldn’t even toss in some popcorn, so that ended that. The images have sat on my harddrive for 5 years. Untouched. I had sent the farming family an image or two afterwards to thank them for the trouble. Thought about it, well….never again.
Until last summer when I photographed Karol and Bruce’s engagement. While we waited for Bruce to change clothes she asked about them. Because her Daddy was ill and it was, indeed, his family that welcomed me out to their dusty fields. A few months later, he passed away. A few months after that Karol married her own farmer and mentioned the pictures again. On this quiet, overcast Thursday, I pulled them back out, expecting to just send over the one I remember printing, but there were a basketful of them.
So this morning, when I’m tempted to find my job trivial, I’m reminded of all the images I passed along this year. Some to a little boy whose father passed away suddenly, the 3 children who lost their mother to suicide who I photographed 9 years ago, too – and for free, as they were newly adopted and that’s my quiet gig. It has always blessed me so much more than I could plan for to give images that help kiddos solidify their place in their forever family. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are my quiet favorites, too: because I get to hop on social media and read all the tales you post about the folks who raised you – and I get to review treasure after treasure in the images of your weddings and portraits we made together. All sweet reminders in this tired season that there is purpose here past the showing up at the park, all the emails, the laziness that tells me pulling hard drives and being organized it too much work.
There is sweet joy in life, remembered. May I remember that when I feel too tired to walk to the closet for my film camera to photograph my own people. To my sweet clients of the past 11 years – thank you for letting me stand nearby when life is whirring about. It continually blesses and forms me. Looking forward, filled with joy, to the list of folks I get to spend time with this year and in years to come.