Growing up I coveted our family photo albums. I looked through them slowly, taking each photo in and studying the body language. I was fascinated by the stories they told. My favorites were unposed moments, candids. In a non-digital age it was about preserving fleeting moments. Some were a reminder of a love that once was. Others told the story of our families journey. These photos are more than people on a piece of paper, they tell stories of the past that brought us to today. A visual reminder of where we’ve been and how far we’ve come.
As I got older, I was the kid who went through a disposable camera weekly. I loved capturing people interacting, laughing, or having a quiet moment. I was so excited to develop the film! Once I got the pictures I made collages and albums, I treasured them. When my family moved to San Diego we sadly lost many of our albums. This made me appreciate the photos I have even more.
At 14 I made eye contact with a boy in the hallway. Something inside of me told me, “that’s going to be your husband”. I remember thinking, “that was weird” and brushed it off. Fast forward to my 16th birthday party where my sister said I was an idiot for not dating that boy from the hallway. The boys name was Alonzo and I still have that photo of he and I at that party. Baby faced and completely oblivious of what our life together would become. On our 1 year Anniversary we went to Disneyland and bought each other a hat and jacket. We wore them again on our 2nd anniversary trip and again the one that followed. This quickly became our annual photo tradition.
After a few years of dating we were getting older and settling into adulthood. Alonzo bought me my first Canon DSLR. I was photographing with an old film camera that was falling apart. I had an actual screw in the camera to rewind my film. It was dangerous to say the least. I started photographing families right away and making scrapbooks with the photos.
In 2009, Alonzo proposed and we started planning our wedding. Having never seen wedding photos of my family, I wanted our future children to have some nice photos to look back on. We hired a very inexpensive photographer, with no contract or portfolio. I did not get my wedding photos for 3 years. Seriously. After that I made it my goal to become a wedding photographer and make sure my couples would never go through anything like that.
Nine years later and I'm doing the damn thing! This journey comes from a lifelong desire to document human life. Photos are precious and not having them made me realize just how precious they really are.
P.S. We still take our annual Disney Photo.