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Today I’m not going to write about photo techniques, or tips, or gear, or anything like that. Because, in the long run, that’s not what’s most important about your photos. Photography is really about capturing memories of your family, so that you can look back and recall the special relationships, personalities, and activities that were unique to a particular time of your life.
The photos I’m most disappointed by are the ones I never took the time to capture.
I’d like to share with you a story about our family.
Recently we had the privilege of shooting the photography for my brother’s wedding, here in Oregon. Bryant and Hannah are a great-looking and fun-loving couple!
My youngest brother, Landon, traveled up from southern California to serve as “best man” in the wedding. He did an awesome job in that role…
Landon is 19 years old and already in the second year of law school, and has the kind of personality that always makes him a treat to be around. We were able to enjoy some really special times with him over the weekend, doing things together as a family (as he’s the only one who lives outside the area) and just enjoying catching up.
Although, at the time, we took much of it for granted, we no longer do. Because, two days after the wedding, everything changed.
We awoke at 4AM to an emergency telephone call to discover that, as Landon was driving home, he fell asleep at the wheel, struck a tree at 70MPH, and died.
You can only imagine how our family was shattered by this. Words can’t begin to describe.
As we went through the images from the wedding day, processing literally thousands of photos, we were so grateful to have been able to enjoy that final weekend together with Landon and to have documented it so incredibly well through photography.
Although we never would have thought it at the time, some of these images will be the ones we treasure most for the rest of our lives. Here is “Uncle Landon” playing with our 2-year-old at the wedding reception:
I think this is the first time I’ve ever broken down in tears while typing out a blog post… bear with me, please!
The moral of the story is not to drive safely, although that’s certainly something I pay more attention to these days. Sometimes our lives are led into situations like this, and you never know when may be your last opportunity to create memories together.
I wish that none of you will ever have to experience a family tragedy like this. But we don’t know the courses our lives will take, and in the meantime, I encourage you to cherish and enjoy the relationships and family that you have, every single day.
And take lots of pictures.
Carrie and her husband Jonathan are wedding photographers in Oregon, and you can see more of their writings and recent work on their photo blog.
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