That One Image

I’ve taken tens of thousands of photographs over the years, and every once in a while someone asks me which one is my favorite. Which is kind of like asking a mother which child is her favorite – which means that if I’m being totally honest, it depends on the day.But right now, it’s this one: 

I don’t love it because it’s the best photograph I’ve ever taken, I love it because it has a lot of meaning for me. Mostly because when I look at it, I can feel the sun on my skin, smell the gulf ocean air, and it takes me right back to this exact evening. To this exact moment, that is like a dozen others, and yet so extraordinary in its ordinariness that it makes my heart ache.

And isn’t that what a photograph does? Takes a moment in time, and holds it suspended forever? 

I know someday soon I will look back on all of our years spent together and know that we loved hard and we loved well. And it makes me so thankful that I have these memories tucked away on paper, for us to look back on years from now. 

The exact photograph will change day to day, but my favorite photograph is always the one that takes me back to the time I miss the most. It’s not about the technical details, or the light, or the composition, although those things certainly help the photograph’s strength. It’s about the moment, the memory, the emotion.

I’m very aware that my work holds meaning for families long after the session has finished and the prints delivered. You may be the one who hires me, but it’s your future self, and your grown-up children, who I work for. And I will do my best to create photographs for them, and you, that will become your favorite. 

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