Do You Exist in Pictures?

I keep seeing this topic appear on blogs, workshops, and of course, hearing out of my friend’s mouths. So I thought that I would respond here because no, I don’t exist, I should, but I don’t.

Let me tell you about how I got started in photography, it starts off kind of off track of this subject, but it loops around and will make sense once we get to where I am today. So stay with me!

You see, I didn’t just pick up a new DSLR and decide “Hey, look! I’m a professional photographer now!” I got my first camera as a gift from my husband about a year after I had my daughter. He purchased me a Nikon D80 because he figured that would be the less expensive route than me continually taking our daughter to one of those mall stores every few weeks. Back then, I wasn’t into the art; I just wanted super cute images of our daughter to remember.

About a year later my parents called us up to their house for dinner. We found out that my Dad had been diagnosed with cancer. It was in his colon and that as of that time, it looks like they may be able to address the situation. About 6-8 months later, we learned that it had spread and had become terminal.

Here is where the existing in pictures hits. This is where my camera never left my side. This is where I fell in love with the art of imagery as I captured as many images as I could of my family together. 

I caught so many pictures of my dad and my daughter hanging out, playing, and of course napping, I am so happy that I was able to have my camera there to help me get those cherished images.


I have lots of shots like this to look back on, I may not have been professional back then, but I wouldn’t change any of it.


But I noticed something just recently. You know how many of those images have me in them? None. I was so wrapped up in capturing everyone else, that I never even thought about putting myself in there. I am thankful for family members grabbing some shots with their phones that I can see, but I think a lot of us get so wrapped up in what is happening around us, that we forget that there are moments that need to be frozen with us in them.

That is where us photographers come in. Put down your cameras and your phones and join in on those moments. Bring in one of the amazing photographers around you and let them capture those times for you, and let them make sure that those snippets of time are preserved.

So where do I go from here? I go from constantly being behind the camera, to taking a deep breath, forgetting all those subconscious things that are floating around in the back of my head to making sure that my daughter will have those images to look back on us having a wondrous time as a family. I go from worrying about being bullied again for not being the “perfect” looking female, to look at us and look how awesome we are.


I am going to start existing in pictures. And you know what? You should too.


2 responses to “Do You Exist in Pictures?”

  1. I absolutely love this. You know this is pretty much my Rah-rah-rah chant, so obviously I resonate with this. So well said. It’s SO important to exist in pictures – one day we’ll be gone and our loved ones will cling on to every single piece of evidence we ever existed. I hate having my picture taken, but I try to think that it’s not about me or for me. It’s for Dani. So that if she ever runs into heartbreak or insecurities, or struggles with weight – she can see her mom went thru all that with grace and dignity and lots and lots of laughter. And she too, will be ok! <3

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