Years ago, I was going through my grandma’s old photos. I came across a photo of her and two of her girlfriends, giant grins, and their arms around each other’s waists. They all had matching dresses on, save the belt buckles, which were different shapes. I love that photo. It helped me to see that my grandmother hadn’t always been “Grandma Toots,” matriarch, stooped over, filled with fierce love and slightly intimidating. She had been a young woman, filled with laughter.
I want photos like that.
Do you have any photos of your friends? How about any of you with your friends? Ahem, how recent are they? Just because you are a grown up now, doesn’t mean you should stop taking pictures of your friends? Just because your friends like to be bashful and say they don’t want their pictures taken doesn’t mean you should stop taking pictures of your friends. Sometimes you need to convince them that they are beautiful just the way they are.
Someday, you will all treasure those photos.
Sometimes we are so focused on documenting our families and children (both human and furry) that we forget those other important people in our lives. Friendships are a huge part of our stories. Who else will go with you to the midnight showing of Harry Potter? Or Twilight? When your kids are grown and you have grandkids of your own, will those grandkids see you only as a grandparent? Or will there be evidence of the fact that you had another life?
These are story-telling pictures. The importance is the mood, capturing the moment, catching your goofy friend with a Japanese beetle on her face.
They don’t have to be perfectly composed. So what if part of the golf cart is in the foreground? That’s part of the story. Let’s be honest here. If you are going to have photos of you with your friends, you are going to have to give up some control. Get over the perfectionism and tell the story of your friendships! (Disclaimer: there was NO ONE in line behind us. I have been thoroughly chastised for taking photos on the golf course and I am careful that it is not slowing us down.)
I was that kid who moved every two years or so. By the time I was 14, I had lived in 16 different homes and attended six different school districts. I may not have those friends that have known me for my entire life, I do have friends scattered all over the country. (My husband, on the other hand, still has friends from preschool. It’s so strange to me.) Facebook has allowed me to find those old friends, and given me a reason to dig out some of those treasured photos from childhood. I am so grateful that my mother allowed me to take her sweet Kodak Disk with me to Girl Scout Camp; otherwise I wouldn’t have a photo of my troop from 1984.
I have now been in the same home for almost 13 years. What began as a save-my-sanity playgroup for my kids has morphed into a bookclub filled with some of the most supportive, wonderful women I know. I am so excited to have the chance to take photos of these ladies who have been in my life for a decade now. They get kind of annoyed with me, but we are all getting over it. I did promise them that I wouldn’t humiliate anyone by sharing any of the shots of us playing “Just Dance.” But believe me, those are some of my absolute favorites and I will love looking at them for years.
Have you taken the time to photograph and document your friendships? We’d love to see how you have done it. If you haven’t, give it a “shot!” and then share links in the comment section below!