Preserving Memories – the photographer

A few days ago Brian & I watched a special television presentation aimed at raising funds for victims of the recent devastation on the East coast brought on by Hurricane Sandy. Well known actors like Whoppi Goldberg and Kevin Bacon, along with many music artists including Christina Aguilara and Sting came together and donated their time and talent toward this effort. Between performances, video clips were shared – interviews of those who have been hit hard by this disaster. One such interview was particularly touching for me. A woman in her 60’s, retired, was standing in a field of debris that used to be her home. She was picking through the rubble, searching. Not for her favorite shoes or jewelry, but for photographs. Her memories.

As photographers we offer a valuable gift. More precious than the roof over our heads. We document life – proof that we are here, we elevate the ordinary – shining light on each precious day. We preserve the memories that loved ones are willing to scour the ruins for. Ours is a sacred calling that we must not shy away from. If you are drawn to take pictures, you must do it.

You may have family members who say they don’t want their pictures taken.







There may be those who shrug their shoulders at the picture you took of your shadow self.





Right now you may be the only one who loves the picture you took of the heart shaped leaf you found on a walk one morning.

Don’t let any of that discourage you. Keep taking those pictures. One day when circumstances cause the importance of material things to fall away, people will rummage through the debris in search of those precious memories you have preserved.


If you are able, please donate to the Red Cross to help those hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy.

If you would like to read more about photographing your life, here are two books I recommend highly:

Written by Tracey Clark




Written by Stephanie Calebrese Roberts



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About Carol

Thank you in advance for respecting my art. All the images and text posted to this blog are owned my me and protected by copyright law. Copying any of the content here without permission is against the law and you know, not cool. Many thanks again.
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11 Responses to Preserving Memories – the photographer

  1. Sherry says:

    What a beautiful post, Carol. I also saw a poignant item on TV about a New Jersey man in tears because he thought his family photos were wrecked forever because they got wet. I just wanted to reach out to him and tell him that his photos can be restored by those with Photoshop training. I’ve restored some treasured family photos that have been stained, ripped, torn and mildewed for others, and it is so incredibly satisfying. These documents of our past are so incredibly precious…

  2. Mary Underwood says:

    Carol, Such a beautiful and touching post. My son is in Astoria, OK but has seen so much. Photos ARE evrything…

  3. Cheryl says:

    A beautiful post and I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for he reminder. Now I just have to get a few of myself in there. Lol
    I love your leaf.

  4. Enjoyed your thoughts so much, and appreciate you sharing my book!

  5. Dotti says:

    Such a timely post, Carol! It is heartbreaking to see the devastation in the East. Your wise words about our family photos are such a beautiful reminder to keep at the task of documenting “our” histories, reminding ourselves that someday, someone will appreciate our efforts.

  6. Julie says:

    After reading of the similar situation if Japan, I scanned the most precious of my photos and uploaded them to a “cloud” in addition to external hard drives and DVD’s. Such a reminder to take lots of pictures and to preserve them the best we can.

  7. Beth Huffaker says:

    Thanks for this post, Carol. I couldn’t agree more!

  8. Viv says:

    Carol what a moving piece of writing I so agree with you we are indeed the memory keepers, as a former History teacher I am passionate about preserving memories through photographs and journaling.My heart goes out to all who have lost their homes…

  9. Denise says:

    Truly wonderful! I fail to have photos taken of myself…I’m always behind the camera. When my Edster takes photos of me…I look at them on the camera (sneakily) and delete all the bad shots (which are most of them!).

  10. KarenMarie63 says:

    Carol, this is beautiful! I’m so happy to have found your blog 🙂 it’s wonderful!! I get looks when I’m shooting “shadow shots”… Oh well!! 🙂 I’ve been hollered at from across the campus where I teach “hey, why did you take a picture of that building”??? My response, “becuase I wanted to”! … like, duhh?!!
    See you on instagram!

  11. Diane says:

    What an excellent and touching blog post. The only thing I can think to add that is equally as important as your beautiful message is for people to get their photos printed. Please do not leave them on the computer. Print them out, please. That’s the only way they will be there forever. Computers fail, discs fail, but photos remain even if faded or wrinkled over time. Again, such a beautiful and meaningful blog post — thank you.

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