The saying “Life is too short” has always been relevant, but it’s even more relevant now with COVID-19 in the air. Documenting our lives through photography is one of the most important things we can do as human beings.

Children grow and change

I have 2 young boys in primary school and sometimes, I look at them and get so surprised how tall they are or how their faces are looking a little more mature each day. As a photographer, I try to capture some moments that me or any of my family would want to look back on in the future. I have made it a habit to grab my camera whenever I notice something that needs documenting.

family photo of my boys video-chatting with their friends during COVID-19 lock-down
My boys video-chatting with their friends during COVID-19 lock-down

During lock-down in March-April 2020, my kids couldn’t have playdates and so they’d video-chat with their friends online regularly. This new norm that we were living in had to be documented and I’m glad I had my camera ready for it.

Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles

We all know that the ageing process doesn’t skip anyone. I was lucky enough to have my parents who live in Ethiopia visiting us here in Australia before COVID-19 shut down the whole world.

my parents with my boys cuddling before COVID-19
Grandparents enjoying cuddles and kisses from their grandsons before COVID-19

I’ve been even more grateful than usual that I documented their connection and interaction with my boys (their grandsons). I don’t know when we’ll get to be in the same room again. My point here is that the present is what we have, so we need to make it a habit to document our loved ones as much as possible.

Print the pictures!

We all know that it feels better to hold pictures in our hands. It’s just not the same viewing digital images on a phone, tablet or computer. What if your device fails and all your photos are lost? One way to avoid this is to print pictures that we love. You can even go one step further and tell your family stories through photo books. Photo books can last longer for future generations to enjoy.

Photo book that I created for a family in 2019

I’m working on making this a habit, so my plea to you is let’s make it a habit together. It’s no excuse to say “I can’t afford a professional photographer”. There are many photographers out there at every level. Look at their portfolio before hiring them, so that you know what you’ll be getting.

Family photography should be a habit

I feel really passionate about family photography and the reasons above are why I started my business. Families can enjoy photo books that I put together for them for many years to come. The family that is in the above photo book asked me to document them in their home that they’d be moving out of. For them, this photo book is a memory holder of the house in which their children first sat up, crawled, took their first steps, talked and many other firsts. The sentimental attachment is huge and it needs to be kept protected in the form of a photo book.

My hope for families is that they pass their stories or memories down to future generations through pictures and photo books, so that those children can know their ancestors not just as names on paper, but as people who had expressive faces, were playful, fun, relaxed, serious, caring and loving and the many other facets that human beings can have.

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