I sit down to up date this blog and I find myself thinking about the early part of 2018. January seems like it was quite a long time ago. The 17th Annual Bull Bash was completed barely a week ago. It was a frigid day but still had a hearty group bundle up and come out to support Valentine. As I think back on February and January of 2018, I also find myself thinking back to last year.
Last year at this time my father was very ill. Not many outside of our close circle were aware of this as per his request. I took a step back from my photography business for the majority of the first half of 2017. Do not misunderstand me, I still had multiple obligations that required my attention. My fall and early summer were already completely booked by last March. It is quite normal for me to be booked a full year in advance. What I mean is that I purposely didn't schedule any new clients or add any additional projects for the early part of the year. In the early spring both my beloved dad and then precious my mother-in-law passed away barely three weeks apart. This made for quite an emotional time but having this flexibility allowed me work through the grief. I thank God every day that they are not sick anymore. Both of them had lost a quality of life they would never attain again and neither wanted or deserved that. I found peace within my grief with the practical side of myself. Life still need to go on. There were still dishes and laundry never went away. I found that I function better when I am busy so I made sure that I fulfilled what client bookings and customer orders I had. I also had a couple shows that I had made a commitment to. I kept hearing my dad say, "If you say you are going to do something then do it. Doesn't matter what life throws at you, have integrity and do what you say your are going to." I only had to remind myself of this a couple times. Then I laughed a bit as I remembered my dad also said "he didn't raise any sissies". He raised us to know how to work and to get it done. So that's what I did. Thanks again, Dad!
So all of this is on my mind as I find myself reflecting back on last year. I had a conversation earlier this week with a young man who recently lost his 51 yr old father. We were both sharing memories and this young man asked me what my favorite picture from the year was. I instantly answered, I don't think I had one since I took part of the year off. I can easily say my favorite shot of 2015 was a shot of Jeff Hogan filming on the Niobrara River. My 2016 fav is a bronc rider from Interior, SD at the Stasche Bash. I didn't have an image immediately come to mind. Then I remembered. It HAD to be the Hands.
The hands.....what a great memory. I am blessed by this set of photos. I was able to photograph my almost 86 year old dad and my 2 week old nephew's hands in January 2017. I only had one opportunity to acquire this. Hubby and I left home at 5 am drove to Sioux Falls to see my dad in the hospital and then back the same day since a big snow storm was moving in. Part of me knew deep down that the diagnosis would not be a good one. This photo was one of my goals for the year. I am glad to say, I did not miss it.
It doesn't matter if you have a big fancy camera, a smart phone or a little old film camera. TAKE THE DANG PICTURE!!! Many times, it is the only tangible memory you can have from a fleeting moment in time. A way you will be able to capture your loved ones, create a feeling, and have a image that helps you remember. I was very blessed I was able to have hundreds of photos of my dad throughout the years. I was able to make a slide show for his memorial. It included pictures from when he was just a few months old. That is an 85 year old picture that I was able to use and more importantly I had access too. I am so thankful for all the pictures I was able to view from throughout his life. But I know it was all because someone took the time to take a picture and kept it so they could remember that moment. Thank you.
So as we are in the early part of 2018, this is what is on my mind today. Live life without regrets! Work what you love, drink good coffee, and most importantly TAKE THE DANG PICTURE. I pray you can have the opportunity to capture memories like I was able too and that it will bless your family. Remember....... "Great photos REALLY do make life sweeter!"
Inspire and Electrify!!---Janette