For the longest time, for all the while I've been living outside of my parents' home, I didn't have any photos hanging on the walls. I remember one time, I must have been about 25 or so, when my friend Kim paid me a visit. She and I met in the 8th grade. She'd known I had taken photography courses in college, and as soon as she arrived in my new apartment, she asked why I didn't have any of my photos hanging on the walls.
I hadn't even considered that as a possibility. The following week, I hung up some of my favorite prints.
Fast forward to parenthood. Sure, I took pictures of my children. All parents do. But I didn't hang any photos of my children because I didn't think they were good enough. I saw the work of photographers hanging in other people's homes, but the photos I made for myself never really seemed to resemble the kind of work I thought professional photographers made.
But at some point in the past couple of years, I had an epiphany. I realized, as a woman, that I have precious few photos of my childhood. I'm guessing they exist somewhere, but I couldn't tell you where. The absence of these photos means that not only am I missing photos of myself and my brother Kris as children, but that I'm missing photos of my mom.
And some days, I really wish I had more photos of my mom. (Which, friends, is a longing that's never going to go away, and it's a longing may not easily be rectified.)
But back to my epiphany. I decided that I don't want my daughters to ever want for visual documentation, for the visual stories, of their childhood. I never want them to question why Dada is always in the photos but rarely Mama.
And I didn't just want photos that I could store in a box somewhere. I wanted photos on our walls and around our home, that we can see every single day. Ones we'll pass and say, "Hey, remember that time we went to Alaska?"
Print your photos. Make it a priority to decorate your home with proof of your family's adventures and love.