I recently rediscovered a video I made a couple of years ago with my good friend Monica. Initially, it started out as a promo video concept, but I hated all of the typical promos for photographers. You know, the ones where a camera follows them on a shoot and then you hear a voice over from the photographer about how fun they are and how much they love their couples, etc. I felt like it hate been done so many times, but I really wanted some visual to show people. I saw down and started writing my thoughts about why I do what I do. I figured that was a great place to start and I turned out to be right. All of a sudden, all of my thoughts and feelings about portraits, family, etc started flowing onto the paper, over several pages, and it made me realize that I wasn’t making a promo for myself. I was making a video that shows my heart and why photography is so important to me. Even if I wasn’t a photographer, this is what photographs mean to me.
As it all came together, I realized that this isn’t just about photographs being nice to look at, this was about creating a legacy for future generations to come. It wasn’t about a monetary legacy or what type of inheritance I could leave to my children. It was about family living beyond their time. It was about children discovering their ancestors. It was about showing there is so much more to someone’s legacy than just what they leave as an inheritance.
My grandpa Sam gave my dad a giant box full of old photographs, letters, etc around the time this video was made that I decided I wanted to use some of the photographs for. In this video, you’ll see a small box of old photographs, including photographs of my grandpa during his time in the military. Another portrait is a school portrait of my dad when he was a child. I had never seen a picture of him as a child before. As I watched this video again, I was brought very closely to tears. All of my remaining grandparents and my great grandmother (lived to 107!) passed away last year. These photographs mean so much more to me now and have taken on a whole new meaning now that some of the pieces to my family’s puzzle aren’t here. I’m very grateful for our rich history being documented so well and, of course, super thankful that my dad allowed me to use some for this video.
I don’t know what my legacy will be, but I hope that a part of it will be connecting people to their future family generations, whether they are here or not. I hope that, once again, people will find value in printed portraits, not a flimsy cd or a digital download that gets lost in the digital darkage. I’m a huge fan of Winston Churchill and the quote in the beginning of the video was a perfect representation of how we can take charge of the legacy we choose to leave behind.
I had never heard of Shannon Adler before, but her quote perfectly tied the video, my thoughts on leaving a legacy, and humanity into one. It’s a reminder that a legacy isn’t just something monetary; it’s the impact you have on people’s lives and the way you chose to live, however you treated others, etc.
Even if you haven’t read everything above, I hope you enjoy this video. At the end of the day, this video ended up having nothing to do with me and everything to do with making people aware that they will leave a legacy and the legacy they choose to leave is their own.