Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Telling My Story, by Christy Schimanski

A note from Michelle: I am thrilled to hosting several guest bloggers over the next couple of months who will be sharing their experiences with the photos of their lives!  A big thank you to Christy Schimanski who is my very first guest on my blog!

Growing up, my parents did not take a lot of pictures of me or my siblings.  My parents were not well off, and the only camera we had was a Polaroid Instamatic, for which the film cartridges were expensive.  Picture taking was saved for birthdays and Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  There are huge gaps in the photo documentation of my life.  How sad is it to know that all of my childhood photos can fit in a single shoebox?  Has this happened to you?

Today we have access to so much more technology…from digital cameras, to camera phones and tablet computers.  Picture taking has taken on a new life in the 21st century…more information is shared now in real time than ever before.

With the rise of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, companies have created new ways to share those photos with those in your media circle. 

I am a mom to an only son.  I have taken more photos than I care to admit to.  Have I gone to the opposite extreme…compensating for my parents’ shortcoming in my pictures?  I don’t think so…and here’s why:

Life isn't just about special moments…birthdays, a holiday celebration, a job well done.  Life is about the little things…things that happen every day.  Documenting what my son’s favorite book is at the time, the length of his hair, a lost tooth…all of these things are important in defining who he is.  I want to capture what is happening in his life while it’s happening.  I want him to look at photos of himself later on in life and remember what his typical day was like.  What his favorite color was in 3rd grade.  Who his science partner was for dissecting his 1st worm.  He enjoys looking through his scrapbook albums now, remembering the details of his life, laughing at the goofy poses he struck, smiling as he recalls events in his life.  This is important to him. 

It is also important for me, too.  As the mom of an only child, I realize that someday when I’m gone, these pictures will hold so much meaning for my son.  I choose to tell my story, his story, through those pictures.  Are you telling your story?

So, the next time you think of it, go grab your camera.  Start taking photos of everyday things…the flowers blooming in your garden, the woodpecker at your bird feeder, your child running through the sprinkler.  Start documenting elements that define who you are…and start telling your story through pictures.

*Christy Schimanski is owner and Chief Creative Officer of Just Scrappin’ Happy, a scrapbook company specializing in scrapbook page kits, mini album kits, and handcrafted page embellishments.  In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her husband, son, and their golden retriever, Jake.  She shares her love of photos and scrapbooking with other photo enthusiasts and teaches classes at her local scrapbook store.  You can find her at www.justscrappinhappy.blogspot.com

1 comment:

  1. I so agree with you, Christy. Life is about everyday moments. I want to remember the time that my daughter decided to make her own spa out of a muddy patch in the backyard or the time my son duct taped a box to a skateboard, put on a helmet and hopped in. Memories fade. Its so important to take photos of those everyday moments (and tell your stories alongside of them!) so you can look back and remember and enjoy. After all, isn't that what life is all about?!