As I've pursued making my photography a career, you encounter all kinds of people. From the clients who "no-show" to the absolutely gorgeous or handsome individuals who insist that they're working on some arbitrary goal before they can be photograph ready! No matter what the excuse is I'm always of the same belief that no matter who or where you are, you are in a position to be worthy of a photograph.
One of the defining things that make us who we are is our memories. Happy, sad, angry, or even just frustrated. We hold onto these emotions and the stories behind them, reliving and holding onto them in our heads and in our conversations. But as we age onwards, our thoughts and our memories fade. Crucial details begin to slip. Some memories are forgotten altogether.
With photographs, and especially of physical printed artwork it helps us remember. Everyone of us has had our darker moments and everyone of us has had our happier moments. Try as we might we strive to remember only the happy. But as you and I begrudgingly can admit, the happy memories are not the only ones that persist.
To those who say that now is not a memory that they want, or to those who say I am not in a memory ready condition, I offer to you this challenge. Look for the good in your situation and embrace who you are. Whether you are working to recover from the biggest downfall in your life or you are working towards reaching your biggest goal... Stop. Stop and bask in this moment and realize it as an integral part of your life.
The boring day to day stuff often bears little on our memories. But when you begin to say that right now is not the moment, now is not the right memory, challenge yourself on why it's not the right moment or memory.
Here's a story. Back when I was a younger boy, I grew up constantly being threatened with adoption, being kicked out onto the street, and many other forms of "We don't want you". As a result of my upbringing, those lessons have affected everything I've done or believed about myself. Even as an adult on my own, the memories of "we don't want you" permeates into my self talk and beliefs.
But if you were to ask me if I wanted to remember right now? I would answer yes. Because even as we struggle with our demons and skeletons, as we push on our upwards battle, I can stop and look at myself. I can see all of my memories. And I can photograph them and capture them so that I do not forget where I've come from.
The true sign of success in a person is growth from who we were yesterday. But as people, we deserve the right to love and remember ourselves every step of the way. Even if you make mistakes. Even if you were raised to believe you were nothing; haven't began to reach your goals. Maybe you haven't even haven't started on your goal!
The truth is at the end of the day. We're all humans and we're all uniquely individual. No one in the universe has or will ever live life as you. Even if it's for your friends or your family, everyone is worth remembering. For the good. For the bad. For forever.
Make memories that last. Cherish the ones you make.