The Real Value of Photographs
"All photos speak a thousand words. This one contained a library."
by Skip Cohen
A few times over the years I've talked about my blog being therapeutic, often written for my own benefit as much as my readers. Well, today is one of those moments.
Most of the experts will tell you that a blog, while personal, should stay focused on a consistent core theme. For me that's always photography, but I need you guys to work with me this morning because it's a stretch today.
The subject is my mother and Alzheimer's. She's fighting her last round and was admitted into hospice care a few days ago. Within the next week or two my Dad is going to lose his best girl of 66 years and I'm going to lose my mother, but please understand I am absolutely NOT looking for sympathy. Every family goes through similar challenges and at 87, my sadness is more about the destructiveness of Alzheimer's, which comes into so many lives and literally robs us of our memories.
This post isn't about our pain, but the importance of making sure you understand the incredible value of your ability to capture memories. I've been spending a lot of time looking at old photographs. In fact, moving her into Hospice, the first thing we set up in the room, before she even got there, were a dozen prints. Photographs of her children, grandchildren, weddings and grab shots over the years. Every picture has a story, but more important they're little hot buttons of snipets of her life.
Some connect, some no longer have any awareness as a result of the Alzheimer's, but they all serve an amazing purpose of bringing her life into focus whenever she looks around the room. Even with moments that completely lack recognition, those pictures serve to remind each of us that we're not alone in the love as well as the pain we're feeling.
I'm reminded over and over again that "a picture is worth a thousand words." It's all thanks to each of you and the contribution you make every day to millions of people around the world. So, as I've written dozens of times, never compromise on the quality of any image. Expand your skill set to be the very best you can be so that you never miss a shot. Cherish what you've learned to do and be so proud of the path you're on as an artist.
...and so important to me personally, thank you for your support, your feedback, your prayers and giving me a reason to escape to my blog this morning.
*Rivera Sun, Steam Drills, Treadmills and Shooting Stars - a story of our times
6/10/2013 04:05:52 am
Love you, Skip. Continuing prayers for Mom & Dad C.
6/10/2013 05:14:44 am
Lifting you all up in prayer for peace of spirit...
6/11/2013 05:34:43 am
Thanks for writing this piece. My mother is also in a dementia care center and no longer recognizes me, but she knows me in the photos in her room.
6/11/2013 12:04:24 pm
well said. Blessings.
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