Sunday, May 11, 2008

Because of my Mother

I get asked quite often why I love photography...I usually respond with something along the lines of "I've done it as long as I can remember" or "I just do". Today I thought it was a fitting day to tell you all the truth. The whole truth. I find there is always a bit more to the story even when it's my own story.

The reason and truth behind why I love photography is because of my mother. My mother has been gone from my life for over 23 years now. She passed when I was very young. When something like this happens you really don't know what to think, do or be. You want to know everything there is to know about the person who is no longer with you. The only thing is for me it was trickier thought than done. I waited a good 10-12 years before holding the first photograph of my mom in my own two hands. This photograph meant the world to me from before the moment even became reality. A dear friend of the family and close friend of my mother literally cut the photograph out of a high school yearbook to give it to me when he heard I didn't really remember what she looked like and that I didn't have any photographs of her. As you can imagine the photo was tiny as can be...a little weathered and in black and white. Did any of that matter? Well, go ahead and guess! Of course not! I was thrilled to see her face again. All the memories flooded back to me in that instant.

This is the reason I began to photograph and be photographed. I remember being the only child at an event, on vacation or at school with a camera in tote. I'd say since I was 9 years old or so. The connection with people through my lens is what moved me. The connection between people on the other end of my lens was what kept me aimed forward. Do I strive to have perfection in my photographs? No. Never. I strive for the preservation of life to be evident in my photographs. It's great to aim for perfection...but who's going to reach it? I aim for what I know I can accomplish. What I know will be appreciated...just how I appreciated that tiny yearbook photograph and the friend (Frank) who preserved it for all those years unknowing that it would mean as much as it does. Frank himself passed away just a few years ago. I am so very thankful to him for the gift he gave me.

I miss my mom.

I cherish the way things work out. I think of her every morning and every time I'm on either side of a camera...because it was my search for her that brought me to my passion and love for photography.

To all those who asked why I loved it so much and got the short answer...maybe you'll understand why.

Life, Death, Love and Pain are the beginning and ending of all connections. GO LOVE AND BE LOVED.

~Heather McCullah

1 comment:

Jen Weaver Photography said...

Beautiful post Heather. I enjoyed reading it.