I’m gonna be honest with you. There’s something about our industry that I really don’t enjoy. I don’t enjoy the fact that people think that photography is a luxury. That it isn’t that important. That photos should be taken at big events exclusively and the little moments aren’t worth the effort of “taking out the camera”. I’m sometimes guilty of this as well. I work with a camera all day. So, on my days off… I don’t want to take photos!!! The thing is, living in our world today, we tend to become isolated and stressed a little too often and the little moments are often the most important to go back too and remember. Any moment, especially when happy, at anytime … is worth being recorded.
I’ve always considered myself somewhat of a realist. I’m able to speak my mind (often too much) and am able to detach my emotions from situations and relationships. To see anything, objectively. I guess that’s why a lot of people ask me for advice… and then hate me for it because I’ve shown them the other side of the story. I also believe that sometimes, things … just happen. Or that, some people just aren’t fit for each other. I guess it all started when my father passed away. I managed to make myself believe that things happen simply because “they happen” and, there’s nothing really that you can do about it. Do I miss my father? Everyday. But to have to show people and remind people about it isn’t very useful to me. This often made me seem cold… or “emotionless”. I feel like all the sadness and grief that people show after the loss of someone dear or the end of a relationship (or friendship) is only to show people ” look… I do care! I miss them dearly. LOOK!”
Listen, I care as well, promise. I just don’t feel the need to have to show it off to people. Growing older, I came to realize that it’s a shame that things have to happen the way they do but … we are people. People grow apart, make mistakes and sometimes just aren’t meant to be around each other anymore. Do we follow ?
Mike and I have been together for 6 years. That’s pretty long. We’ve lived together, Lived apart. Got dogs together and got through my painful diagnosis, my physical changes and recovery time together. We went through some really hard times, mostly of my fault and not being able to deal with the Graves. Today, we are on the verge of breaking up. We are talking about it … but we’re fine. We still talk and see each other all the time. We just want different things and grew to be different people from when we first started dating eachother. Will we stop talking? I hope not. He was a huge part of my life for a long time. He made me find out things about myself that I believe I wouldn’t have if he wasn’t who he was. I appreciate him and of course, love him very much. All the endless fighting and “head butting” will never stop that i do. Thing is, we never got engaged. Nor have had a huge event in our lives that deserved a personal photoshoot. But I believe that our relationship still counted. But what do you do when it’s the end and nothing happened worth being photographed? I decided to call up Stef et Stef photographie, who now call a friend, to shoot … my breakup. That’s right.
Don’t be sad. And don’t you dare feel awkward. Because we aren’t. We don’t consider this the end of our relationship… just the end of this relationship. I did this shoot because I wanted to commemorate my relationship to Mike because I believe that it meant something. Sometimes, things just don’t work out. And that’s ok. We were happy together once and this shoot gives me something to remember that part of my life incase those memories were to one day, fade.
What is the value of a photograph to you ? When you think about getting a shoot done, in what instances would you consider doing it ? By being a photographer, i’ve seen the pattern that people only want to be in a photograph for traditional “important” moments. By this, of course, I mean engagements and weddings or the arrival of a new baby. Is that the real value of a photograph ? To me, a photograph should be created in ANY moment. A moment that was important to you and that you could easily otherwise forget. I guess this is why consumer cameras exist. So that you can take little momentos here and there of little events in your life… and then hire a professional for big events.
What happens in more personal events? Moments that you have lived in your life where having a camera might not always have been so convenient? Moments of sadness, of heartache or of separation. Where times are the hardest but that, in the long run, shape you. Doesn’t that make them more meaningful ?
People are afraid of showing their true feelings to other people. They don’t talk about their issues and their relationships for fear being judged amongst their peers. I blame social media. Everything is a “show” on there (especially facebook). A constant competition of “who has the better life”. But why? Isn’t this only making us feel more alone ? Especially when you consider that, we ALL GO THROUGH IT ? Instead of supporting and being there for each other we always thrive to have the perfect body, the perfect family, the perfect relationship. For what? It all so exhausting. It’s a great goal, however, a unrealistic one, i think.
Here’s the thing: a professional photoshoot shouldn’t be done to be able to show off your happiness to other people on social media. A photoshoot (or simply, photographs) should be way for you to remember the past whether you’re doing it after a few months into the relationship, a few years or, even at the end of it. It should matter to you personally because, the memories you created together … matter.
Photography shouldn’t only have to be a way to show off your engagement or your new baby to your friends and family. Before social media, photography was used as personal. A way to remember the best times in your life. A way for you to look back and say “Ahhh. you remember that?”
Most often, those moments are your best escape to a happier time. But, what about the sad times. Why is that known as such a “no-no” or a “What the hell would I do that?”
You shouldn’t forget that your saddest moments in your life. They are the ones that shaped you. Made you what you are today. You shouldn’t forget those. They made you grow stronger and better.
I’m actually a little sad that I haven’t done this for all my relationships. A documentary shoot of things we loved to do and how we were together. Moments that happened years ago and that I sometimes struggle to remember. I encourage you to sit and think about your “awful” relationships and truly see, objectively, what they taught you about your life (and your path) today. I believe that there are no bad moments, just hard ones.
We are human. We made mistakes. Like everyone else, we are not perfect. Perfect is subjective based on the person. “True Perfect” doesn’t exist. People have trouble understanding that. People are people. Life is beautiful regardless.
We are all so different. Isn’t it completely normal that sometimes, some people just don’t mesh together? Sometimes, your environment will cause you to grow up with a different attitude and make you believe in new ways on how life should be lived. Even if you grew up together … doesn’t mean that you should just “make it work” and try to withstand each other. People have a hard time sitting down with themselves and realizing that sometimes… you just have to let it go and move on.
If we are friends on facebook, chances are you saw me tagged in a couple’s shoot (shot by Stef et Stef photography). I also posted a few sneak peeks on Instagram. I received comments like “beautiful shoot” and “so glad to see you so happy”. People have even asked me who this mystery man was, since they never had seen him before in any photos. Turns out, we aren’t really that public about our relationship. I guess I don’t really like to “flaunt”. Actually, I don’t really see my relationships as being “with the one I love”. But more like “moving forward towards building a life together”. It’s between us. Doesn’t that mean that I don’t believe in love? No. We love eachother very much. But I believe that relationships are much more than that (as I’m sure many of you believe as well). Love cannot keep a relationship together. Compromise, tolerance, goals and understanding does. Because of these factors, it’s very easy for two people to simply “not be made for each other anymore”. Sometimes, nothing works. You experienced life differently and you want different things now. It’s noone’s fault. You are just … different. Doesn’t mean that person isn’t a fantastic human being on their own. You are simply not made FOR each other anymore.
Being different isn’t a bad thing. Just because you considered his actions to be “douchey” doesn’t mean another person, with a different personality than yours, would consider it as such. Just because you didn’t work out as a couple doesn’t mean that you can’t work out as friends. Those relationships are completely different ones.
Most importantly … just because the relationship itself didn’t work out… does that mean that whole part of your life is meaningless ? It shouldn’t be. Because that “meaningless” relationship is partly of what turned you in what you are today. That should count for something.
So I encourage you to think about those sad times … and reflect on them. Because they are important. This is not a “ploy” to hire me more. Use your own camera or use your words. Start a journal if that’s more your style. Make it so that you are able to go back one day and reflect on those hard moments in your lives. I also encourage you to share difficult moments on Facebook as well (i know weird, right?) Don’t go CRAZY. Reflect and then share. This should be a psychological experiment, not a cry for help (or attention). You are strong enough to handle your own problems on your own. I believe in you.
I just encourage you to show the real you. Encourage the world to share their thoughts and real moments as well so that we can reconnect as a society again. Enough with this “fake” none sense.
Sad moments should be views just as importantly as Happy moments. Because we are all sad sometimes.
Mike and I were happy once. Just because we grew apart and are not today… doesn’t mean that my relationship to him was worth nothing. I have my photos now to remind me of that.