Last year, a wonderful man passed away. His name was Ken Haddix. He was my marching band director through college. He was a mentor. He was an amazing musician. When I started seeing all of my college friends’ profile pictures change to pictures of him and themselves, I was worried something had gone wrong. It had, and cancer is horrible.

I started searching my pictures. I didn’t have a single photo of us. He was a major influence in my life and the only photo I could find was one of a parade where I am spinning a flag and he is walking beside the guard. It’s not the greatest quality photo. It was probably captured by a cell phone. I was disappointed when I realized I never took a photo with him, but this is now one of my most valued photos.

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In the past month, I have lost two members of my family. My Aunt Bobby and my Uncle Ricky. As a wedding photographer, I know that the most important pictures of the day are of the people. Don’t get me wrong. I love the details. The details allows us to see the personality of the bride and groom. However, it’s not the details that make a wedding beautiful. It’s the people.

So, what is the power of a photograph? Some photos are taken to invoke emotion. Some to sell products. Some to inspire. The beauty of photography is that one day those photos will become small and powerful memorials of our loved ones. When we take out our albums and picture boxes we’ll laugh, cry, and remember. We must remember.

This is when photographs truly take on a new meaning for people. They become memorials instead of pictures. So, cherish those moments. Hug your loved ones. Take a picture. Capture a memory. Life should never be measured in length, but in depth. Love deeply, and always remember.

-Kristen D.