As I type this, I'm sitting here watching my boys decorate gingerbread houses with my mom as part of their Christmas fun. My dad is relaxing in the living room, and my grandmother is doing heaven knows what while puttering in her kitchen. We're currently at my grandmother's house, and I'm sitting at her dining room table while all of this is going on. One of the things I love most about this room (besides eating dinner in it, and the people I'm surrounded by) is that it's covered in photos of our relatives. My grandmother's parents, their parents, and their parents are all represented on the walls of this room, as are my grandfather's.
We're lucky to have these photos. Photos were once considered a luxury only the really rich could afford. Cameras were extra expensive, and almost no one had them, but lucky for us, my family saw the importance of investing in photos of themselves.
We've all had the history teacher that was able to make history come alive. They weren't just a good teacher, but a great story teller- they could easily suck us into whatever the lesson was about that day. Now imagine that you're looking into your family geneaology; your family history. How much more interesting would it be to have photos of the people you're researching? How cool would it be to be able to see that you have your great-grandmother's eyes? Or your great-great-grandfather's chin? Perhaps a photo of your great-great-grandmother will explain where your daughter got her blond hair, because, hey, no one else in the family currently has it. Suddenly, by seeing a photo of your long-lost relative, history has become real again. It no longer feels like you're disconnected from it. That relative of yours that died on D-Day? Suddenly his life becomes tangible to you. Your Great-Great-Great-Uncle who immigrated from Holland? His trials and tribulations are now yours.
Remember, though, that this photo gallery goes both ways. How cool would it be for your great-grandchildren to be able to look through your wedding album? Imagine what your great-great-grandson would say about your high school Senior portraits? Would it inspire him to follow in your foot steps? Taking professional portraits are just as important this day in age as they were back then. The difference though, is that today having your portrait taken is much, much more accessible. Let's begin working to leave behind an even more photographed legacy for our descendants to discover!