Tuesday, February 9, 2016

the thing about pictures

I love pictures. I always have. I always will. There is something about pictures that captures my heart and eyes. Some pictures I could look at over and over [and some I do] while there are some pictures I could care less to see [hello, weird angle double chin?]. Whoever said it first, got it right, a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Except sometimes it isn't. 

But, that's part of the beauty of pictures, especially in today's world where there is a camera on every phone, photo editing software at the ready, and countless ways to share your pictures, isn't it? 

A picture only shares what you want others to see. Don't like that one? Delete. Take another. Find the perfect one. I'm not saying it's a bad thing to do - I do it. You do it. We all do it. It's not bad or good. 

But what you don't see in the pictures are the imperfectly staged [ie. real, every day living] kitchen counters piled high with dirty dishes, desk with a stack of bills waiting to be paid, laundry scattered across the floor, toys tossed across the living room ...

What you don't hear in the pictures is the crying and fussing because, "me want to roll it!", the bickering, the laughing, the grunting, the wind blowing, the chatting of friends... 

But, that's the part of the beauty of pictures.  

Looking at this picture of a little pizza dough rolling, you might not guess he was overly sleepy, starving, insisting he do it now by "mydself", fussing, and in general throwing a little afternoon fit. But that's kind of the beauty of it. Even though there was a rough patch in there, that's not what I see, that's not what I remember most. What I see is a little boy who is eager to help, who wants to be involved, who wants to learn, and who wants to eat what his little hands make. I see a sweet snippet in our afternoon. Peaceful.

Maybe that's one reason I like pictures so much, because even in the midst of the chaos and the mundane of every day, little moments that might otherwise be forgotten are forever captured.

I bet you wouldn't guess that most of this morning I got to listen to the screams and fits of a little girl because she had to share a plate / had to pick up toys / had to wait her turn / had to . . . Oh the screams. the kicks. the drama. I bet you wouldn't guess I got to listen to the screeching and cries of a little boy because he has an abundance of energy and things don't always go his way. But when I look back on this picture that's not what I'll remember. What I'll remember is that these two were sweet little playmates and that we spent Oliver's morning nap time painting - not at a table! I will see the concentration of creating something, imaginations at work, little artists, hands crafting a gift for a loved one. That's what I'll see. That's what I'll remember.

That's why I love pictures - they not only capture an image, they capture a moment, a memory, that will always be remembered.

It can be so easy to see everyone else's perfectly staged photos and think, "If only I had their house / job / life..." but just remember, you don't see the whole picture. And chances are, your life is just as full [if not more] of wonderful little gifts and dirty dishes in the sink.


Jessica (The Newly) said...

Your posts have been on point lately, mama. I think, as women, we all struggle with the comparison game every now and then - especially as bloggers and with social media platforms like IG. We are constantly flooded with pictures of other people's lives, and sometimes it does make our mundane, every day kind of lives seem insignificant or less exciting...just less in general. And that's not right! Because just like you said, the beauty is in the little moments that may not be visible to anyone else. The pictures that I don't deem good enough to share with others are sometimes the ones that I cherish the most. The lighting may be horrible, Caleb's fresh haircut may look a little choppy, the house may be a mess. But I see a wonderful little 2 and a half year old boy, full of life and love, who is so very proud of every little accomplishment he makes. And that makes my mama heart swell. That is worth more than all the gold in the world, or all the perfectly staged photos:) I'll take perfectly imperfect any day:)

Courtney said...

I know a lot of people disagree, but I love a highlight reel! I know I'll want to look back at my pictures and remember the exact things you're talking about.

Callie said...

I love this! Because yes, maybe I only take pictures of the good stuff, but it's because my memories are so tied to pictures, and the good stuff is what I WANT to remember!

Lindsay at Lindsay'sSweetWorld said...

I love this post so much! I, too, have always been obsessed with pictures (I must take at least a thousand a month) because I love capturing moments - happy ones, sad ones, mundane ones, and everything in between. Most days there's nothing majorly exciting happening in our lives, but those are the days that I love to capture the most, because those are the moments that the majority of our lives are made up of. Great post, Hannah!

Our Pretty Little Girls said...

So, so true. I love exactly what you said. I always thought it would be fun to do a post that shows "the bigger picture" You know this is the photo I took but in reality this is the chaos before, after or around. Someday I'll put one of those together.

Amy said...

I'm such a lover of pictures myself, as you know. This post is spot on!