In this day in age, I think it’s easy to think of history as this seemingly far-off idea. Almost as if our years are immune to what has gone on before in earlier generations. Maybe it’s because of our modern-day conveniences. Maybe it’s because “times have changed”. Whatever it may be, we must remember the importance of recording and documenting our history. Especially when there are unprecedented times happening right in front of our eyes. I wanted to share my heart behind capturing your family portrait during the 2020 pandemic. I have previously shared my tips to documenting life at home during this time. However, this series is slightly different with a very specific goal.
The time that we are in and what we are currently facing is extraordinary. Here in the U.S., in this country of freedoms, we have seen businesses forced to shut down, hospitals without equipment, lines outside of stores, shortages, and kids sent home from school. We see loss, division, and heartache. I’m sure if you asked any of us a year ago if we would ever see something like this, we would have confidently denied any chance. But here we are and time will only tell what is around the corner in the aftermath of this.
What is happening right now is our history, no matter your personal feelings regarding this pandemic, we will recall the spring of 2020 as a time of great struggle and hardships for our country.
We all have seen the iconic photos that history has brought us. Perhaps the many of soldiers kissing their love goodbye as they ship out to war.
Perhaps the “Migrant Mother” portrait taken of the woman and her children during the Great Depression era. Tattered clothes and her unwashed face are all too telling of the situation she and so many faced during that time.
Or perhaps with kids home and diving into homeschooling, you have taken them back to a time when what we are facing today has happened before. Maybe you have come across iconic images seen the photos from that time in our country. Here is a family portrait that was taken during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.
Each of these photographs tell a deeper story as to what they were facing at that time. Fast forward to today and what are we facing? We have been asked to stay home. To social distance. This has brought many families home altogether. I can’t think of a more iconic approach to documenting this time more than capturing your family portrait while gathered at your front door.
Throughout history, photographs have been taken – in good times and in bad. There is a reason for this. Photographs are a tangible link from where we come from and where we have been. My belief is that in return, they help us to know where we are going. I think of twenty or thirty years down the road. My grandkids will ask me about the 2020 pandemic they learned about and the effect it had on our country. I already get goosebumps when I think of this portrait above of our family. Because it will be the one that I pull from our family archives to show them how old their parents were. And to share with them the experiences we had as a family during the spring of 2020.
Perhaps your family has faced hardship with job loss. Maybe you have felt the immense stress of being a medical professional during this time. Or perhaps you have gone through a loss of a loved one. No matter the difference in circumstances, this pandemic has affected every single person in our country in some way. We will remember this time just as we do September 11th. Or the JFK assassination. Or the moon landing.
Doesn’t it deserve to be remembered from our point of view?
Today I wanted to share with you the “why” behind capturing your family portrait during the 2020 pandemic. My hope is that it inspires you to invest the time this week and join me as we create our own pandemic portraits. Because these days will come to an end. What will we have to show for it?
Perhaps you have seen the articles and the social media shares of photographers capturing “porch portraits” for families. I promise, you can create your very own family portrait all on your own and that is exactly what we are going to do. A portrait that is iconic of this time and one that you will be proud of.
Catch part two of this series where I show you exactly how to create your family self-portrait.
For years now I have educated others on how to take beautiful photographs, how to create masterpiece home movies and the importance of documenting our everyday lives. Something has been pulling at me to start sharing the deeper side of it all more than I ever have. To share more of the big picture view and the important and vital work that is preserving our own personal histories. Because if we don’t I fear the next generation will be left with empty views of where they come from. The next generation will be inundated with thousands of files to sift through while searching for the start of their own history, their own story.
A legacy is the story of someone’s life, something that a person leaves behind to be remembered by. What will yours look like?