I can't imagine why you would ever think I was a picture snob. Kidding. Of course I expect you to call me a picture snob. I take pride in that name.
I don't know when my love for pictures came about. Maybe in high school when we had to make a scrapbook for our senior year. Then in college, I remember carrying a throw away camera in my back pocket when we headed to the bar. (for those younger kids out there, can you imagine a day when cell phones only made calls and sent texts? Oh and your only game was snake, which by the way, most legit game ever) So anyway, it became a habit to carry a camera with me everywhere I went. I'm pretty sure I'm the reason everyone started those oh-so-popular BFF selfies. You know the ones, where your side by side with your bestie and the one with the longest arms holds out the camera to take the picture? Let's just all agree I started that, k?
As the years progressed, picture taking became a habit. It became one of those things where everyone around me knew, 'get together because Sam will want a picture'. Then when Charles and I went on our second date, I asked him for a picture of us together. I was a little scared to ask him because duh, here we are, just on our second date and I already want a picture, he'll think I'm crazy. Low and behold he was game! In fact, he was so game that we took multiple pictures. Serious ones, goofy ones, we had fun and I was shocked he was so go-with-the-flow
By our fourth date or so, he went and bought his own camera. I'm not the only one. Ahem.
We took so many pictures during the time we dated. It was always something I loved about him the most. Never even one complaint from him.
When he proposed, he made sure my mom was there, with a camera, because he knew ultimately, that was the most important thing to me. I wanted a picture of it.
Of course our professional engagement photo session lasted hours. Hours. We went to several different locations, had multiple wardrobe changes, brought the dog, changed shoes, wore no shoes, laid in weeds, climbed rocks, you name it, we did it. Again, not a peep from my dude. He might have complained to his guy friends later but I never even heard a sigh from him.
I had photo ideas for our wedding. (pre-pinterest) I had print outs of what I wanted. I had notes. Charts. Graphs. Laminated. Ok, maybe not graphs but close. What a trooper he was.
Obviously, I have no regrets now. I have no regrets that I spent a small fortune on our wedding photos because I'll have them forever.
In all honesty though, the real reason for this post? This. This photo right here:
Timehop (an app that takes you back to old posts) sent me that photo the other day. I stared at it all day. I cried every time I looked at it. Look at them. Look at how happy they both are. Charles loved Kaleb more than anything. He loved being a dad and he wanted to be the best dad. He wanted to do all the dad things.
The picture will be something Kaleb will treasure forever. If he ever comes to me and says, "you think daddy loved me?", I'll just show him that picture and say, "more than you'll ever know little man. More than you'll ever know."
For me, I see the man I married. That smile. That kid-like personality. His hands. His hands, I fell in love with those hands on like date #1. They were the biggest hands I'd ever seen but they were gentle. You just knew they could do some serious damage if need be but lord have mercy, they were going to be gentle enough to hold our new born baby.
I know when I saw that picture for the first time I didn't have that same reaction. I'm sure I saw it and thought, "oh that's an awesome pose!" and went on looking at the rest. In that moment, of course I wasn't thinking, "oh good thing we have this because Charles will be gone one day and this'll be a moment we cherish forever."
That's the funny thing about photos though. Have you ever stopped to really think about WHY we take pictures? Is it so we can post them on Facebook and let everyone know how adorable we are? Is it because we have a fantastic hashtag related to the moment and it must be documented? Or is it just because we have a pushy grandma demanding printed photos of her children? All the above? I'm guilty.
I'm guilty for taking pictures for the right reasons, the wrong reasons and for no reason at all, but like I said, I'll take pride in being called a picture snob or even annoying. I have no regrets but mostly, I want to say thank you to Charles for being such a trooper. You went along with every crazy idea I had, you helped me accomplish "capturing the moment" and because you did that, Kaleb and I will always have something to look back on to see your love.
We miss your smile.