Ok, real talk. Today I was reminded just how solemn a duty we have as guardians of memory. To be honest, I don't really want to talk about what prompted this introspection. But I need to just say this.
Even if it's only once a year, or once in five. Let someone take your picture. Professionally, or in good light by a friend who knows their business, it doesn't matter. This is not a sales call, it's a wake-up. At least that's what today's news was for me.
I've seen twice now the kind of frantic strain that falls on people when a relative is lost, poring over family snapshots in the hopes of finding even one good portrait of the one they're losing. That selfie with your buddies and the fishing pole is nice. It isn't what they need. They need you to be brave, and vulnerable, and willing to be seen, for fifteen, maybe twenty minutes, every couple years.
Furthermore, drawn from requests that come to me from people who are searching, asking what the powers of photoshop can do to save some heartache:
They need a front-facing, cleanly-lit portrait with a proud, or friendly, or content, look on your face. They need it to be clear of other people, and free of clutter in the background. They need it to be high enough in resolution to send photos to the paper, and to make a little print to show the kids. It's not a beauty contest, and it's certainly not vanity. But it's something more important.
It's not for you. It's a kindness for the people who you leave behind. It matters. You matter. Be seen.