Take pictures now!!!

So I was sitting on the bus on my way to school this morning listening to the current episode of The Moth podcast. It was a story told by a former New York City cop about his job going after fugitives. As it turns out, the young man he was sent to arrest in the story he was telling had himself been shot and killed a week earlier. The suspect's fate had been noted in the police rolls, but it was never matched up with other records to vacate the warrant for his arrest.  In his apartment, when the cop tried to arrest him, the cop met the fugitive's mother and sister who both tried to tell him that the person he was trying to arrest was already dead. To confirm that they were all talking about the same person, he showed the mother the suspect's mugshot from a recent conviction. It was him. A police mugshot is definitely not a flattering portrait for anyone, but the mother asked if she could keep the photo. In further discussions, the cop learned that she had absolutely no photos of her son. She had photos of other family members, but because of all the problems that her son had had with the law, he was never around to be the subject of a photo, and the mugshot was the only photograph that she had ever seen of him.

It got me thinking about how lucky we are when we take so many photos of the people we know. On my model railroad website, I'm always encouraging readers (and listeners on my own podcast) to go out and take photos of every building they want to build in model form because in a week, that building will probably be torn down and the chance for a reference photo will be gone. As genealogists, we know that people die, more often sooner than we expect, which makes my old saw just as appropriate here as it does for model railroaders. Take as many photos of your family and loved ones as often as you can.  Then label them with the names of the people in the photos before you forget their names (and you will forget at some time in the future or you won't be around to ask when someone needs to know); use the file metadata for digital pictures. Don't be left wishing for more time to photograph family and friends.

1 comment:

Angela said...

Thank you for the reminder... it's so true. In our family, the problem was that every Christmas family shot looked like the year before - even down to sitting in the same places - so we all stopped taking photos. Now that some of the members are gone, I wish we'd taken more, even if they *did* look the same.

Thanks for the post.