Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I'm a collector. A pack-rat. But definitely not a hoarder. Although one time, I did find a folded up paper towel in the back of a desk drawer that I saved because the printed animals were cute. I didn't think it was fair to them to be tossed away. Maybe I am a hoarder.

When I was younger, I tried to collect teddy bears. I would buy one on every vacation and would get one every Christmas. They were all on display on a bench at the end of my bed. But when I moved away to college, the collection couldn't come with me.

I always felt weird about collecting things anyway. It felt like something I was supposed to do as a kid. Bears were my favorite animal then, I loved stuffed animals at the time (okay, who am I kidding, I still have a soft spot for my favorite polar bear), so naturally, if I was going to collect something - and everyone had a collection of some kind - well, teddy bears made sense then.

I guess at some point I realized that the collections of my younger days were rather arbitrary. While I thought that teddy bears were a representation of me, they were really misguided attempts at trying to capture memories by applying them to a tangible object. I was trying to force my experiences on an inanimate, unrelated thing...when really, what I wanted was to preserve the happy feelings that came with those experiences, and be reminded of them in a tangible way.

It dawned on me today that this is why I am a lover of photographs. You might even say that I am a collector of photographs - but this, I feel, is for the right reason. When I look at a picture of the past, it immediately takes me back to that exact moment and the feeling of the experience. My photos are true replicas of my memories of my favorite people and places. Sometimes, as time passes, the photo even becomes the image that enters my mind when I revisit the experience.

I love the way snapshots have taken over the world through smartphones and social media and Instagram. It allows all of us to easily build a collection of memories and experiences and share them and keep them with us at all times. Who cares if you're not a professional photographer? Your snapshots are your memories, how you experienced your go out and capture them.

Speaking of snapshots...there is nothing in the world I love more than my boys. This is one of my favorites from one of our lazy summer Sundays.

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