Be deliberate: Take photos, capture moments

Min Atek

What you need to know:

Whereas my mother’s album had a reasonable number of pictures of my two older brothers and especially of my mother’s first child, there was only one photo of me, which was hazy

“I came to see you when you were about three weeks old,” I told the young gentleman. “How did I look like then,” he asked with enthusiasm.

Taken aback by his question, I realised I could not actually remember. “You were someone’s baby. I could not examine your distinctive features,” I replied as genuinely as I could remember. He seemed disappointed.

Later as I chewed on his reaction, I understood his frustration. He is the youngest of five children. Last borns rarely have baby pictures. It appears many parents hardly care about those little details. By the youngest child, parents have lost the awe and wonder of having the child and so no one usually takes it upon themselves to capture moments of the children as they grow.

Whereas my mother’s album had a reasonable number of pictures of my two older brothers and especially of my mother’s first child, there was only one photo of me, which was hazy. That photo portrayed me as a largely shy child.

I have only a few of photos of my younger child and he too has expressed frustration that there were hardly any pictures of him although I had many, many photos of his older sister right from her moment of birth.

The thing about photos is that they keep history and they tell numerous, precious stories. One photo alone can reveal so much. Baby photos speak volumes because we grow up and change from what we were as babies. Baby photos speak of our innocence. They show our authentic selves. In our baby pictures, we are our truest and unadulterated form.

Not too long ago, I went to visit my mother’s place of origin. In one of the old houses, I found a photo of my mother with her parents and eight of her siblings. It was quite an experience. My grandfather passed away when I was about a month old and this is the only chance I had to see him. In a photo. 

I saw all my aunties and uncles and how they transformed from what they were as babies. That one photo took me back in their time and gave me a glimpse of who they were. What a momentous photo!

Here is the challenge. Take more pictures. Let us be deliberate and purposeful in capturing moments and experiences. Let us make the most of the times and take in the moments. Thoughtfully, keep a record of the seasons. Time does fly by and it flies by quickly. The pictures help us to freeze the time and to keep the history. By that history, we keep a record of who we are.

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