Why I Am A Photographer

The Who

I grew up in Southern Arizona.  I have three amazing sisters and an odd combination of family members.  I am married to a most amazing human being, who I look forward to every single day with.  He is my rock.  Our two babes keep us busy with the typical 4-5 year old stuff.  They give us life and remind us to appreciate the little things.  They completely and utterly rock!  Really.  And, they are super cute too ;)

I started calling myself a photographer about three years ago.  Before then, I would do the typical family photo stuff and took a few college courses.  And, like any photographer, I decided to become a photographer because I wanted to capture genuine, relevant moments that my clients could cherish forever.  But, then, I realized I needed to tell you WHY I want to do that.  So....

The Why

I was twelve years old when I lost my father to heroin.  My youngest sister was five.  And although my father had his issues, this was still a huge shock to our family, especially my mother.  For the four years proceeding my father's death, my mother did nothing but drink.  Southern Comfort.  Bottle, after bottle.  She couldn't escape.  Needless to say, I don't remember much of this time.  My brain has afforded me the ability to completely forget the terrible things.

When I was sixteen years old, my mother finally lost her battle to ovarian cancer.  And, although her final diagnosis was cancer, I do not believe it was cancer that killed her.  That woman endured more heartache than any one person could handle in a lifetime.  If you ask me, she died of a broken heart.  I'd go on about my mother much more, but she is my biggest regret and I'm just not ready to talk about that just yet.

We were adopted by my mother's most generous best friend and her husband.  Life would've been completely different for us if it weren't for them.  No doubt.

Fast forward sixteen years and here I am staring a two photos.  One, taken in the mid 80s, a woman with feathered bangs and purple eye shadow matching her lavender blouse and high wasted button jeans.  The other is of a boy, about 5-7 years old, military style hair cut, buttoned up shirt, and the makings of an amazing smile.  The combination of these two humans are why I have life.  These images are why I decided to do what I do.  Preserve memories.  I wouldn't have anything if it weren't for these images and I understand now, more than ever, why they are so valuable.  It helps us remember the things we forget. 

And, this has become quite clear to me since I've became a mother.  Since I started seeing the true value in life and being a human and watching a human go from a little blob to a little dude/dudette, I realized how important it was to catch that.  I realized that I never wanted my children to live without being remembered.  Now... if only I could work on getting me in front of the camera more often, then maybe I won't be forgotten... ;)  Until next time, namaste.

Sarah Coon1 Comment