Anyone who knows me knows that I'm always taking a picture or video of something. My Instagram page is organized into many highlights, which are basically like mini photo albums. They range from trips I've been on, pictures of my favorite people, and everything in between. Not to mention, I also have thousands and thousands of photos and videos in my camera roll that date back to 2010.
I'm passionate about photography. I think there's something so beautiful about capturing the world around us, whether it is something in nature, a historical site, an animal, or a person. However, over the last few years, photography/videography has meant something different to me. My grandfather has lived with me for my whole life and has had Alzheimer's for almost 10 years. I have seen both his memory and memories slip away from him with such cruel ease. 88 years worth of fun moments with family and friends, laughter, love, and experiences - all gone.
My grandfather has taught me that something as simple as our memory cannot be taken for granted because what you remember today could be forgotten tomorrow. Alzheimer's is unfair in that sense because it strips a person of their memories and there isn't a reset button or medicine that can bring them all back. That's why I believe we are very lucky to have a way to save moments from the different stages of our lives. This could mean pictures from the Italy trip I took with my parents in high school, the summer afternoon spent playing basketball at the pool with friends, or a video of my friends and I attempting to cook an "elaborate" meal in college.
I can understand why someone might not necessarily see the point in taking many pictures and videos, but I think of it in terms of the future. I can show my own kids what I was doing when I was their age. I can laugh at the videos of my friends and I doing who knows what. The point is, I will have a way to look back at my life. I will have a multitude of my memories preserved forever, and I think that is powerful.
Whenever my grandfather smiles, I take a picture of him. I am not certain what his future holds, but seeing those photos of him smiling will serve as a reminder to me of his happiness today, tomorrow, and for the years to come. Not only that, but someday my collection of photos and videos could have the potential help me remember a specific instance or even a person if I am ever in the same position as him.
I always encourage people to capture the moments they're in because even if they seem small now, the smile it will bring to your face in the future is worth the wait.