The Heart of a Picture

May 11th, 2012 | Personal, Portraits

Photography can be quite complicated. There’s exposure, lighting, posing, composition, timing, expression. When you enter competitions, judges would pixel peep to find if there is an iota of overblown highlights or lost details in deep shadows. Then there is the perennial debates about Photoshop. When does photography end and the Adobe software begin? Don’t get me started on gear wars and debates. How about wardrobe? Is it a Vera Wang or Armani? Heard about the available light vs artificial light debate? Gosh! Ceasefire please?

Not trying to trivialize finer aspect of photography and professionalism. I think about these issues all the time. Yet if we have to strip away everything around photography to its very essential, what would we find?

Mother's Day, family portrait, Kota Kinablu, Sabah

For Emma, she just wanted a picture of whole family together. Her eldest son, Mohd Yazmier, 12 years old, passed away a month ago. It was then she realized she NEVER had a family picture. A friend reminded her that she took one at our photo booth last December and it was posted on our FB page. Emma contacted us. We printed it with acid-free fine art paper and framed it for her. It’s her Mother’s Day gift.

What really matters in photography? In Emma’s case, it’s documenting life, love and family. It’s memories immortalized on a piece of paper, telling us that at this particular place and time, we were happy. Perhaps we held, hugged and kissed our loved ones. Or perhaps we shared a joke, or held our hands strolling down our favorite beach. Without a camera, we rely only on memories. Unfortunately, we can’t print memories.

Happy Mother’s Day, Emma. We can’t bring Mohd Yazmier back to life, but we hope the photo will keep your memory of him alive and warm your hearts. You reminded us how important our job is holding a camera.

5 Responses to The Heart of a Picture

  1. Samantha A Rudolph

    Is really a touching life story, tear drop while reading the last paragraph, is really heartbreaking as a mom to read this.

    Thanks for sharing, and at the sametime would like to ask for your permission to share this beautiful story in my personal blog.

  2. Louis

    Samantha: Emma reminded me that the sanctity and importance of my profession…how important it is to do my job well. She also reminded me that anything can happen anytime. Can’t take our loved ones for granted. By all means, share it so more people can learn from Emma’s experience.

  3. Samantha A Rudolph

    Thank you Louis and looking forward to see you tomorrow for the Mom Photo session.

  4. Vivianna

    This is really a touching story, and really appreciate it being shared here, that reminded me of how important it is to have family photograph. I am myself a person behind the lens together with my husband and only realise, while busy making memorable photographs for others, we have neglected our own.
    I will now start to make an effort to have a family photo every year, at least.

    again, thanks for sharing this is really a good note to keep in mind.

    Please allow me to share this article in my humble blog too… ;-)


  5. valerie

    This brought me to tears. What an inspiring article. Like Vivianna above me too am a person behind the lens but have always never concern about taking my own family’s photo. This is such a big knock on the head to me. Thanks for sharing….


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