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Boy toddler leaning on fallen tree

Beyond the Lens

When I think back on my childhood it’s the little things that stand out the most to me. Yes, we all have those big moments that haunt us for years (First pair of MC Hammer Pants). But it’s the little ones that I reflect back on the most.

I remember my father bought an old ugly yellow school bus and turned into our family RV. It’s funny; I can still remember the big PA speaker tied in the rear corner so we had good tunes while running down the road. I even remember seeing this kid ridding behind a van while on a skateboard, holding a rope just trucking along.

I remember the smiles, and the pain… especially on the backside. I remember the walks to school where I would count all the little cracks in the sidewalk, or the creek behind the school where I killed a big ugly snake to impress the girls. I remember the trenches I dug so I could have a cool place to play with my Hot Wheels and the tree in the front yard of my mothers, where I spent so many days thinking about what my future would be( I wanted to be a Club promoter and an Architect). But, I bet you if you look hard enough just above the base of the lowest branch, you’ll still see the carving of my initials I made in the bark.

I remember my first love, Erin Earhart when I was in the second grade. She was cute and always made me smile when she walked by…. Of course I was 7 and she was 8, but it was so cute. She used to invite me over so we could play four-square in her drive way, and I used to find reason to go on walks, just so I could pass by her house and see her.

I remember my first pet Rooster. It would wake my dad up so early in the morning. He would come running into the kitchen madder than the Grinch on Christmas. One day that damn bird just disappeared, and my dad said it flew off. Found out many, many years later we had something that resembled chicken a few nights later.

I remember all these wonderful things and now as I have become much older, and have four children of my own, I sit back and realize I see that same light in them. Those same small moments they will one day reflect on, like when they lose their tooth and catch you putting money under their pillow, and you have to make some stupid excuse and tell them to back to sleep…. That one cost me $20. Or the first day of school when she looks up and tells you, “Don’t worry Daddy, I got this.”

There are so many moments I have lived and so many more to come. Many I’m not as anxious to come, like the first date, or the first kiss. Or the first time my son asks to borrow the car, and then gets a dent in the bumper because he was too busy looking at the hot girl that was walking down the sidewalk.

It’s these moments I reflect on and just smile. It’s what has come to pass and what is yet to come, that means the most. Not your car, the size of your home or that time you told your wife the pants did make her butt look big. Well, that last one could go either way, but I still smile. We all want to cherish those times, and being a photographer has allowed me the privilege to help preserve all those moments for other families; to be a part of their special experiences and yet to comes. To capture daddies little girl saying I do, or juniors graduation walk across the stage… even though you weren’t sure that meme T-Shirt phase would ever pass.

I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life because. Even in the struggles, the arguments, and the horribly planned road trips in a Frankenstein RV, I always have these moments to reflect on and smile.