Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Learning to Be in Pictures - guest post by Mary Beth at Lovejoy Photography and Heritage Maker

Today I am happy to bring you an insightful blog post from guest blogger Mary Beth Lovejoy.  You will appreciate her perspective as a heartfelt memory-keeper.  She's also an award-winning photographer!  Mary Beth is a mother of two children and a grandmother of four amazing granddaughters ages 13-4.  She enjoys hiking, bike riding, kickboxing, knitting, and making memories with her family.  I have enjoyed many creative collaborations with Mary Beth, and I know you will learn from her story and thoughts:

My love of photography started just by photographing my own children when they were young. I have grown through experience and education into both a portrait and landscape photographer. I feel the same passion photographing a wedding or family portrait as I do capturing the landscape of Alaska. The end results put a smile on someone’s face every time!

Lovejoy Photography and Heritage Maker works with all ages to capture their memories so that they can tell their story later in life. Our goal is to not have you spend more on photography services than is necessary. Working with clients to script their day helps to determine what is most important to our clients, develop ways to save money, and most of all, how to balance the two.

My style of photography is unique. Although I ultimately work within my clients’ guidelines, I prefer to take candid shots versus traditional staged photography, which allows me to capture special moments rather than styling photos. I don't edit my shots other than occasionally cropping and shifting images. The perfection is in the shot! The images I shoot belong to my clients and all of my photography work is done at a location of my client's choosing.

I have been the photographer in my family since my children were infants. (My son just turned 42 in February and my daughter will be 40 in May!) Being the family photographer meant I was not in many of our family photos.
I became a member of the Heritage Maker family many years ago. I had the pleasure of attending a national workshop called “The Dream Team”. We discussed many things about our lives at this workshop, not what I had expected. It was here that I discovered that I was leaving myself out of my own life story. I felt insignificant to the purpose of my family photography. That needed to change. I could not make up for my past, but I sure could change going forward and I did.
As I left my day to day profession, I became more interested in my photography. I began to use it to capture other peoples’ memories and memories of my various trips around our amazing country. My company tag line is “Lovejoy Photography and Heritage Maker: works with all ages to capture their memories so that they can tell their story later in life.” I include myself in images of my trips. Why? It was an amazing location, I want to remember that moment shared with my friend, I want my family to see what I had the opportunity to see…oh so many reasons.

My home is filled with photographs. Some images are framed and hung on my walls. Some I turned into ornaments and hand from a hook. Others make up a calendar that I use daily.  I have canvas prints and metal print. I also have many books that I have created. Let me tell you about one I created and had printed for every member of my family.
Christmas is a time for my family to gather together. We have gathered at a sibling’s home on Christmas Eve and then my parents home on Christmas day. One year I decided to create a book of the numerous images I had of the many years of celebration. My father had died a few years prior to this so I decided to dedicate it to him and present it to my mom on Christmas Eve. My mother fell about a week before Thanksgiving that year, she hit her head and died on Thanksgiving Day, which happened to be November 25th that year. Those books arrived at my home on the very day of the memorial service for my mother. Christmas was very different for us that year…we were now orphans, regardless of our ages. We gathered at my parent’s home, now my brother’s home, but a great deal was missing. I presented those books to my family. As each one opened the book and looked through the images there were many reactions and emotions shared. We all cried and laughed but most of all, we all new of the love our family shared over the years. Each Christmas since I look through that book, as do other members of our family, and we remember. (By the way, I am crying now as I write this post.) Our images of life do that to us.

See this special family Christmas book, page by page, by {clicking here}.

The purpose of photography is to capture moments of our lives and record them for later in our life or the lives of our children/grandchildren/siblings etc. If we do not record the information about that photograph we will forget or be gone so we can not share with someone else. Technology has changed photography and the way we see our world. Our cell phones take images of everything. What good are they if you never take them off your phone and save them for later in life? (Same is true for our digital cameras today) So many people just look at the images today, scroll through them a few weeks later but do we record why we took the image? Where were we? Who was with us? Why was it important? Think about the opportunities there are with each image.

What if a member of your family was to suffer from a disease/accident that affected their memory? How wonderful it would be for you to be able to provide them with a book that reminded them of their grandchildren or a time spent with their spouse? Perhaps it might even trigger a memory of something that they could not recall before. Would that not be amazing? But if we do not record the details of the images, how will we help them remember?
Take time today, to record your life…not just photograph it. YOU are important to others and they will want to remember your life the way it was lived.
Lovejoy Photography and Heritage Maker
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  1. Such an interesting topic, putting yourself in the focus of the picture. Love it! – I was just wondering should photographers take into account the relationship between objects when taking photos of themselves? I know it’s a bit specific but how aware should you be of that to get the perfect shot? What do you think?

    1. That's a great question, Kelli. I should have Mary Beth answer this, but I would say that generally speaking it's more important to capture the moment than the perfect photo. There are always those funny photos where people didn't realize that a certain background would make them look like they have horns (or whatever), so it's smart to pay attention and be mindful, but I think there's a lot of value to capturing honest moments as they happen, too.

      Thanks for stopping by. So glad you enjoyed the post. :) Let's see what Mary Beth's professional opinion is... :)


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