E-Z Photo‘s Rick Lippert reminisces about the struggles of a young boy trying to stay still for his mom’s photo shoots and how much he appreciates them now. This week we are all remembering Mom and thanking her for taking all those pictures.
“Just one step. Just one mile. Just one dollar. Just one kiss. Just one person.
When we look at life through the lens of ‘one,’ everything becomes that much more attainable.”
None of us gets to choose the era into which we were born. As a baby boomer, my generation landed smack dab in the middle of a sweet spot. We occupy that special period between a post-war world waking up out of its slumber of more simpler rhythms and finding ourselves embracing the fast tempos of technological change where we add up to 1 Billion Gigabytes of new data into the global storehouses of information each day.
It is also the time when taking pictures started becoming an art unto itself, as the devices available to capture them became accessible to most everyone.
Remembering Mom: In Another Life
My mom came of age, as the adults in her world clambered out from under a great depression and then left to fight a war on faraway shores to save us from global tyranny. Somehow during – or because of – such tumultuous times she caught an insight into the importance of picture taking. She saw how photographs taken in the present would be able to offer a unique way of feeling and experiencing. She perceived that ultimately they could circle back and close gaps in our lives, by providing us portals to the past.
Every once in a while, our family used to kid one another about how our mom could well have been a great portrait photographer in another life. Lighting, style, posture and a bit of flare for the not-so-common camera angle made her a perfect candidate. It was Mom who sent dad out to get one of the first new Yashica-Mat cameras back in 1957. She insisted on having a ‘real camera’ for photographing her two young sons.
“Aw Mom, Not Another Picture!”
As rugrats, my brother and I enjoyed tussling much more than going through all the fuss of having to get our picture taken. Almost anything was better than picture taking in our minds. The ordeal of ‘posing’ in front of dad’s Yashica-Mat camera, while Mom bustled about getting everything arranged, lighting set and camera angles determined, was completely taxing on a pair of active kids.
It would be nearly a decade after the Yashica-Mat became a part of each of our family outings before it was shelved for a newer breed of camera offering autofocus and other ‘modern’ technologies. Until that time, my dad, brother, and I would always play our parts when Mom caught wind of the ideal photo op.
Unlike today’s instantaneous snap and shoot pictures, each session with the Yashica-Mat was an event. As the subjects, my brother and I knew to stand mannequin-like with painted on smiles and absolutely no squinting, despite the fact the best photos were always made with the sun shining directly onto our faces. Dad flipped open the Yashica-Mat camera standing at the precise spot and camera angle assigned by Mom. What followed next was a countdown of sorts. There was the rangefinder check, proper f-stop selection, then dialing the focus knob until ‘Mom’s boys’ were crisp and sharp images within the viewfinder. Finally, a press of the silver button causing the shutter to snap.
[bctt tweet=”Here’s to all the Moms who made us sit still, pretend like we liked our siblings & snapped that picture.” username=”photoorganizers”]
Keep Them, Protect Them, Share Them, Connect With Them
Our family’s collection of pictures created using that old Yashica-Mat are now more than half-a-century old. We have long ago transformed them from their original paper prints into a digital collection shared with each family member.
Every time I wander through them, I’m reconnected to Mom and our family in an entirely vulnerable sort of way. They help me realize the truth about time marching on and offer an understanding we all are mortal. They open a portal to my past in a way nothing else can, allowing memories to surge through me. And in the end, they leave me momentarily daydreaming about being whisked back to one of Mom’s ideal photo ops, just waiting for the release of that Yashica-Mat’s shutter.
Mom, Happy Mother’s Day’s! Our entire family loves and misses you.
Although I never said it nearly enough while you were here with us, I appreciate so much all the effort it took to make sure we had picture taking times and instilling in us the importance of hanging on to each of them. They are like slivers of time preserved from ever fleeting away into oblivion. They are keeping us all plugged in together in an extraordinary way and will for generations to come.
But hey, I now realize you already knew they would!
If you need help organizing and preserving your lifetime of photos, videos and keepsakes, find a photo organizer near you at the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.
Trained as a radiologic technologist, Richard “Rick” Lippert of E-Z Photo has taken hundreds of thousands of pictures – of people’s insides! But that was not always the case. As a small child Rick and his dad would convert the bathroom of the family home into a photo darkroom where they developed the pictures they took with their 35mm film cameras. So, while he appreciates the art & science of medical imaging, Rick definitely enjoys his new found passion of helping people to keep, save, protect & share their treasured photos and documents through scanning.