My grandma was amazing! MY grandma was everything every little kid always imagines their perfect grandma to be. Her house was a home to anyone and everyone she ever hosted there. Her constant smile, and stash of cookies, were always met with glee from the wild monkeys she called grandkids that decided they needed to slide down her banister or get swung from the sheets that her and grandpa were trying to fold (namely, me). I don’t know if she knew it, and honestly, I don’t know if I did either, but my grandma was my hero.
My grandma always had her camera nearby. She was always willing to let me play with any of her old cameras, or to take any film I had used up from a disposable camera to Walmart and have it developed for me. She was not a professional photographer, but she was definitely our family’s memory capturer. On anyone’s birthday, EVERY holiday, fun days in the summer, vacations, first days of school, you name it, my grandma had us on film in almost every scenario. And let me tell you, most of the time, we HATED it. We just wanted to dig into our birthday cake, or open the Christmas present, or eat Easter dinner, or be able to walk from the door to the car on the first day of school without hearing, “Hold on, let me take your picture, ok right there, just stop there... come on, smile. One. Two. Three. Say cheese. Ok perfect, just two (ten) more. Alright, alright, you can go now. Have a good day. I love you!!” We gave her such a hard time about having to pause the moment. “Why do you need to take a picture now, Grandma?” But let me tell you, if I could thank her today for all of those images, those memories that I can hold in my hand, I would. Without a doubt. And I would ask for more. “Take more, Grandma! Please?”
In those moments, and even on most days, if you asked how I got into photography I would never have thought that this may have been where my passion came from. That those memories of knowing that we would have to wait for Grandma to take 100 pictures before we could just get on with it, would become something that means so much to me. But in the last few weeks/months, when I have been working on thinking about what my passion is, what kind of brand I want to build, what kind of person and photographer I want to be, BAM - it hit me! No one could build a better business model or a better way to serve, love, and encourage people than the one my Grandma bestowed on us, ME, just in how she lived life every day.
- Pray always.
- Smile like you mean it.
- Be willing to help others first.
- Laugh from your belly.
- Be kind to everyone.
- Give it all you’ve got; even, and especially, when the circumstances stink.
- Don’t be afraid to not only cheer for but help the underdog.
- Stand up for what you believe in.
- Listen first.
- Work hard, pray hard, know you are blessed beyond measure because Jesus loves you.
- And always have a stash of goodies somewhere nearby. ;)
Unfortunately, my Grandma went home to be with the Lord a week before Christmas in 2011, but the principles that she taught her kids, and her grandkids, have been engraved on my heart. I want to honor her with my business, because she unknowingly taught me so much about capturing the moments that truly matter in life, and even if the event at the time isn’t necessarily the most important thing in life, the people who are in that moment with you probably are. Don’t take the ones you love for granted.
To honor my grandma, Sharon, I have named my business after her in many ways. Her favorite color was blue. Every time I hear her name I think of “the rose of Sharon” and that she was constantly trying to grow a rose/flower garden. The cardinal, which signifies the bird that “shows up” when you are missing someone you love who has passed away. An “angel” sent from God.
Thank you Grandma, for all that you have done for me. I hope that this will honor your memory in so many ways.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope you can now understand why this name means so much to me. I hope that you think of me when you are looking for someone to capture your important and maybe even your everyday life memories, and maybe pause for a moment and to think about any loved ones you may have lost and the things that they may have made more dear to you.