On the Importance of Family Photos by Seattle Photographer, Anita Nowacka
Last summer, I stepped out of my comfort zone. I was working with a videographer to showcase my work as a Seattle family photographer. I felt a bit shy about starring in the eye of the video camera since I am always behind the camera.
As I was getting ready for filming, I spontaneously grabbed a photo off a book shelf to take on location. The photo was taken by my father, a talented amateur photographer. The subject is me, then an eight-year-old Polish schoolgirl returning from school. I’m wearing a mysterious smile, but all I remember of that moment is that I was so proud of my new book bag.
As the filming begins, the camera focuses on the photograph while I introduce myself and begin to talk about my process.
Sometimes, we act on impulse without knowing why. Since then, I’ve had some time to think about what that photograph means to me. It’s clear now that it was a link to my parents and my heritage. Somehow, that was enough to give me the support I needed to get in front of the camera.
Photographs are important. They provide links to the past and support us on our life journey. As a child, I was indifferent, and even annoyed, when my father was taking photos of me. Today, I can see their significance. Photographs spark memory and help us understand who we were and who we have become. They provide insight into the gifts our parents gave us we were growing up.
I felt I had come full circle when I showed the finished video to my father. We both became emotional when we saw that old photo and he told me few more details about the moment of taking it. Despite our distance, he understood how grateful I was for the impact he had had on my life, a life that has been so grand and fulfilling and that I give thanks for each day.
To see the photo of me as a child referenced, please click here.