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  • Writer's pictureKim

The Life of an Over Obsessive Documenter

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

“Kim and her pictures!” My husband gasps regularly as I had been taking pictures of our six month old non-stop! “Do you really have to take so many pictures and videos?” I snapped back, “YES I DO! We need to captures these moments!” My son would only be six months three days and seven hours old for a few more minutes. He might have had a miraculous milestone achievement that we won’t want to miss. And if he didn’t? Well, when I’m 76 years old, I want to look back and remember how cute his gummy smile was with only one tooth, and how his hair used to part perfectly to the right and how he used to try his hardest to say ‘maaamaa’ in the sweet little innocent voice he had. These are the little things, that if we don’t capture, we’ll just one day magically forget. And with technology the way it is today and cameras literally in our hands 24 hours a day, there is no excuse not to document every..single..minute. And so it would be, I documented my oldest son's daily activities; every dog-gone achievement and met-milestone, what seemed like every smile and even the tears so that I would remember what they looked and sounded like. I took all of that from the first 365 days of his life, and transformed it into a nearly one and a half hour photo video montage dedicated to the birth of my first baby boy. And let me tell you, when I presented it at his one year birthday party, by the end there was not a dry eye in the house.

But it wasn’t always the happiest of moments that I realized needed such a showcase. I remember the first montage I put together. It was for my grandfather when we lost him in 2008. I was so grief stricken by the loss of one of my best friends that I found comfort in reliving his life through the photos my mother had of him since his childhood. Back then, I remember the funeral home having a flat screen TV in the room, but no offering of any tribute to play on it. It was all left to the family to handle. That’s a lot to take on when you think about it. You lose someone you love and then you’re left to scrounge through decades of photos and old film footage and often times no know-how of what to do with all of it. Well, I took that challenge back then and actually found it was something that I loved. Why did I love it? It gave me a sense of accomplishment. I might not have been able to properly say goodbye to my Grandfather but I was honoring him with this digital project that our entire family could cherish for many years to come. Plus, during his service, I saw the smiles, the chuckles, the tears of course and the overwhelming sense of emotion from those that gazed at the screen and the way I had put the tribute together. It gave us all something to remember and to encourage all of the fond memories that we had of him.

Through the years since his passing, I’ve completed many ‘celebration of life’ projects and every time I have the most rewarding experience. I love that I am able to take that daunting task away from a grieving family and instead leave them with a final piece that will hopefully put a partial smile on their faces. Among the saddest of times, there have been oodles of good times and downright adventure times to capture as well. Everything from birthday parties, weddings, anniversary parties and graduations. But then there’s those projects that really take me back to why I am doing this to begin with. It’s about capturing the moments, the memories, the love, the emotion. If I had to explain it, imagine falling in love for the first time and really wanting to show that person that you care. Of course you can try to stumble over words and vocalize it, or you can buy them something tangible or take them out to dinner. But what about if you had been capturing all throughout your relationship segments of how important they are to you? I’m talking the kisses, the waves, the smiles & laughs, the vacations, the accomplishments and then put it all together to your favorite songs or even a classic or two so that they realize and will truly never forget

I remember when I first met my husband and how deeply in love we fell; rather quickly that is. He said it first by the way! I told him oftentimes, “I love you so much… I just want to shout it from the rooftops!!!” It was like this pent up aggression from not being able to fully express how much he meant to me. So often I would ponder a project of taking either one picture or one snippet of a video from our lives each day and generate a movie of our love by the end of a years’ time. How amazing would that be? I realize not everyone is as psycho fanatic as me when it comes to documenting our lives. For heaven’s sake, I’ve overloaded quite a few jump drives. But if you take the time to document just occasionally even, that can make all the difference. Life is too short to not be able to look back and remember those first smiles, those first butterflies even those last moments with those we love.

So capture it….

Oh those gummy smiles... :)

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