CYNTHIA HAMMOND PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog en-us (C) 2018 Cynthia Hammond Photography, LLC. All rights reserved. cynthia@hammondportraits.com (CYNTHIA HAMMOND PHOTOGRAPHY) Tue, 02 May 2017 22:17:00 GMT Tue, 02 May 2017 22:17:00 GMT https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/img/s1/v46/u851387049-o852792700-50.jpg CYNTHIA HAMMOND PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog 80 120 Exist in Photographs for the People Who Love You https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog/2017/5/exist-in-photographs-for-the-people-who-love-you

As Mother’s Day approaches, I can’t help but think of my own mother, who passed away 25 years ago.  I miss her so much!  To me, she was the most beautiful person on earth.  Other than wishing she were still here, so that I could see her and talk to her, I wish that I had more photographs of her. 

During the last several years of my mother’s life, she put on more weight than she was comfortable with, and she basically became a recluse.  She wouldn’t go out of the house, even to attend family events.  She wouldn’t willingly allow anyone to photograph her.

When we looked at our mother, we certainly didn’t see a “fat” person or a “large” or “curvy” woman, we saw the beautiful person who meant more to us than anyone in the world.  I wish that time travel were possible, so that I could go back and convince my mother to exist in photographs for the people who love her. 

One of my favorite photography-related quotes is from Aaron Siskind:  “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.  What you have caught on film is captured forever . . . it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”  

Memories have a tendency to fade over time, but photographs capture special moments, so that they can be remembered forever. 

Enjoy spending time with your mother this Mother’s Day, and take lots of photographs!

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cynthia@hammondportraits.com (CYNTHIA HAMMOND PHOTOGRAPHY) exist in photographs https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog/2017/5/exist-in-photographs-for-the-people-who-love-you Tue, 02 May 2017 22:16:48 GMT
Beauty in Strength https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog/2017/2/beauty-in-strength My beautiful sister, Linda

By the time you reach my age, you’ve been through some stuff in your life.  A few months ago, I started to notice people I know apologizing for the way they look.  When seeing photographs on Facebook, I saw comments like, “I don’t look the same since _______________.”  Fill in the blank – it could be any number of things – “since I had cancer”, “since I had to take care of my terminally-ill parents” or “husband”, “since my accident”, “since my surgery”, etc.  These are all scary and challenging events, and they change us, but they certainly don’t take away our beauty.

I’ve read comments where people apologize about the fact that they don’t look like they did when they were young or thin or in high school.  Trust me – none of us look like we did when we were teenagers!  In many ways, we look better than we did when we were awkward teenagers.

I’m sad to see someone apologize for the way they look because it makes me think that they don’t see how truly beautiful they really are.  There is a saying that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” (Nietzsche).  Basically, you come out of an adverse experience stronger that you were before.  There is beauty that comes from that strength. 

One of my favorite authors is Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.  She was a psychiatrist who studied death, dying and grief, and her books were a great comfort to me when my mother was dying 25 years ago.  There are many inspirational quotes attributed to her, but there is one that speaks to my message here:  “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Dr. Kübler-Ross also said, “The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.”  As a portrait photographer, my mission is to help anyone who doesn’t see how truly beautiful they are.  I am always thrilled to show a person, through stunning portrait images, how others see them.  I also want to give people a platform to share their challenges, so I have added a link, called “Beauty in Strength”, to my website.

I am starting with my own sister, who is a cancer survivor.  She took an unconventional approach to dealing with her challenge, and she was excited when I asked her if she would be interested in sharing her experience.  Please take a moment to read her story on my website.  By the way, she is one of the most beautiful people I know!

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cynthia@hammondportraits.com (CYNTHIA HAMMOND PHOTOGRAPHY) beauty in strength https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog/2017/2/beauty-in-strength Wed, 08 Feb 2017 22:33:53 GMT
A “Lost Generation”? The Concern is Real! https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog/2016/9/a-lost-generation-the-concern-is-real Yes, I am a photography geek, and I am passionate about preserving our memories for our children, grandchildren, and future generations.  For that reason, I want to share with you the following important information from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) blog.

 

According to a nationwide survey conducted by PPA, 42% of people (ages 30-44) will likely look back and wonder where photos of their childhood, holiday get-togethers, relatives and friends have gone decades from now.  Why?  They are no longer printing photographs or creating photo albums.  In fact, 67% store their photos solely in digital form on a computer or phone.

 

The 2015 survey polled more than 1,500 consumers nationwide about their photography habits and revealed eye-opening statistics about the lack of printing tangible photographs and non-digital image storage that could prove devastating to the chronicling of their lives.

 

Highlights from the survey include:

  • 41.8% of people no longer create photo albums, and an additional 27% say they have the desire, but it’s too time consuming.  Translation:  nearly 70% of people no longer have photo albums.
  • 53% of people said they haven’t printed a photo in 12 months or longer.
  • 46% of people use their Smart Phone or tablet to take family photos.
  • 57% of people store their photos on their phone or computer.

 

People are taking photos more than they ever did, but what about the end product?  It’s nearly all digital with very few tangible prints.  These statistics are so significant that industry experts such as Google VP and Internet Pioneer, Vint Cerf, was quoted as saying that “future generations will wonder about us, but will have great difficulty knowing us,” implying that unless people start printing their digital photos, they won’t have a tangible photo history of their lives or their families’ lives.

 

“Many people will find themselves with only their Facebook and Instagram pages to chronicle their life - or maybe a hard drive,”  adds David Trust, PPA CEO.  We need to “re-instill the importance and historical value of printing photographs.”

 

PPA recommends that consumers do the following to avoid falling into the digital photo void:

  • Capture once-in-a-lifetime moments like a wedding, high school graduation, newborns, birthdays and special occasions through the work of a professional photographer.  To find a professional photographer near you, go to FindAPhotographer.com.
  • Allow your photographer to print photos for you in order to get quality, archival products that you will be able to keep for years to come.
  • Devote areas in your home to display your photos - walls, tables, bookcases and more!
  • On a vacation or over a holiday, don't just rely on a phone.  Take your digital camera - and then take the memory card to a printer on your way home or immediately after the event.
  • Buy albums and frames when you see them on sale, so it reminds you to fill them with photos.
  • When using a professional photographer, work with them to ensure that you leave with printed photos and not just digital images on a CD or USB drive.

 

I encourage you to take that last step and safely store and print your favorite photographs, so that they can be enjoyed for years to come.  If you need help, feel free to contact me.  Whether you wish to hire a professional or not, I am happy to share ideas with you.

 

Proudly Display Your Family PhotographsCreating a wall gallery of family photographs, combining images from multiple generations is a great way to display portraits in your home.

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cynthia@hammondportraits.com (CYNTHIA HAMMOND PHOTOGRAPHY) family portraits preserve your memories print your photographs https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog/2016/9/a-lost-generation-the-concern-is-real Sat, 03 Sep 2016 23:20:26 GMT
Preserving Our Favorite Summer Memories https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog/2016/8/preserving-our-favorite-summer-memories It’s hard for me to believe that Labor Day is almost here!  As summer draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on summer memories.

What is your favorite summer memory?  While many of us have common memories of summer, I suppose the answer to the question will vary, depending on when you grew up.  Things seem different today than when I was a kid.  Of course, we didn’t have much technology.  Our kids laugh when we tell them that there were only 4 TV channels when we were growing up!

My sister and I were close in age, so we always had someone to play with.  Some of my favorite memories are of playing with my sister and my cousins, running through the sprinkler in our grandmother’s backyard, trying to avoid being stung by wasps.  We had some great times catching fireflies and putting them in Mason jars.  We had contests to see who could catch the most. 

When I think of my childhood summers, I think of family reunions and other get-togethers where we ate watermelon or made homemade ice cream.  The kids took turns sitting on the ice cream freezer to hold it down, as the crank got harder and harder to turn.  Since I was the oldest and biggest kid, I was usually the last to have a turn, but that meant that the ice cream was almost ready.

Speaking of ice cream, I think the favorite time of our summer weekday was when the ice cream man made his way to our street.  We stood on the curb clutching our change, waiting for the truck to get to our house.  Decisions, decisions – would we buy a Popsicle, Fudgesicle, Dreamsicle or push-up pop?

Childhood Summer MemoriesHow we spent our summer days growing up in the mid-1950's

I am so grateful to have photographs from my childhood, even if they are still loose in a box.  I love looking through them, as I remember simpler times.  We only had one camera, which was the old Brownie.  The images from my childhood that I have included here were taken with that wonderful, old camera. 

Fast-forward about 60 years, and we have lots of ways to capture and preserve our summer memories.  The photographs that I have included from our Summer of 2016, spending time with our granddaughter, were taken with my iPhone, my little digital camera, and my professional camera, a Canon 5D Mark III.  I just use whatever is handy when I want to capture the moment.

Summer Fun with Our GranddaughterFun with our sweet granddaughter this summer included taking "selfies". These images are definitely going in the yearbook! How are you preserving your summer memories?  For our family, we compile a family yearbook with the “best of” the year photographs, so that we will all have them to look back on for years to come.  It takes some time and planning, but it’s well worth the effort because the real value of preserving the memory is priceless.  I will focus on how to do this in future blog posts.  In the meantime, enjoy what’s left of your summer, and remember to capture some of those wonderful moments!

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cynthia@hammondportraits.com (CYNTHIA HAMMOND PHOTOGRAPHY) preserve your memories summer memories https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog/2016/8/preserving-our-favorite-summer-memories Fri, 26 Aug 2016 18:21:39 GMT
Welcome to the Preserving Your Memories Blog https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog/2016/8/welcome-to-the-preserving-your-memories-blog Practically every event of my life can be summed up in the lyrics of a classic rock song.  My decision to become a professional photographer is no exception.

I was a teenager during the 60’s, listening to rock music on FM-radio and 8-track tapes.  Simon & Garfunkel was (and still is) a favorite, but 1 song, in particular, has stuck with me.  From the Bookends album, 1968:

Time it was,

And what a time it was,

It was . . .

A time of innocence,

A time of confidences.

Long ago . . . it must be . . .

I have a photograph.

Preserve your memories;

They’re all that’s left you.

I love this song, and I listen to the album frequently when I’m at my computer doing post-production work.  It takes me back to the time when, in high school, I first began using a Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) camera.  I was one of the photographers for our high school yearbook, so it was my job to preserve memories.  Today, it’s my passion.

While I would love for you to hire me to capture and preserve your memories, I want to help and encourage you to do this for yourself, as well.  My blog is for anyone who wants to capture special moments and preserve them for future generations.

Today, everyone has a digital camera at the ready.  Whether you carry your smart phone in your pocket or your purse, it’s within reach.  You might be like me and have several thousand images on your phone, but how many of them ever get printed?  What do you do with these photographs once you’ve shared them on Instagram or Facebook?

For most of my life, we had to use film to capture our memories and milestones.  We had no choice but to print our photographs.  We thought Polaroid cameras were awesome because we didn’t have to wait to see what our images looked like.  I am blessed to have boxes of wonderful old photographs that I can hold in my hand and gaze at for as long as I wish.  These images bring back special moments of time spent with my parents and my brother who are no longer with me, friends I’ve lost too soon, and the beautiful memories of my son’s childhood.

I’ve read more than once that today’s kids are the most photographed generation who won’t have any actual photographs of themselves.  Let’s not let that happen in our own family or yours.  Whether you take photographs with your smart phone or hire a professional, my blog posts will be about helping you preserve your memories and milestones.

In the meantime (and because I love old photographs), I’d like to share some of my favorite Facebook pages with you.  Check them out when you have a chance.  You will probably “Like” them, too! Preserve Your MemoriesWhile I still have the old LP, I now listen to this album on iTunes. While it's a bit ragged from wear, it's value is priceless to me. Also included here are some Polaroid images from my childhood.

www.facebook.com/OldPhotoArchive

www.facebook.com/TracesofTexas

 

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cynthia@hammondportraits.com (CYNTHIA HAMMOND PHOTOGRAPHY) https://www.cynthiahammondphotography.com/blog/2016/8/welcome-to-the-preserving-your-memories-blog Fri, 19 Aug 2016 21:47:08 GMT