Disclaimer: This story includes mentions of loss and grief that may be triggering for some.
“This morning, I opened my editing software for a long day of computer work.
My grandma popped up.
I tried to continue on and focus on my clients but my mind kept racing, and I’ve decided it’s my duty as a professional photographer to tell you all something…
JUST TAKE THE PHOTOS.
My Grandma Terry and I talked about every other day on the phone.
One day, she was talking to me about Christmas gifts and how she was having a hard time deciding what to get her girls.
After our conversation, we decided I would take beautiful portraits of her on Thanksgiving and she would surprise my mom and aunts with them on Christmas.
Thanksgiving came and my Grandma looked beautiful.
She asked if I was ready to take her photo and as soon as I said yes, she hopped off her chair and went and put on fancy lipstick and puffed up her hair.
It was raining outside.
But we stepped outside my home and captured her.
While clicking my camera, I had no idea my Grandma would pass unexpectedly in her sleep just three days later.
These Christmas photos all of the sudden became a lifeline for my family.
The last glimpse of a woman who we all loved with every bone in our bodies.
These photos show a woman who is happy and proud.
Who beams of joy for her daughters and grandchildren.
Everyone has a camera.
It might not be fancy and it might be on a phone, but a camera is a camera.
It captures moments that last forever and swells your hearts with joy.
So, this holiday season, I really want to push you all to JUST TAKE PHOTOS.
Find the people you love the most and take the selfie.
Tell your grandma or grandpa to smile and click the button.
Don’t worry about lighting.
Don’t worry if they have lipstick on their teeth (which my grandma did in these photos).
Just take them.
Hold on to them.
RELY on them.
You just never know when that photo will become the most important capture you take.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jessica Santo. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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