Rest in Peace, Brandon
The Importance of Photography
One month ago today, around this time, my whole life changed. I got a phone call I hope I never would get. My brother had taken his own life, my mom said to me. I felt like my whole world had shattered at that moment and was never going to be put back together the same way.
As children, we were fairly close. We almost never fought, and had a lot of fun playing video games and playing outside together. As we got older, he was my SCUBA dive buddy on our trips we were fortunate to go on, and we continued to play video games together. He was passionate, unique and strong and incredibly smart, much smarter than I. He was the only one who had a sharper tongue and could surpass me in sarcastic comments. There was so much more I wanted to do and see with him, so much he had to offer the world and had left to experience.
Though there are a lot of photos of him as a child, there are few we have of him recently. I had looked forward so much to take his senior photos and never once thought I wouldn’t have an opportunity to do so. I took my brother for granted and thought he would always be there for me to take photos of. More importantly though, we have so few photos of us together. The most recent photo of us together was taken 2 years ago and of low quality (by my standards at least, which I’m constantly told by my mom are too high). I wish I had more current photos of us together and it pains me that as a photographer, I do not have those and will never have the opportunity to do so.
Photography to me is not just a visual reminder of the person. It captures a second of time, a fleeting moment, emotion, a feeling that is gone quickly. It is a tangible way to hold onto a feeling and person and memory. It’s easy to take someone for granted, especially family members, and especially younger family members. But you never know when your life might be tipped upside down.
Photographers, I speak to you specifically when I say this, but make sure you are in photos as well. I like photography partly because I enjoy being behind the lens. I wish I had just one more photo of he and I together, one more day together, one more hug, one more moment.
Brandon, I love you. I wish you had just reached out. I miss you every day, a part of my heart is missing with you gone. I hope you’re ok now. Happy 17th birthday. Wish you were here.