Photos, Memories, and Getting Older {Nebraska Documentary Photographer}

I'm a pretty sentimental person.  I like the "good old days" (even though Ecclesiastes warns me that longing for those days is folly {yes, I'm listening in Sunday School}), looking through old photos (both from my childhood and from my kids' baby/toddler days), and sometimes (rarely) even reading my diaries from high school/college (and usually laughing and being SO happy that I'm not 17 anymore).

Others might complain about getting old...I'm not so worried about me getting old, but watching everyone around me get older and seeing things change: Only a few of my teachers are left at the school, country music is annoyingly different, and even the weathermen think they have to retire.

Some of my best memories from my childhood are of spending time with my grandparents - one set lives in Buhler, Kansas and the other here in Henderson.  Sadly, my grandparents in Buhler are no longer in their house.  My grandpa passed away a year ago and my grandma lives in the assisted living facility there.  I still love to go visit her, but it's just not the same when we can't "go to grandma's house."  I loved walking into their house and I can still hear the echo of our footsteps in the hallway while calling out for grandma; the smell of her pantry (yes, we were weird); and the sound of our laughter while playing games and eating elf food.

I SO WISH I had taken photos of Grandma and Grandpa in their house before they moved.  I mean, we have photos, but I wish I had the ones that showed Grandma baking zwieback or playing solitaire at her computer and Grandpa falling asleep in his chair or puttering around his workbench.  That's what I remember about their house.

So, I basically begged my grandparents in Henderson to let me take their photos in their house so we have those memories. While most of my childhood memories from Grandma's house can't be re-created (we loved "horsey" rides on Grandpa's back and stealing sugar cubes out of Grandma's pantry), I could document the moments that we will want to remember about them now - Grandma making her amazing curry and rice recipe, Grandpa playing his latest favorite song for us and then telling us stories.  

This was just a 45-minute session, so everything was recreated (which I guess makes it more lifestyle vs. documentary, but whatever...).  I'm so thankful that my grandparents let me do this!

grandma in her kitchen
grandma in her farm kitchen
grandma making curry
grandma making curry and rice
documentary//grandpa reading the newspaper
documentary//grandpa reading newspaper
documentary//grandma painting in attic
documentary photography//grandma painting in attic
documentary photography//grandmas paint tools
documentary photography//grandma painting in attic
documentary photography//grandma painting in attic

While I was up in the attic with Grandma, I saw all of our old drawings that have hung on the wall for 20 years...they were pretty faded, but still brought back memories.  And there must have been a little kid at her house lately, because all the rocks/acorns/coral that we used to look at were all laid out...I didn't even remember that until I saw them!

documentary photography//childhood memories
documentary photography//grandpa working at desk
documentary photography//grandpa working at desk

Grandpa is always telling us stories - most of them have a lesson involved somehow!

documentary photography//grandpas favorite verse
documentary photography//grandpas planters
documentary photography//grandparents lighting fireplace
documentary photography//grandparents
documentary photography//grandma reading
documentary photography//grandpa

I love the stained glass window in their house!  Also, Grandma didn't want to pose for a photo, so I told Grandpa to hug her and I got this one ;)

If you have grandparents that have lived in the same house since you were a little child, I highly recommend taking photos (or hiring someone to do it for you!) of everything you want to remember.  People spend thousands of dollars these days searching for clues about their ancestors...you could leave your kids/grandkids/great-grandkids with an awesome photo essay about your grandparents' daily life!  I don't even have a clue what my great-grandparents' house looked like and it's strange to me that my kids won't remember my grandparents' house in Buhler when it was such a big part of my life.

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A session such as this is 30-45 minutes long, includes 15-20 digital images, and costs $95. If you have a lot of memories or would like to have family members included in some photos (I'd even take some video if there are a few important stories!) the cost is just $350 for a 2 - 2.5 hour session, 50+ digital images, and a photo book.