Do you know the feeling when you see a photo of yourself from years ago out in the barn, playing with your parents as a child, in front of your first home and you see not just how you changed but how the places around you have?
What does that feel like to you?
For me, I feel happiness at “re-remembering” this part in my life. Then sadness that I essentially forgot what was around me at that stage of life. Then I feel proud because I have accomplished and learned things that the person in the photo has yet to experience.
I challenge you to find any photo album or box or digital file from at least five years ago and find a photo or two of you. Think about not just how you were, but how your life was. What was going on in that season? What cars did you own, what animals did you care for? What buildings did you build or tear down? What was happening? Take 10 minutes and do this. Go, right now and do it.
*10 minutes later* (In SpongeBob voice.)
Now, look at those questions above. Answer them.
If you had any feelings or memories flood back, you are the kind of person I serve.
Let me tell you a personal story…
I have two of those aerial photos of my family farm. You know the kind… the ones where a guy will come to your door with a huge photo from above your property, already framed and prepped to hang up. Over the years my parents and his parent have collected these when they had the cash.
Out of luck and slickness on my part, I now have two of these, both from years when I was living on the farm. I love them and they are in my dining room on both sides of my back door.
I recently out of some coincidence found a photo of my brother and me when we were maybe around the 3-4-year-old age. There is a kiddie pool right next to the big orange gate that opens into the barnyard from the driveway. This is the route our tractors take to pull the manure spreader under the barn cleaner and the gate functions to help keep the cows corraled when leaving or entering the barn.
So this kiddie pool has my little butt sitting in it, my brother is walking away (not at all wet), and I am throwing water above my head with an ice cream pail. The water in a perfect mid-air arch over my head. The photo was taken without either of us looking at the camera and the cows are walking into the barn in the background on the other side of the gate.
This photo, likely taken by my Mom, is sitting tucked into the frame of one of the aerials.
A few weeks ago my parents, brother, and Grandmother all visited for my birthday and our annual candy making day for Christmas. At one point my Dad looked over at the aerials and noticed this little 4×6.
He immediately started laughing and exclaimed multiple times,
“I don’t remember this. When was this? I don’t remember this at all.”
My Mom also didn’t remember it. Honestly, I don’t remember it at all, being I was tiny.
Anyways, we tried figuring out when it was and why we had a kiddie pool next to the barn… we decided because the well is better by the barn and there is a hose nearby in the milkhouse. We talked about that photo for a good while, and it was so incredibly awesome to reflect on how the farm has changed since then.
This is why I am a farm and family photographer. It’s not about the perfect outfit or even looking at the camera. It’s about having photos of your life on the farm. The work you do. How you spent your time as a family. It’s all beautiful to me and I want you to be able to have moments to go back to and remember years from now.
Would you like to document your family farm with heirloom photos and a written history to share with your family, friends and future generations? Contact photographer and writer Alyssa Bloechl for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 920-445-8727.