Abanathy Photography, LLC wishes everyone a wonderful and safe Memorial Day! To that end, in the spirit of remembering and honoring those who have selflessly made the ultimate sacrifice and of spending that extra time with our loved ones, my blog this week will be brief!
Memorial Day, for me, highlights two important aspects of photography and how it relates to the holiday. The first, obviously, the fact portraiture allows us to hold onto tangible memories of those we’ve lost. No doubt they are always in our hearts, but there is something to be said for being able to clutch a portrait tight in remembrance and show it to others who might not have had the opportunity to meet the person.
The second is being able to document Memorial Day celebrations and ceremonies. Now, it might just be the photojournalist in me (and I have been to my share of Memorial Day services with camera in tow), but I find the capture of the pomp and emotions very wonderful and moving. And it is often the people who make these portraits so wonderful!
I recall once attending a Memorial Day ceremony in Nevada. I had found a great angle to capture small American flags placed in the ground. Of course, when you are trying to be a fly on the wall, you end up being the elephant in the room. I had to be quick before those looking at the flags suddenly realize they are in frame. They courteously say “Oh, sorry” before hurrying aside. Of course, I say “that’s OK” because I want them in the frame! What’s a great portrait of the memorial celebration without people in it?
That is key in this type of photography! You have to have people in some of the shots if you intend to adequately capture the emotion and spirit of the day. That’s why that aspect of my former life in the newspaper business was easily carried over into our event coverage. You capture the people in the moment and, well, you capture the moment.
For Memorial Day, this has been done countless times and it never ceases to capture the spirit of the moment. Check a couple galleries out here (Memorial Day and A Memorial Day Image Gallery from the Presidential Libraries).
Of course not all images include people, but a little ambience never hurts. I even notice, in the first gallery, one snapped a shot of burgers and hotdogs on the grill! This perfectly illustrates how photography is so important in the capture of such celebrations. True, Memorial Day is a day to remember our soldiers’ sacrifice and reflect, but one must remember that for which they made their sacrifice. So, as the summer kicks off, I say take it in, enjoy your freedoms, remember those who made it possible!
On that note, I once again wish everyone a great and safe Memorial Day!