Portrait of a House

How do you begin to document memories that have been built up for 42 years? A place where family got together for Christmas, and Thanksgiving. Where kids, grandkids, and even great grand kids played. How do you do that place justice with photos?
After a few hours, I realized the answer is “you simply can’t”.

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My original goal was to capture a portrait of the house as a keepsake. But I soon began to see that I was merely capturing empty rooms, with empty chairs and empty tables. Every time I visited, I used to love to look at the photos that adorned the living room walls. Now all the pictures are all gone.

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The orange paint that splashed all over the kitchen walls are now neutral white. Tiny toys and decorations that lined the windows, vanished into storage. Trinkets and keepsakes that reminded Lita and Migel of Texas are now tucked away in our memories.

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And as I explored through the kitchen, I remembered the smells of tamales, or tasty pies. A new family will soon be building memories here, so my goal was to try to get portraits of the house as it is now.

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And as wonderful as the fresh coat of paint is, and as perfect and pristine as the rented furniture is, sprinkled throughout the house.

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Nothing can replace what once was.

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The kids would wait and nap in these hallways and rooms during Christmas eve. They would tell each other stories until it was time to open presents downstairs.

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As the project came to an end, as I put back the furniture that I have moved, and reflected on the past. I thanked the house for the shelter it provided…But I began to see that it will never provide warmth. It is just an empty shell. The true soul of a place lies in the people that live in it. Houses can’t hug, they can’t smile.

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They can’t cry with you during times of loss. They can’t celebrate with you during times of joy. Wood, pillars, stucco walls, windows and cold gates is all I took photos of.

So with that I end with a parting thought. Don’t get too tied to your possessions. Home is truly where the heart may be, but we can make any place home so long as we have friends and family near. When we leave this earth, no one will remember where we lived.
Just how we lived it, and who we touched along the way.
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Thank you for the memories Miguel and Lita.
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About greenbeanfx

Photography is what I do =) If you wish to contact for a photoshoot, send me an email or comment on a blog with your info and I'll get back

Posted on July 28, 2014, in Game Of Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Well said .. good memories, I loved the bright orange walls too.

  2. What a beautiful testament to your family memories, wish we had this opportunity to do the same, it is awe inspiring. Lost my mom when she was 41, I was 20. Lost my dad when he was 67, and all the memories if our home growing up left with him….thank God for my siblings, out of 7, there are 5, and when we get together we have tons if memories to share. Thank you for sharing this amazing tribute to your family!

    • Josie, thank you for your comment. I agree, memories and dreams are what keeps us going. I remember mentioning to a friend of mine that I had dreams about my dad recently, and he asked if they were good or bad? And I think at this point, any dream where he’s in it, despite any situation is a good one. It was a good dream, but when we have nothing left, any dream where they are in it is a good one. A chance to see them one more time.

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