• Mai See Xiong

Why I Take Photos

Today, Chee La showed me an anonymous quote and it really resonated with me. 


"If you want to learn what someone fears losing, watch what they photograph."


I've always loved taking photos. I think I got it from my father. I remember him frequently with a camera in hand. As we grew older, he slowly stopped taking photos and somehow, I became the family's photographer. No one ever thinks their parents could possibly pass away so young. I've never felt so thankful to have the photographs I took, after he passed away in 2016. 


At his funeral, I framed several 24"x36" photographs of him doing what he loved, cutting down weeds with traditional Hmong gardening tools, carrying totes filled with sweet silver corn that he lovingly planted and smiling at the camera in his field of dahlias with my mother. Chee La made a slideshow filled with hundreds of photos that my father had taken over the years. Within those photos, I saw all the changes he went through and all the life he had lived. I saw him as a young man and I saw him grow old. 


My parents at our flower garden (2015).


After that, I made a conscious decision to really take the time to document my life. You'll probably notice that my website is filled with photos of Chee La and our families. To me, they are the most precious parts of my life. Time will keep moving and before you even realize it, years will go by. It's so important to capture your life and your memories. 


Remember that taking photos isn't just for you. It's to share your memories with your loved ones. It's to share them with future generations. Let them see who you are. So, take the time out of your day to photograph yourself and your loved ones. Don't leave those photos in a digital prison. Print them and fill your home with love. Above all else, enjoy your life and be happy.


Cheers,

Mai See



Photo 1: Father with his co-workers in Thailand (80s)

Photo 2: Father at his garden (2015)

Photo 3: Father at an apple orchard (early 90s)

Photo 4: Few of my siblings in Thailand (late 80s) I'm the little one in the white/pink dress


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