I used to have a coin collection. I’m sure it got sold in a garage sale. One could argue that I collect candles. Some would say I collect shoes. I would definitely add music to the list. Let’s just say that iTunes loves me. I collect jewelry. Not really anything valuable but I do have a lot of pieces with meaning. In our travels, I can always find a corner for a pair of earrings or a bracelet. I’m also a huge pushover for jewelry from organizations that “do good”. It’s a weakness and a strength I suppose.
As a photographer hobbyist, it would be accurate to say that I collect pictures. It would actually probably be accurate to say that I hoard pictures. Almost like I hoard emails. (Solidarity? Anyone??) I won’t even tell you how many emails I have but I will tell you that I deleted 2,497 pictures from my iPhone this week. That’s not even 1/3 of what’s in my email inbox. Yikes. In my defense, there always seems to be an email that I need with a recipe or an address or something and guess what? I can pretty much always find it. It’s really so rewarding. And possibly a bit insane.
I love taking pictures so much. I do make an effort to not live my life through the camera lens but I shudder (pun intended) to think about missing an opportunity to permanently capture a moment. The pictures that I take are a part of my story. A part of God’s story. They are a stored memory of something I will never see the same way again or at all. The sunrise will look completely different in two minutes. God’s creation ebbs and flows and is as beautiful one moment as it will be the next. Each photograph is a unique experience.
One of my biggest fears is losing my pictures. We hear of it happening and my heart sinks to my stomach each time. I store a lot of my pictures on Facebook (it’s sort of a quest for me to see if they have a cutoff point), we have two backup drives and I’ve uploaded many of my pictures to our Amazon Cloud. I have some on cd’s and jump drives. Digital didn’t come into the picture (pun intended) until our youngest was a couple of years old so underneath one of our guest beds you can find 6 tubs of printed pictures that my mom painstakingly organized by year. She loves me and she loves pictures as much as I do. When I die, my kids are going to have so much fun with my picture collection. Sorry. Not sorry…
Some of my favorite pictures are of people from all around the world. I guess you could say I collect people that way. Each picture I’m about to share with you has a story. It came with an experience that is a part of my story. But the people in the photographs have stories of their own. So perhaps I’m a collector of stories rather than people. Regardless, I like both. A lot.
This collection below is but a sampling of some of my favorite people from all around the world. They are from Australia, Texas, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand, Kenya, Nepal, Malaysia, England, China and Singapore. I don’t know the stories of these individuals. I suppose I do in part but I enjoy making up my own versions. The diversity, creativity and attention to detail of our Creator astound me. Different cultures. Different shapes and sizes. Different ways. Different worlds. Different stories. We are all in every way different but in every way the same. I’m in love with them. All of them. I want to keep them, forever.
Bonus points for anyone who finds Flat Stanley!
And with this post I’ve successfully backed up a few more pics for safe keeping. Clever girl…
What do you collect (or hoard)? 🙂
Share it with us here in the comments or over on the EPFH Facebook page if that’s easier for you.
*All photos were taken by and are property of Andrea Stunz. Photos are not to be used by others in any way without permission.