documentary photography in New York

This Is Why You Are Important To The World

Have you ever heard the phrase “Don’t blink or time will pass you by”? Or something along those lines?

I hear that saying in movies and it reminds everyone to embrace what they have in the moment; to live in the now which in some ways it’s true. But the second that moment is gone, it’s gone forever. You can never re-create it and you can never force it to happen again because even if you tried – it wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t have the same affect so it becomes saved in our memory bank.

But what if we can save those moments and those memories so that it still feels the same?

I took this image when my grandfather came to visit my father in New York. This was the last time that we would ever see him (of course we didn’t know because his death was unexpected).

My grandfather immigrated to America from Colombia without a penny to his name. He started working as a tailor in a small boutique in White Plains, NY and within a few years, he was able to buy my grandmother a beautiful home and provide for his four children. In essence this was the foundation that my family was built on: You can take nothing and turn it into something. My mother still has this old sowing machine at home even though we know he isn’t coming back.

I took this image because it was such a beautiful father-son moment and I knew that it was just a treasure to capture. However with the recent news about undocumented workers being deported and families being torn apart, I see this image in a different light now.

See if it wasn’t for my grandfather having the courage to come to America with no security or even a plan on surviving, my life would have been incredibly different. I most likely wouldn’t be alive. This image shows my roots, my history and the backbone of why I live the life I have now. That you can take nothing and turn it into something. Which leads to the ah-ha moment:

Every single photo that you take is important – period.

The good, the bad, the “work in progress”, all of them are vital to our world. Your work is not only a reflection of time but it is a reflection of you. Your photos document a moment that you can revisit and relive: how awesome is that? So whenever you look at your work and think “Oh this sucks” remember that even though you think it’s not up-to-par, it’s important. Respect it, cherish it and know that even if no one ever sees that image – you have that memory to revisit for as long as you want.

So do you think your images are important? How do you view your work? Leave a comment below and let me know why you think your work matters and is important.

As always sending my love,


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