Today is Why I Do What I Do | In Memory of My Father| Vanessa Hicks Photography - Vanessa Hicks Photography

Today is Why I Do What I Do | In Memory of My Father| Vanessa Hicks Photography

Aloha Hawai'i!

Every year, for the past 11 years, I hate this day.

11 years ago, I watched my father take his last breath. Was he sick and dying? No. He went in the hospital with a broken leg and never came out. I was 19 years old. In the Navy, deployed,  when I received the Red Cross message.

I didn’t make it back in time to see him awake and conscience, he was already comatose.

Now, I didn’t grow up with the greatest childhood. Drugs, alcohol, abuse, poverty were a normal way of life. My father and I didn’t even have the greatest relationship until the end.

How does the affect my business and love for photography?

Well, it affects it everyday because of my passion for it. You see, because of that type of household I grew up in, capturing memories, taking pictures, documenting life, well, we didn’t do that. We were not that type of family. And really, there were not a lot of memories to capture.

But, then my dad died. And, it was then, at 19, I realized a few things.

I only had a handful of pictures of my father.

Tomorrow is not promised to anybody.

11 years later, I don’t really remember what his voice sounded like anymore. I don’t have any videos to look back on. No messages to replay.

And I have a handful of pictures.

Whenever I look at the last pictures, I remember vividly where we where and what we were.

This translates to what I do because I am constantly preaching how important capturing your memories TODAY are. Your memories WILL fade. Pictures act like music in my opinion, they can bring you right back to that moment in time. I am so invested in capturing others memories because I know what its like to not have any. This is why I love what I do! This is also why I always say to PRINT your photos as well. If you were to ever lose them, then they are gone!

As a photographer, I constantly hear all the ‘excuses’ why one doesn’t capture their memories.

“I can’t afford it.”

“I don’t like the way I look in pictures.”

“My kids are too young.”

The list goes on and on. Let me tell you something. Your legacy is worth it. Your memories are worth it. Your children, family, will be so grateful for your pictures when you job here is done.

I just wanted you all to know where my passion comes from. Why I love what I do! 

I’ll never get my dad back. But, these few pictures that I have of him I will cherish forever, because it is all that I have of him.

What would you think of me now,
so lucky, so strong, so proud?
I never said thank you for that,
now I’ll never have a chance.

-Jimmy Eat World- May Angels Lead You In.

  1. Jamil says:

    This post is really inspirational, thank you for sharing!

    • Vanessa Hicks says:

      Thank you for reading it! <3 Vanessa

  2. Jenn McClure says:

    I love this post. It is a perfect explanation about why photography is important, even a personal one. Mind if I paraphrase this in an upcoming blog post of my own about why I think photography is important?


  3. Treena says:

    Very sweet Vanessa. I lost my daddy too, not as young as you buy the pain is still the same. And I love taking pictures as well not of me of course, I’m one of those that will say "I don’t look good in pictures!" But I do know the importance of them. I LOVE looking back at old photos, bring such memories to mind. So continue to do what it is that you do! Be blessed!

  4. De'Onna Jack says:

    Awesome post and we definitely share the same mentality regarding photography and why it is important. Keep up the great work.

  5. Virginia Mallady says:

    Oh, Vanessa, I love your photography already. Now, I love it even more, after you shared your from your heart about your father! I suddenly had a thought occur to me that if you could get the word out to everyone in your hometown, maybe other people have photos of your father? I am sure you have thought of it, but I just had to share it because it was a very strong urge for me to tell you. God bless you and your beautiful photography. I am just an old lady, but my eyes still work. 🙂

  6. Tiffany says:

    Beautiful tribute and such strong emotions of what your passion is!

  7. <3 my heart goes out to you girl. it can be so hard to lose those we love. Praying for your today.

  8. Susan beth says:

    Sorry you don’t have your father here now to create new memories, but I love how you honor his memory everyday by documenting things with photography.

  9. Tashena Shaw says:

    I admire how you openly share your thoughts about you Daddy. Thank you for that! I love seeing old photos… It shows where we come from with a whole other side to the story. <3

  10. Susan Rudd says:

    Such a beautiful tribute. I have had a similar experience after the suicide of my youngest brother. Scottie decided life was too painful to go on at the tender age of 23. I, too, realized how few pics I had of him and decided from that point on I would always take pictures. I got into it so much I started getting requests from friends and family for portraits, and was building quite a business, but I became disabled and had to give it all up. However, I do still document our family gatherings and day-to-day shots of different family members. I am very thankful my sister became interested in photography at a very young age, so she has plenty of pics of my baby brother of which I have borrowed some of my faves, scanned, and printed them. You have an amazing talent. Keep up the great work!~

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