Learning to appreciate the power of photos

Published 8:49 am Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I’m sure most of you have heard the famous phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Usually when I hear that phrase I nod and smile, but a couple of nights ago I was watching videos with my friend Sarah from this past year and it hit me. I understand now.

When I got home I went to my room, looked at some of the pictures I have scattered on my wall and started thinking about what each of them holds for me. Each picture has a story, a distinct memory in my mind that nobody else may see when looking at them. Seven pictures stood out to me and I would like to share them with you.

Someone may look at my picture and see a team of girls with medals around their necks with gigantic smiles on their faces, but I see more. I see my soccer family. I see every win and every loss. I hear the laughing, the crying, and the chanting. We made girl’s soccer history in Albert Lea. We are champions.

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Someone may look at another picture of mine and see a group of people in grungy clothes with dirty hands. I see the tasks accomplished by 28 people through God. I see the hands lent to rebuild the lives of Hurricane Katrina victims in Mississippi. I feel compassion; the desire to help others in need. I hear each story and each “thank you.” My life was changed because I listened to others.

Someone may glance at another picture on my wall and see two people dressed in fancy attire, but I see one of the greatest times of my junior year. I see one of my best friends. I see the steps it took to get to my junior prom: setting appointments, buying a dress and all the rest. I hear the music at the dance and the laughing of my friends. It was my night as a princess.

On the same wall someone may see a picture of a group of girls smiling, but I see my sisters. I see the good times and the bad times. In less than a year I will always have the four of them with me in my heart every day.

Looking at another picture on my wall someone may see a picture of two parents and their daughter, but I see my biggest support system. I hear every “I love you” and every “Go, Ashley, you can do it!” I see them on the sidelines of my soccer games and in the audience of my band concerts. I see the greatest parents in the world who love me for me.

In my last picture someone may look at it and see far too many people squeezed onto one lunch table, but I see a group of my best friends. They’re my friends who’ll be there to celebrate my senior year with me and who’ll graduate with me. The friends I will never forget.

Pictures are so much more than what they seem; they’re moments frozen in time. Each picture has a story, whether it’d be yours or mine.

Ashley Stewart is an intern for the Albert Lea Tribune this summer. She will be a senior this fall at the Albert Lea High School.