Life Before Your Eyes

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El Rostro fotogrfico del fin de la vida

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  • PictoryYour best photo stories.

    Intro

    Use left/right arrow keys to navigate through photos

    Life Before Your EyesPictory members share their deepest, brightest, darkest, and most meaningful photos.

    You cant begin to tell the story behind your most meaningful image without putting your innermost feelings on display for the world to see. Rob Gardiner, whowrote the third photo story in this series, put it perfectly. I am grateful for and unspeakably moved by the submissions to this theme. Many contributors expressed acatharsis in writing them. Tears fell; buried memories, the contraband of the heart and mind, resurfaced. This ties in perfectly with one of my major goals forPictory, to encourage art therapy for anyone. To help everyone from occasional viewers to regular submitters reflect on their own experiences with newclarity.

    Someone once asked me what the two-percent moments of my life were. The rare moments that would make it into a movie biography, or flash before my eyesas I pass. Not the mundane hours that would end up on the proverbial cutting room floor, but the few glowing or tragic memories that I won't and can't forget. Ididn't have a very good answer. I got stuck trying to count my modest successes instead of remembering the events that mattered. I wish you luck in rememberingyour most significant moments while viewing these relatable stories of unfamiliar faces.

    January 6, 2010 Intro by Laura Brunow Miner Guest design by Ryan Sims Editing assistance from Kate Lorenz

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  • Funny Face

    My grandmother had always been the one to show us kids love and affection, while my quiet (and slightly grumpy) grandfather preferred to sit in his chair andkeep to himself. We knew all along that he loved us, but it just wasnt in his nature to express his feelings. When he lost my grandmother, his wife of 70 years, westarted to notice a softer side. Hes still grumpy at times but now when we say goodbye we can see that hes sad we are going, while before he would havesilently stayed in his chair. A week ago he even told me that he loved me.

    Photographer: Magera Holton

    I am a designer based in San Francisco, but Austin will always be home.

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  • He Remembers You

    I took the long trip to see my ailing grandfather to try to get an image that would describe him, and the unnameable something he passed on to my father and me.Rumor had it that his mind and body were slipping, so I had planned to take a striking photo of a man who no longer recognized me. Instead I was given the gift ofrecognition. There he was, his old mischief, his sunken wisdom. Whats more, I saw my own father know that for the first time in more than a year, he wasremembered by his father. It was a momentary thing. Me watching my father, my father watching his, and his father sharing a stare with his son and the oldOlympus lens that makes the fleeting permanent.

    Photographer: Robert Josiah Bingaman

    Robert is an artist living in Kansas City, America.

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  • Lost Time

    You cant begin to tell the story behind your most meaningful image without putting your innermost feelings on display for the world to see. Even as I write, I havenot yet decided if anyone will ever see this. Grief is a lonely emotion. After my mother lost her battle with cancer at 42 years of age, my father seemed to findsome measure of comfort in alcohol. He did his best to keep life moving forward for his children, but as his oldest son, I had more weight on my shoulders than Icould handle. Or maybe I never dealt with my own loss. Either way, things turned nasty one night and I hurt him both physically and mentally. Eight years went bybefore we saw each other again. Weve never discussed that night, and I dont think we ever will, but weve been able to rebuild our relationship even so. My littleboy arrived in March this year and whenever my father is back in Ireland we use his grandchild as an excuse to get together. My dad was taken into the hospitalyesterday, and I thought of my regret for the night we fought, the eight lost years, and all the things that have gone unsaid. This may not be my best photograph(and I pray it is not the last I take of Dad), but I am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to take it.

    This image was taken with a Canon EOS 40D.

    Photographer: Rob Gardiner

    I am a freelance aerospace engineer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland but currently working in the Isle of Man. I have enjoyed photography for several years andhope to continue to do so in the future.

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  • Path Retraced

    My husband Raven introduced me to Linda shortly before her death. It was the first time in about 18 years that he and his estranged mother had seen one another.Two months later, Linda died peacefully in her sleep from a heart condition that she had hidden even from her five siblings. I took this photo while Raven sat in hismothers apartment, alone for the first time since her death. Her funeral reunited Raven with the rest of his estranged family the most normal and most genuinegroup I have ever known and they took him back with open arms.

    Photographer: Mona T. Brooks

    I am a documentary photographer in San Francisco with what might be the biggest laugh in the whole wide world. I feed off being around people and have a storyto tell about every image I have taken. Dont take me too seriously because I dont.

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  • Lucky Seventh

    Decades ago, my parents secured emigration to America for the family and then I was born. The seventh child, the mistake. My parents were faced with adifficult decision: take this rare opportunity to leave for America and in doing so, leave me to be raised by relatives; or redo the paperwork and risk things notworking out. My father decided that we would stay together as a complete family, and we made the move, eventually settling in San Francisco. In December 2003,my brother and I returned to our birthplace (just south of Saigon, Vietnam) for the first time. This scene of him with our relatives reflects our return andreconnection with the land and people wed heard so much about but it also speaks to what could have been. Had things been different, this photo would haverepresented a brothers return across distance, culture, and the passing of 20 years to meet his sister, the seventh child, the one who was left behind.

    This image was taken with a Canon PowerShot S400.

    Photographer: Ngoc Du

    I live in San Francisco, where I take photos and dream of the next travel adventure.

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  • Portrait of a Youth

    By the time my sister was in grade school, I had already left for college. Our 14 year age difference meant we were never as close as I would have liked. But thisphoto taken one summer break when we stumbled upon a stash of old prom dresses in the basement reminds me that while I may have missed most of herchildhood, I was there for that afternoon. I recently showed this picture to my sister on her sixteenth birthday and was overjoyed to hear her say, I rememberthat day!

    Photographer: Jeni Pulliam

    I am a teacher by day and artist at heart located in the Midwest.

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    Dear @Pictory:

    Life Before Your Eyes - Twenty-six intimate tales of growing up and gr... http://www.pictorymag.com/showcases/life-before-your-eyes/

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  • It may be silly, but the day I realised I could buy any soda I wanted was a very exciting day for me (as a new adult).

    @tyskkvinna

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    Different and Normal

    I had taken hundreds of pictures of my son Ulysses, but in every one I hid something about him. I couldnt stand to document the thing on his belly that showed hewas not normal. Since he suffered from Costello syndrome, a very rare genetic disorder, he needed this gastrostomy button to survive. I hadnt planned to takethis photo and it surprised me. It didnt hurt like I had thought it would I saw just my son as he was: a beautiful, funny, little man very interested in life aroundhim, just like any other child his age. Different and normal at the same time.

    Photographer: Anahita Avalos

    Anahita lives in Villahermosa, Mexico.

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  • Personal Victory

    Our youngest son crashed into our lives with a bang and unexpected medical issues. Some didnt think hed make it. Getting him home meant plenty of tubes(and bells and whistles) and round-the-clock care. This portrait was taken the day he learned to sit up unaided. He was so proud of himself, but dared not show toomuch excitemen