Beach Volleyball

On one afternoon over Christmas break, my mom, my two older sisters, and I set up a volleyball net on the sand by our family’s beach house and decided to play a game of two-on-two beach volleyball. As we started to play, my oldest sister called up to my dad, who was watching our game from the deck above, “Dad, go get the camera – we need pictures of this!” Following orders, my dad disappeared into the house and re-emerged a couple of minutes later, camera in hand, in order to document the family beach fun we were having. Knowing his three daughters can be a bit choosy when it comes to selecting pictures, he took about fifty shots throughout our game in order to allow us to pick out our favorite pictures of the event and later cherish those moments of excitement and laughter, as if capturing the experience makes it more real than merely living it out. It is interesting to consider why it is that we have such an urge to photograph such simplistic events such as playing a casual game of volleyball on the beach. According to Sontag, “photography came along to memorialize, to restate symbolically, the imperiled continuity and vanishing extendedness of family life.” For my family, this statement clearly rings true as we use photography to capture experiences we hope to memorialize and provide evidence for the fun, family moments we share.

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