On Monday, I got to say farewell to my Auntie Candi who passed away in her sleep at the beginning of December. She has gone home to the Lord and will be reunited with my Uncle Paul, her husband.
I arrived at the memorial service with my camera, not thinking about shooting any video but maybe taking a few shots here and there to send to my mom who is currently in the Philippines. She was close to my auntie and I know how much she would have wanted to be here to say her goodbyes. As I looked around, I realized that no one had a video camera. Well as an event filmmaker, I thought recording the speeches and our final moments with Auntie would better serve those who could not attend. This is one of the advantages of having the Canon 5D MkII camera which shoots beautiful HD footage as well as photos. Switching between the two can be done at a moments notice. I’m glad that I changed my mind because her grandchildren gave some of the most heartfelt tributes that I have heard at a memorial service.
My auntie was much loved, was so central to our family, and will be dearly missed. It was difficult to shoot and to hold back tears and emotion. However, capturing these moments in full motion video with sound, reminded me of how important it is to record these events and why I do what I do. I recently saw a picture of my grandfather holding a super 8 film camera. He recorded events like I do today. Not professionally, but it seemed like he always had it with him. In my closet, there’s a box full of film reels that he shot that I have not seen yet. But because he captured things with his camera, I will be able to see his life through his eyes. I barely knew him since he passed away when I was only 6. But in a way, I think I do know him well. He understood the importance of documenting the most special events in life: children, marriage, and even the passing of our loved ones. I’m glad that part of him is part of me. I guess it’s in my blood.
My grandfather, Prax Candari, and his Super 8 camera on top the Empire State Building.
To all reading this, take the time this Christmas, to be with those you love. That is the best gift you can give. Thank you Auntie for bringing the family together to celebrate your life and the love you shared with all of us. We will miss you.