Part of the charm of each person is getting to know their quirks and different perspectives. And then sometimes you find they have ideas and habits that do not add anything to their story. My life had a particularly annoying pattern. I had avoided being in photographs as much as possible since I was a little child. A trait I never outgrew. Whenever friends and family took pictures, I was always in the back half hidden behind someone or something. In pictures taken at the table I was the one looking down at my plate. There are pictures of my two babies but not their mother.
As my daughters grew up and started noticing things they asked me why there were so few pictures of me. The only answer I had was that I didn’t like to be in pictures. Years went on, and friends and family celebrations and gatherings.
Fast forward to a few years ago. When scrapbooking became the rage among all my friends and family we all started going through the boxes of photos my brother, sister, in laws and friends had taken. I did fabulous albums for everyone that showed the fun and caring they all had for each other. I had been there, but no one would have any way to know it.
Our oldest daughter decided to change careers a few years ago and follow her heart and become a photographer. She was always loving to see the pictures everyone took and wanted to try it out. Being one who loved to learn she became a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography in Manhattan, and took as many online courses from the great photographers as were available. Doors started opening and because she is so open to others started being invited to seminars and photo shoots with the legends in the field. During this she opened her studio, Harmony Photography. Her artistic eye was recognized and her list of clients grew, awards started coming in locally and internationally. Yes, I had a daughter who had recognition and credentials as a photographer.
So again the question came up, Mom, why don’t we have pictures of you? This time it was with the additional information that there was no record of who I was. My future generations might hear my name but I would not be a part of the visual story of a family that had laughed, cried, had fun, worked hard, stayed together and been close. My DNA that will run through their veins will not show the story of the woman who had strength and courage, loved completely, broke glass ceilings, played with her daughters, loved her husband, had faith and thought the sun and the moon are there in the sky because of her grandchildren and now great grandkids. Talk about a wakeup call.
So this year I made an appointment with my favorite photographer. We had the best afternoon at her studio. There she captured the woman that I was afraid had been long gone. People had not been flattering me when they told me I had a wonderful smile, that my eyes laugh or I have pretty skin. My daughter saw something in me I have never seen in the mirror. As she caught me as myself in various angles I found myself. I found myself looking like the woman I feel inside. Warm, loving, fun, confident, and kind. The woman I didn’t know shows through on the outside. So it has taken me a lifetime to realize I am the woman I want to be.
All with the click of a camera!