This blog is for every woman who says that portraits will come after they lose that 10lbs, after they can afford them, or what ever numerous excuse we give. I just read a heartfelt post from another photographer in a group forum and found myself near tears. Because, until just recently, I was her. As a mom, we help build memories for our kids. Now, you dad photographers out there, I'm not saying you may not have some of these same feelings. But for us ladies, we hate one ourselves a lot more than we should. But that's not what this post is about. No. It's about embracing ourselves for the sake of memories.
December 2013 I came to face a reality that most people don't live for another 20 and 30 years. The loss of my mother made me find that I had no images of us together outside of 2 blurry ones that we asked random strangers to take. Why did we never stop and take portraits before her cancer claimed her? Excuses from both of us being too self-conscious of our looks. Excuses of money, knowing we could have made the means of affording pictures. In the end, those 2 blurry photos in last 3 since my return home, where all I had of she and I that wasn't from my childhood. I had next to nothing recent of me and my mother. Sure, there were images galore of her and my daughter and other family members. Because I took them. But for the two of us, I was left alone in knowing we'd both never made that effort.
This isn't the first time I've come across this. In fact, I've little to no images of me and my grandmother, great aunt, sister and one of my best friends who all passed shortly after my move back to Alabama in early 2009. Since then, I've made it my mission to do at least selfies with the people I love. They may not be glorious pictures from a talented professional. But I will have those memories. And recently, thanks to a local colleague, I was able to get shots of me and my daughter. Something we'd not done since she was about a year old. I will treasure these immensely. And I will find a time to have more images of she and I together. Just as I will with images of my husband and I. For there may not be a tomorrow for one of us. And if we cannot showcase ourselves in those memories, than we have a chance of being forgotten. Our actions and love won't be forgotten. But our face will. And that's a deeper hurt than words can ever express.
So ladies. And gents. Spend that little bit of money and get some portraits. Don't say you'll do it later. Because the people who you take those images for, are not caring about those 10lbs you hate. They aren't worried about how many wrinkles are by your eyes and mouth. They love you for the person you are, not always on how you look. I dare everyone who reads this to book a photographer in the next year for portraits with your significant other, your kid(s), your parents. Even just of yourself. Don't be a forgotten memory from behind the camera. Be the memory with images of your life before it.