I became a photographer for a lot of reasons but the number one reason is because it is important. Our memories are defined by images. As we get older it is hard to separate what is real from what we saw in a photograph. Most of us only recall special times and details when someone else can prompt us, lead the story along and help us form the story in our minds. We all hope for a friend or a parent that can do that and keep our history alive.
My Mom was the one who knew everything about us and helped us remember our stories. In many ways, she knew each of her kids better than herself. In September of 2006 I lost my Mom to breast cancer. I had moved home after traveling for a few months and the forces just seemed to align so that I could live with my parents during her fight. She battled with grace for nine months only to have it take over her body as brain, lymph, and skin cancer. Losing her well maintained “hair do” did not bother her nearly as much as losing her love of food (one way I knew we were related!). My mom lost almost 90 pounds over nine months and we all struggled.
In what would be my Mom’s final weeks, my sister Amy was wrapping up details for her September 2006 wedding. It was a really busy time that seemed to be a positive distraction that my mom could focus ON day and night. My brother in law (now) suggested a ceremony at the hospital just in case she did not make it, though he said it more elegantly because the rest of us were to deep into her recovery process. We went ahead with it on a day’s notice. The nurses decorated the visiting area with rose petals from other patients and the aisle was created with a bed sheet. It was an emotional day that would turn out to be very important. Because of a seizure brought about by the brain cancer, my mom spent the last six weeks of her life in hospital and nursing home facilities. She did not make it to the big and expensive wedding she had spent a year planning. Guests visited her in her nursing home facility and she was clearly worn but happy to see everyone. My mom was a social butterfly who loved friends and family deeply.
There are many stories to tell. The only sad part is that she is gone, I really had one of those very special Moms. I was really lucky. I knew it then, and I know it more every year.
The truth is I do not have many great photographs of my mom alone OR with just the two of us. I crave them. I am the youngest of four and I imagine that if we were to hire a professional photographer it was to get a family portrait with the six of us. It did not occur to my parents, or the photographer, to take individual shots with each of us with our mom and dad. Even in casual shots were hard to come by and film was expensive. Of course when Mom was diagnosed with cancer we did not think she would die. Had we known, things might have been different. When someone is sick you do not focus on memorializing them. When they are alive it is not in your consciousness.
This is where you come in. Professional Photography is important. I do the mini shoots because I want you to have what I do not. Come to these shoots ready to be in a bunch of shots. I will do my best to take images you treasure. I give you everything I take and let you decide what is meaningful.
Mothers Day weekend is a special weekend of photography. I am in Niwot on Mothers Day because that is where I am from. I hope to see you there.