well, hello there!

“a camera!” i told them.

my birthday is not too far from christmas, so when my parents asked what i wanted, the answer just rolled off my tongue without thought.  i was almost nine months pregnant with my first baby and lived several states and a nine hour drive from them and i knew pictures would help my parents  feel close to my soon-to-be son. 

i also knew that i would want to document this life.

it was an olympus point-and-shoot with a long zoom, just what i asked for.

i took nearly a roll of film each week, and sent doubles as soon as the pictures were developed. i stored my copies in black leather 8×8 albums i purchased at walmart. slip sleeves, archival quality, stored as soon as those pictures were in hand.

at first, my husband was a little concerned. we were students and didn’t have the money and this habit was costing us more than we could afford.

then my son was three, his brother two, and he and i sat on the couch as they slept, flipping through these albums. reminiscing, touching, feeling. and he smiled and said, i’m so glad you took all these pictures. we hardly recognized the babies in the images as our toddlers dreamed of bigger things, like trains and dinosaurs.

and so i understood the value of photographs.

they preserved our babies, moments in time, as they really were, undistorted by memories of a mama’s heart.

***

he left when they were 4 years, 3 years, and 6 months old.

he flew away in a big plane with lots of other men bent on defending, protecting, keeping. and he would be gone for 7 long months. first {and 5th, and 4th} birthdays, first steps, first words, first halloween, thanksgiving, and christmas, change of the millennium, and valentine’s day, too. he would miss moments in the sand, on the field, in the pool, at the table {sometimes under the table}, and especially story time before sleep. he would miss sleepy faces, bad haircuts given by brothers, magic markers on the walls, a new daughter in her mama’s shoes. a new kitten who found us. the every day and the special occasions.

and i sent him a box every week for 7 months with photographs and children’s art.

and so i understood the importance of photographs.

they kept him connected to us.

***

and when the doubles were too many, or were of children other than my own {moments i couldn’t resist capturing}, i started handing them out on the field to other parents, and they showered me with gratitude. their child preserved, their memories captured, their moments documented.

and i understood that this is universal.

that photographs are powerful.

loved.

that through photography, i could connect, document, remember, touch. share. give.

love.

***

i believe it’s moments we live, not things we have, that make us rich.

i believe we are all the same, just molded differently by life.

i believe in hope. and goodness. and grace.

i believe that when we give, we actually receive.

i believe that all people, every.single.one. , are beautiful.

and i also believe

that girls don’t believe their own power

that mothers don’t invest enough in themselves

and that your kids want you in the picture

don’t be shy.

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i am a natural light photographer who strives to capture    w h o  y o u   a r e ,    not just what you look like.  i shoot on location and am willing to travel. please feel free to contact me with questions – i would love to visit with you.

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  • Southern Gal - I just love the slide show. I avoid being in front of the camera. I’d rather be behind it. But I do know my kids love the photos of me with them. Beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne - Loved your story….
    Loved the slide show…..

    I would absolutely treasure
    a photo like these with either
    of my kids, but probably more
    with my son who doesn’t let
    me hug him as much as I used
    to….

    You are going to soar, girlie!!!

    Beautiful site. Beautiful soul.

    xo SuzanneReplyCancel

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