Some time ago, my daughter gave me a copy of Bender and Chernack’s Awkward Family Photos. Typically, readers find the images funny but all too familiar. I consider it a cautionary tale.
Let’s face it. There is plenty of awkwardness in any catalog of family snapshots. However embarrassing they may be, they document our family history and the trends of our times. We may cringe, but our stories are incomplete without them.
My favorite portraits are Casual Portraits in natural light, the subjects candid and relaxed. My goal: a genuine glimpse into the personality of the subject that we’re both proud to display.
In the Winter of 2012, I embarked on one of the most enjoyable journeys a mother can take. I had the privilege of helping my daughter put together her wedding. Once she found her dress, visualizing a theme became easy. She chose “Effortless Elegance” and each detail reflected that theme–and involved making a choice. We spent weeks sifting through ideas, vendors, resources, and of course, finances. Even a modestly priced wedding is likely to cause sticker shock.
It is true that after the cake is gone, the flowers dry out, and the dress is packed away, the only tangible evidence of the wedding day memories are in the photographs. But a budget is a budget and this Reasonable Family Photographer has to eat—and pay the caterer. So, we selected a capable young photographer who was willing to meet our needs and who agreed to sell the CD of the proof images so that I could build the albums. To save a bit more money, I shot the bridal portraits a few days before the wedding. The bride, no stranger to mom’s lens, was a beautiful model—if I do say so myself. Here are a few of the images from that shoot.
I think of the bond between mothers and daughters and the old expression comes to mind: A son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter’s a daughter all of her life.
We look into our baby daughter’s eyes and see ourselves–only better. Full of promise; free of worry.
Our daughters unlock the mystery of our mothers. Once upon a time, there was a teen-aged us who swore we’d “never be like HER.” Then, when we least expect it, we hear our mother’s voice coming out of our mouth!
Once elevated to the realm of grandmother, nothing compares to the simple joy of observing a daughter with her child.
Some 80 years ago, someone looked into a daughter’s deep brown eyes and was filled with wonder. Today, that baby is a great-grandmother. It was a privilege to capture these moments with Great-grandma Rose, her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter–and namesake, Matilda Rose.