I’ve been photographing my daughter for over ten years. It sounds silly to say, “We know each other well,” but essentially that’s true. She’s a lot like I was as a child, but maybe times ten. We both love(d) to sing and dance, to perform for anyone willing to watch. She’s so comfortable in her own skin, and so was I. She’s been performing after dinner for us since she was quite honestly sitting in her high chair. Before she could even talk, she would “sing” and laugh, and sometimes bang on her tray. The performances aren’t nightly anymore, but it’s not uncommon for her to bring down her karaoke machine, wearing a fancier than necessary dress for dining in and announce by first clearing her throat, “Ahem, there will be a performance in approximately 10 minutes.” She’s a character. I love her confidence.
She’s one of my favorite people to photograph. Obviously I love her, but I also think she’s pretty amazing in the way that she communicates with the camera. My hope for her is that she’ll hold onto that confidence and sass (albeit annoying at times). She’s capable of great things. I just know it.
She used to go on photo adventures with me; we’d hop in the car with no particular destination in mind and drive to the nearest interesting spot. It may have been on the side of the road or beside a local business just because the mimosa trees next to their parking lot were in full bloom. It’s gotten a little harder to talk her into impulsively jumping in the car to create photos, but she still humors me from time to time.
Sometimes, I’ll just grab my camera and ask to take a few photos, and she might really be into the idea. Her energy is infectious! I’ve learned to just observe and photograph because she’ll take care of the rest. Not much instruction is needed.
Photographs freeze time and serve as record keepers. It may not seem like anything terribly significant you’re preserving, but think again. Each day is important. Each gaze. Each playful face.
I want to remember her just like this. Every day raising children is an adventure. And she gives us a lot to laugh about.
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