My life probably looks a lot like yours- the hubs and I fell in love and got married as dreaming twenty-one year olds, and, in a way, have grown up together over the years. It's not been a perfect journey, but the valleys have made the peaks that much more worthwhile. Days with our five littles, Ellie, Tristan, Judah, Lucy and Rosie are equally loud as joyous as exhausting as exhilarating as humorous as humbling.
Photography has always been a love. But in young motherhood, it became more. In the long lonely days of tedious care taking, it became my teacher, guiding my eyes to light. And now, as my children’s limbs extend taller each time they come tumbling down the steps each morning, their minds growing brighter and hearts deeper each time I kiss them in their beds goodnight, I’m learning the images I’ve made over the years are not just for me anymore, but them. These photographs I make will be and, in many ways, have already become, fixed footholds of their memories, shaping the way they remember how I’ve loved them each day along the way.
My grandmother has watched me develop in the craft of photography over these years.
It was only a short time after the husband she had adored since she was a child, my beloved grandfather who we so affectionately called, "Pop", had just passed and the most precious thing he had left behind was a book he had filled with stories and fond memories of a life lived well. The moments he included in each chapter were simple- stories of neighbors and children and coworkers and his beloved wife and while some may pass it over for grander pieces of literature, its pages are filled with my history. Our family pours over the stories now with laughter and tears, heartache and gratitude, one of the greatest heirlooms we could receive.
And so, when my grandmother watched the way I studied little hands, wrinkled faces, twinkling light and shifting shadows alike, watched my eyes so eagerly capturing tangibly what my heart wanted to hold forever, she smiled and nodded and blessed me with the words I hadn’t ever been able to formulate. Photographs are not just pictures to me. See, just like my grandfather's treasured stories are now forever for his children and their children and my children and theirs to come, tangible immortalizations of his love and legacy, she was the one who set my mission and told me- with my camera as my pen, I was the documenter, the journalist, I was a family historian.
See, I photograph first miracle moments earth side and the wonder and innocence of childhood. I photograph the moments lovers choose each other for a lifetime in celebrations of beauty. I make art of the blossom of new seasons and new chapters of life. I photograph the daily and make films of the ordinary, overflowing with an inspired heart when others ask me to join them in their togetherness. And when some ask me, what my specialty is? I tell them, I like to think of my speciality as simply gratitude exhaled as authenticity.
Life is a gift, not guaranteed or secured, each moment is fleeting. Some say time is a thief, but we can choose instead to make it our alchemist, turning everything we touch into gold as we cherish those around us, creating life and healing hearts with our warmth. And my hope is that my photographs are the words to this sort of story, carrying this sort of legacy for generations to come.