This is a bitter-sweet time of year for me. I have always loved September… even though it signifies the end of summer, I love the crisp air and the warmer, golden glow of a low sun. Even at 43 I still l have that “new school term feeling”… a fresh start.
But September also brings a tinge of sadness now. 7 years ago my mum phoned me… She asked me if I was at work, she wanted to make sure I was not with a client. I said “No I’m at home. Why? What’s up are you ok you sound like you’ve got a sore throat”. She said, “darling my cancer has come back”. 6 weeks later my world was turned up side down and she was gone. Today is her birthday and she would have been 65.
I’m telling you this because I want YOU to get in front of a camera, even if its a selfie on your own camera phone. Take photos of yourself for your kids and loved ones if for no other reason.. though there is good reason to take them for you too. As some of you will know, when you lose a parent or anybody that you love, you don’t give a damn what they look like, or how many wrinkles they have or if they’ve put on a few pounds. You are loved for being you, not what you look like.
If you need encouragement to take a selfie, I have a private Facebook group where you will be invited to post a selfie every week for a year and say somethig postive about yourself at the same time… I am already seeing a change in some of the ladies and the language they use about themselves. Its beautiful to witness. I’m in it too, being a photographer doesn’t mnake me any less susceptible to cringing when I see photos of myself. If you’d like to join us email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the link.
This is my mum. It was just a quick snapshot when she was with her grandchildren. She was funny, warm hearted, always putting others first and when I was a self concious teenager she loved embarrasing me by dancing with an umbrella behind the jazz band that followed our annual town carnival. She didn’t care what people thought of her and I admire her for that. She loved the blues and played me Otis Reading and Motown records when I was 15 (I think she was worried about my taste in 80s pop bands at the time!) I have fond memories in my head but I didn’t take enough photos of her and I have hardly any photos where its just the two of us together.
Don’t make the same mistake. I know how much most of you don’t like photos of yourselves but come on, be proud of who you are and please make sure you exist in your family photos so it doesn’t look like Dad is a one parent family.
My mum died before I changed the direction of my photography, moved away from wedding photography to focus on boudoir and makeover portraits for women. I know that she would have approved of what I do now. She was always kind and supportive to other women. So… I guess I wanted to show her off to you here because its her birthday, I’m proud of her and will always love her deeply.
I can’t give my mum the makeover photoshoot experience at my studio as much as I dearly wish I could. But I can for YOU and that would be a huge honour.