My Christmas Portraits of the kids
getting four reluctant kids
clean and dressed
at the same time
on their day off from school!
so I was met with minimal complaints.
We set the studio up
shot for about 45 minutes.
Not too painful.
I was thinking of family portraits
of Christmas past.
events, but instead from reliving it through photos.
When I was very young, we lived in Maryland
with both sets of grandparents and
lots of family close by.
Holidays were big events
with all of us in attendance.
I've leafed through lots of family photo albums
full of the kind of photos you see on
nostalgic and hilarious
greeting cards now-a days.
I recall looking at photos of each
cluster of my immediate and extended family
gathered awkwardly around
a Christmas tree that was sparkling with way too much
Huge colored lights glowed from the branches
creating strange hues on the faces
of the people in the photos.
Of course we all had red eyes and silly
out of focus grins in every shot.
I remember seeing myself as just a toddler
all dressed up in a fancy Christmas dress,
my eyes glowing red from the flash
and sitting on my grandfather's knee with my cousins
in one of the photos.
Even if the photos were blurry and the
lighting all wrong,
those memories are precious.
Grandpa is gone now
and Grandma joined him this year.
How sad it would be for those memories
to fade away through the generations.
I'm so thankful that someone was
there with a camera in the room
during those holiday gatherings.
And so, it is for this reason
that I torture my kids
as often as I can
by pointing my lens at their ever changing faces.
Family gatherings aren't the same for my kids
as they were for me growing up.
For almost 17 years,
the Navy has taken us on our own adventure
and when we have gatherings with family,
it is usually the only time we are seeing them
that year or in several years.
It is hard to be so far away from those we love
not just during the holidays,
but every single day of the year.
So much life happens between visits.
That is another reason why I am not shy
about having my camera with me every where I go.
It mortifies my kids sometimes
when I choose to pull it out in public,
but there are people that love them
who are thousands of miles away.
And those people need to see
glimpses of our everyday life
so that we can stay connected.
And to me, that's what my photography is.
Telling the story of our lives frame by frame.
can feel like they had a little part
in seeing my kids grow up
and so that someday,
my kids will be able to pull out a photo book
and share their lives with their own kids
who will probably roll their eyes and fein boredom,
but that's OK.
It will mean something to my kids.