"There is NO way I would be photographed on my own, I have no need for them at all," she said to me when I asked if she would like to be photographed on her own before we met her family. She wasn't being rude, she just didn't understand the power of a portrait.
The thing is, it's fantastic she is being photographed with her children. This is their first family portrait ever (I won't tell you how old the kids are but let's say they are definitely adults). That was my dream, to get people into photographs full stop.
But the further I get in, the more my dream changes. Not only do I want that but I also want people to be affected, by their own awesomeness. I want people to come face to face with themselves in a still moment and be struck by their own incredibleness. I want them to see themselves as perfect, whole and complete, right now, exactly as they are, where they are. Without the weight loss, or the clothes, or someone else's validation.
I know what it feels like when someone you love with every fibre of your being is suddenly gone. I know what it's like to have no opportunity to go back and take the photographs and make the memories. Tell me, what have you created for those who love you? Maybe sometimes when we create photographs it's not actually about us or for us. Maybe it's for everyone else who couldn't imagine a world without us. So if you wouldn't do it for yourself, create something for them.
Photo by Tracey Leanne Photography