When I was a kid - 5 or 6 years old - I remember bringing home this math test. The red ink said “95, A+, great work” My mom took a quick look and said “where are the other 5 points?”
So, you can see why I might be a bit of a perfectionist about my work these days. And why my relationship with my mom might not be the best friends type.
I’ve photographed moms and daughters, and thought about how lovely to have such a besties kind of relationship with your mom. It’s definitely not the relationship I ever had, or have, with my mom. Ours is one that requires strong boundaries on my part. Obviously I love my mom, and if she needs me I’m there.
I don’t know what came over me this summer when I had my mom come into the studio for portraits. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done though. For one, it gave us something to do together, to talk about. Beforehand - what to wear, to bring, what to expect. And since… in the way you talk about any shared experience. She loved having her hair and makeup done, she loved the goofiness of the posing and the closeness. In any portrait session, funny things happen and there's lots of laughter. It was fun to share that with her.
Here’s the thing - we didn’t outright have a chat about the fact that she’s going to die one day and I wanted to have portraits with her as an adult. We have a slew of family pictures when I was a kid and my mom was my age. But it’s a different thing to have these grown up photos together. Instead of the exuberant joy of childhood and that under-slept overanxious huge mom love - we have a relaxed togetherness now. And we have how lovely she is now.
I hate to be all gloom and doom... but I'm really here to capture the magic and moments of the those we love while they are still with us.
Of course, when I brought her a big canvas of one our portraits together, my mom took a quick look and said “where are the other photos?”