My mother passed away on July 3, 2011. Suddenly. No warning.
No words can really express everything I and my family have gone through because of this shock. Thankfully there are photos. Tons and tons of really good photos taken of my mother over the years.
As horrible as it was to not be able to say goodbye, to not even know exactly what she died of, I can't imagine not having this treasure trove of images my father (mostly) took. It has been both a comfort and a sadness seeing as it's still difficult to believe she's gone yet me looking at these images is a reminder of it. Yet I simply cannot stop looking at them.
They are a window into a part of my mother's life I didn't even know about seeing as I was so young for so many of these images. Yet it also brought back many memories.. all good.
This was such a lesson learned about photographing your special people and special moments, and thankfully I'm very good at photographing all relevant events and people. However, I must admit, I don't have any good, planned, portraits of my father, sister and niece among others. This needs to be rectified. Now.
My father had such an amazing eye. I can't believe how many stunning, and natural, images I found in the archives he had. Hell, I didn't even know most of them existed!
This is also a reminder to you all out there to start digitizing those great prints from the pre-digital age as you never know what could happen (water/fire damage anyone!?). But furthermore, it was so amazing to hold these physical prints from so many various types of cameras. Some had such amazing texture I cannot even explain it. Sometimes I'm sad I was never really a film buff. I guess it's why I've started to explore with my new Diana F+
I may many regrets, but at least I have additional memories that I didn't even have in my head.
The below left image is the earliest image we have of my mother. It was very likely in Tunisia where she was born and likely 1945-1946.
It was so difficult choosing the images because so many of them showed so much of my mother really was. They weren't mere snapshots, but true captures of her personality. It's a perfect example of why I placed so much emphasis on Personality in Part 3 of my Portrait Theory posts. Very few of you who read this knew her, but I bet all of you can get a sense of personality in these great photos my father took.
Granted, it was easy to capture her personality because she was married to the photographer, hence able to be her most natural, but if you make the effort you can create this type of openness and connection with a new subject at will.
I miss you so much mom.
You were taken from us far too soon.
Thankfully, you will live on in these treasured memories.