Friday, June 25, 2010
Gratitude and Abundance.
In my past life I worked in the homes of many impoverished families. There were a lot of commonalities: smells and sparse furnishings, and a few, if any, family photographs. There was a lot to feel sad about when surveying the surrounds...but the lack of tangible memories really struck a chord with me. The sights and smells have long since faded but the absence of pictures did not drift far from my memory.
When my mother died my family got together around our many photo albums We poured through photographs while trying to pick up our pieces. This task lasted for hours, as we laughed at haircuts, questioned our sense of fashion and recalled memories. In many photographs, the intensity of her love, and commitment to us was palpable. Through a bunch of polaroids, sun faded snapshots and portraits, my mom was brought back to life. While I was grateful for the abundance of our tangible memories my thoughts wandered to the families I used to work with. I committed to honor my mom, a champion of the disenfranchised, and help give these families what I cherished so much that afternoon.
On my first motherless Mother's Day, I went to a homeless shelter and photographed it's families. Their stories were like the ones we revisted when we opened the dusty albums. Beautiful children being loved by dedicated mothers. Aside from my first mother's day, this was by far the best mother's day I ever celebrated. In coming up with my business plan, I committed to apply 10% of each photo session to offset the costs of continuing to give memories to families who otherwise might not be able to afford photographs. I suspect that this might be the part of this job that I cherish the most.