You may have seen me post this photo before. I took it during the first few months of my exploration into photography in 2012. What I haven’t told you is the story behind it… which is a really good one.
I’d like you to meet Phyllis. She’s one of my favorite people I’m grateful to call a friend. She’s radiant, bright, loving, super creative, has the confidence of someone who has met life head on and grown from it, is deeply spiritual, a yoga teacher, and generally one of the more fabulous women I know. (Just look at her shoes in the next photo – and she wears these and similarly epic ones all the time!) She is also someone who truly enjoys being a woman which is a wonderful energy and gift she brings to all who interact with her.
On her 60th birthday she contacted me to do a photo shoot. When I asked her, like I do everyone, what intention she’d like to bring to it she explained she didn’t want her three granddaughters to remember her as a woman in her 80s, as they’re likely to do when they’re in their 20s.
Instead she wanted to take photos that capture who she is, as they’re just entering into the world, so they can see the vivacious woman she is now. And so they can have a role model showing them that they too can grow up to be wonderful, dynamic women in whatever way is right for them. And not just in their 20s, 30s, and 40s when our culture say women “peak,” but all through their lives – in their 60s and beyond.
What a beautiful reason to do a photo shoot!
Because of how our culture negatively conditions us about beauty, worth, and value, it’s common that at some point many women don’t enjoy having their picture taken. The effect is that these women then don’t exist in their family’s visual history. I’ll bet you have a relative you love and adore, that you value beyond measure, who you have few if any photos of. Yes?
All I can say is – exist in photos. Don’t be afraid to be seen. You are a gift. And your presence, at every age, is precious to all those that love you… both now and those who are to come.