Family Photography

The Photo Not Taken

By April 21, 2021 May 13th, 2021 No Comments
A mother breastfeeds her newborn baby while working at home in Oakland, CA

I was on a plane recently, traveling back east to visit my family. Next to me was a woman with a newborn. She was traveling alone with the baby for the first time, also going to visit family. We chatted for a bit, lamenting about motherhood and the challenges that come with traveling sans partner. After take-off, the young mother closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the seat, while her baby was cradled in her arms, also half asleep with a pacifier in its mouth. In that instant, she was motherhood – the love, exhaustion, devotion, the protector, all wrapped up into a single moment. She was beautiful – all I could think of was how I wanted to take a picture, for her, so she could see what I saw; so she could look at that photo during the toughest of times and know how strong she is, a (s)hero to that little human held so delicately in her arms.

I didn’t take the picture… I chickened out. And I regret it even now, because I know I could’ve given her a gift that no one else could have. I was worried about what she would think, how she would react (why is this random woman offering to take my picture?! Stalker!). Sometimes the fear of putting oneself out there prevents me from sharing my passion with the world… it’s something I’m constantly working on, getting over that fear. Some days are better than others… that day was not one of those days.

But today I am taking the step to not make the same mistake twice. I am asking you now, may I take your picture? I hope you’ll say yes, and allow me this opportunity to take the picture that no one else sees. Allow me to create a physical memory for you of motherhood that you will cherish for many years down the road. Give me the chance to show you the (s)hero that YOU are to the little humans in YOUR life… I know this past year has been an immense struggle, when the world was literally turned upside down. But we survived, we’re still surviving, and that in no uncertain terms is because of you and all that you do to keep your family going (I can link you to a myriad of articles that talk about motherhood through the pandemic if you’re interested).

Maybe one day I will run into that mother again on the plane and I can make up for the missed opportunity. Or, maybe I will be that mother with my own children, and someone else will see me and think to themselves, this woman should have a photo of this moment with her family… I should be so lucky.

Fill out the form below to get in touch. I look forward to documenting motherhood for you :-).

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