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Self-portrait

Every once in a while, I have to remind myself of how long I’ve had this love affair with photography. Every once in a while I have to stop and remind myself that even though I took a bit of a detour as a journalist (OK, a decade-long detour), it was always photography that called to me.

 

My sister at 16. I was all of 18 when I took this photo.

And it’s not just that I liked it. People loved what I did. They framed the photos and put them up on their wall. And I loved it too. I could disappear into the darkroom for hours, losing hours of daylight and tainting the tips of my fingers in the chemical baths. My trusty Nikon FE2 had become my most prized possession. And my photographs had become an extension of me.

Those around me trusted me to capture the most precious moments in their lives and they relive those moments by looking at those photos every day. Sometimes, I see those photos on their walls. Othertimes when distance separates us, I see the photos on their walls through photos they post on facebook, and it makes me feel closer to them even though they are really far away.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband went to visit my cousin and his family. My cousin’s son was turning 16, and we had been invited to his birthday party. I was working, but sent along my best wishes and my two kids!

When he got back, my husband told me a story about an interaction he had with my uncle while visiting. You see, when this same 16 year old boy was a baby, I snapped a photo of him and his grandfather. So as my uncle was showing my husband this photo of the sweet boy who was just a baby then, and is now almost a man, my uncle asked: “Guess who took this photo?”

I smiled as he told me the story because I knew the photo.  I knew it well. That photo is on display in my cousin’s home. It has moved with them several times over the years, but in each new home it has found a place of honour.

That photo is cherished by my uncle, by my cousin, and surely by my cousin’s son now.

I wish I would have been there to take a photo this beloved treasure, but I wasn’t.

Maybe some other time.

So instead I’ll share a photo of my own babe, because it makes me smile. I hope it makes you smile too.

Yep, I put a pink wig on my baby. What of it?

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