What are the milestones or turning points in your life?
Looking back on the last 10 years or so the big moments for me have been things like my life after meeting my partner, discovering my dearest friends, graduating from college, working overseas as an actor, and of course discovering photography and starting a business. People have passed on in that time as well which have brought shifts in my life that I don’t know if I’ll ever fully process.
When I look at a photo of myself I like to do the math mentally to check my age in the photo. I think about all of the things that have happened since then and all the stuff that I know now that I didn’t at the time the photo was taken. Part of me always wishes I could reach through the photo and tell the girl I’m looking at some of the wisdom I now have (although the girl in the photo probably wouldn’t listen even if I could).
One thing I’ve noticed looking through photos is that I have some self-portraits from the last couple of years that I love that also reflect the woman I am at this moment. But I’ve also realized there are some gaping holes as well. There are important things in my life that I unfortunately missed documenting through meaningful portraits. I don’t have any formal portraits of my myself from earlier in my life, and I don’t have any of my partner either (he is notoriously camera-shy), and most painfully, I don’t have any really beautiful portraits of my grandmother in her later years, which I would now give anything to have. (Luckily, I have a stack of black and white photos of her from the ‘40s and ‘50s that I look at it in those moments when I miss her the most).
Being a professional photographer over the years has profoundly deepened my understanding of the importance of the medium. It is so important to document who you are today because change is both constant and inevitable. Where you are and who you are today is not necessarily where and who you’ll be in 5 years, or even 1 year, from now. It’s why I’m going to do a new self-portrait of myself soon and why I’m determined to get a beautiful portrait of my partner and I in the studio before the year is out. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that I’m worthy of documenting who I am at this point in my life. So are you.