My favorite picture of me and my mother is one taken by my friend, photographer Melissa Shook. She took it while my mother was at the Hebrew Rehab. It is the best evidence I have that my mother enjoyed being w/ me and being my mother. I never made a portrait of me and my mother on the Polaroid 20x24. Or in another camera format. And I never took a portrait in ANY format of my mother and her three daughters. None of the four of us laughing and enjoying each other.Somehow, it never happened.
When my mother was failing, on her 80th birthday, she wore a great red sweatshirt w/ a Vermont cow on it that my sister Janie sent from Middlebury. She thought she looked great, not at all eighty, and she thought we should go to the studio and take pictures. But somehow, we never did it. Regret is my sad refrain.
For this reason I have had a soft spot for taking portraits of women and their daughters. I am always glad when a woman calls me and wants me to make a portrait of herself and her daughters. (Or herself, her daughter AND her mother.) Only half the time is the portrait for the Dad. Mothers want the portrait for themselves. I am moved watching a mother and daughter(s) enjoying each other. During the session I am the mother. I am the daughter. The ease with which each role takes over doesn't goes away.
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