Portrait of Life Well Lived

Mom 21I love my mom so much it makes my heart feel like it’s going to explode. I can feel it in my chest. I feel it in my throat. I feel it in my hands and belly and spine. I know it in my eyes. I know this love in my mind and in my soul.

When I look at her — really look deeply at her — I see her for who she is and not just for who she has been for me.

Mom 5

I love to listen to her stories. I love to support her on my arm as we walk. Wrap my arm around her slender shoulders. Laugh with her. Bring her a cup of tea. Cover her with an extra blanket. Open the car door for her. Share our tears. Share chocolate. Watch her when she doesn’t know I am looking. Wash her hair in the kitchen sink. Cook for her.

I love knowing in the night, that she is snoring gently in a room just a few feet from mine … love knowing she loves me, because when I thanked her for letting me take these portraits of her, and for spending these almost-3-weeks with me, she hugged me and cried. We both cried.

Mom 16

Mom is 82. I feel more deeply connected to her now that I am an adult, than I remember ever feeling as a child. That is not to say I wasn’t close to Mom when I was little — maybe depth of relationship comes with the compression of time, with the way age matters less and less as we grow older. The difference between 80 and 60 is less than between 25 years old and 5.

Mom 9

Today I watched her through my lens. She knew I was looking. She knew my camera would capture every wrinkle and blemish, yet she relaxed and let me pursue something I have wanted for a long time … to capture the elusive portrait of someone who is part of me. Who is so deeply connected to me that when the time comes to let her go it will be the hardest thing I will ever do.

Mom 12

Mom 7 Mom 6

Maybe depth of relationship comes with changes inside me. Changes in that place of rebellion that still burns like a stubborn ember of fire. When I look in the mirror nowadays, I see my facial features softening, melting a little. I look like my mother. I am becoming a beautiful crone. A wise woman. Like her. When I see her through my camera viewfinder, I see myself in 20-some years. And I hope with all my heart, that I am as good and kind and loving a human being as my mom is.

A few more from our photo shoot today:

Mother-Baby: seeing the connection through a camera lens

Mother and Baby delighting in each other
Delight in me …

Elijah’s first birthday is coming up soon and his mom, Shayla, wanted some photos to celebrate and mark the occasion. We went down to Reeder’s Alley and played around on the brick alley and in the grass to get these cute photos. Elijah obliged me by being super cute — and totally not shy of the camera. May he always be this way, even when he’s in his teen years! Here are a handful from our photo shoot last week.

Shayla gained a great foundation in attachment parenting through the Florence Crittenton’s Parenting Classes. I have used concepts from the Circle of Security to caption these photos. If you want to know more about attachment parenting and the Circle of Security, check out the handouts at Circle of Security International or sign up for a parenting class through the community outreach center at Florence Crittenton. 

toddler with finger in mouth
Enjoy with me …
Mother and Baby
Protect me
toddler crawling
Help me explore …
Toddler with cupcake
Support my exploration
baby with stuffed duck
Watch over me …
Welcome my coming to you ...
Welcome my coming to you …
Protect me ..
Protect me ..
Help me organize my feelings ...
Help me organize my feelings …

If you live in the Helena area and would like to have a child or family photo shoot, or photos of yourself, please get in touch with me through email. You can find my email on my contact page. I would love to play, explore, delight and enjoy an hour or two with you, your children and my camera.


From September 2nd through October 20th, I am offering discounts to former residents of Florence Crittenton, single moms with kids living at home, and teen parents. Here is a link to my sitting and photo processing fees.