12.8.14

The Little Ladies | Portraits

“behind every beautiful thing, there's some kind of pain.”  
bob dylan
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Just about two years ago I took my sisters out for portraits on the beach.  They moved away to Florida, so when I came to visit I couldn't help but to steep in their beautiful childhood.  Being away and then being with gave me artist's clarity and I wanted to photograph them "as they were."  Mom watched on glowingly.  We ran around the sand until the sun set and once it was dark we ate tacos and laughed.  They were free, funny, best of friends and shockingly engaging (I crave their social skills).   The setting of a twilight beach was utopian and timely.

But now, they are different.  They are older and they are wiser and they ever-more engaging and they watched their mother deteriorate before they're innocently round eyes at only ten and twelve years old.  As they traveled with us across the country on a recent road trip, I was able to "people watch" them in concentrated doses and I had the itch to document them again -- how they are now.  All trip I talked about doing a shoot but it was never 'right.'  As we drove through Wyoming, with it's hard, repetitive, self-shrinking constance, I knew it was time.  We had driven through the night and for 16+ hours, but as soon as we arrived to our hotel I threw them dresses and we ran out to the neighboring pastures.

These little girls have held cold, mottled feet and wept into the chest of an unresponsive mother.  They've caught the stomach bug and cleaned themselves up alone, wishing to crawl into bed with the best nurse of all.  They've witnessed the various outbreaks and processes of other grieving family members, which is sometimes scary.  And they sing along to "The Lonely Goatherd" like sparkling buffoons, purposely off-key and definitely amused.  And my goodness: do they know how to savor and dissect a delicious meal (especially Chicago deep-dish pizza.)  The mix of severe and whimsical I see in their faces, watch in their actions is powerful to me.  I am a proud big sister and I am moved to present my silly, smart, sad, strong, shockingly engaging, happy, all-too-grown-up sisters:
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(I think Mama Bear still looked on glowingly.)




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11 comments:

  1. Oh they are so grown up! Beautiful as always.

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  2. Wow. I remember the last shoot you posted with them and I'm astounded to see how obvious their growth (both physically and emotionally) is in these pictures. Your ability to capture someone is amazing.

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  3. Wow, just from the pictures I've seen of them, they DO look so much more grown up here. Beautiful, too. I couldn't help but look at these portraits from a mother's perspective, and ache that your mom is not here in earthly body to see the them. Prayers and hugs to you all:)

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  4. Donna12.8.14

    Beautiful.

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  5. stephanie rita12.8.14

    stunning!

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  6. Anonymous12.8.14

    perfect. the colors, the light, the beautiful girls. your work gets me every time.

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  7. These are so gorgeous. Your sisters are gorgeous- just everything...they show stories in their eyes that you can almost get a glimpse at looking at these photos. And they look so much older than 10 and 12.

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  8. I've looked at your blog for a while now, and your photography has always amazed me!! I saw this post and couldn't walk away without commenting...Your sisters are breathtakingly s.t.u.n.n.i.n.g. Like they look so beautiful and mature, and way older than 10 and 12! You did a beautiful job capturing who they are and their beauty in this shoot...and I got teary when I read this post.
    Thank you for your beautiful work that is so inspiring to me. :)

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  9. Stunning girls and photographs. <3

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  10. Love these. So much. Your photography is pretty much the definition of stunning, but hearing what these girlies have gone through recently makes these images even more deeply moving. What graceful, beautiful ladies. Praying for you!

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Oh, you've made my day! Thank you for the thoughts and words!