Last August I visited my family in North Dakota. Unfortunately I only get back home on average once every two years. While I am very happy calling Tennessee my home now, it saddens me to think how much I miss out on by being so far away from my Grandma Vera, parents, siblings and their families. This last visit I initiated a very special portrait session with one of the most beautiful ladies (inside and out) I have ever known…my 94 year old Granda Vera. Though her life (like most people) had it’s moments of challenges and loss; she grew up during The Great Depression, her mother died when she was only 15 yrs. old, she outlived two husbands and a son just to name a few. Regardless of all of this, Grandma Vera has always maintained a positive attitude. She has continually reminded me that there will be times in life that are difficult and sad, but that you have to make the best of things and keep living. I hope if I live to be 94 that I am as healthy, able bodied and social as Grandma Vera. It is a blessing to have had such a great role model all these years.
Being so camera shy, it took a little convincing on my part to get Grandma Vera to be the only one in the photo. I explained how these portraits were important to me and the rest of the family…that we wanted to have these portraits to cherish down the road when she is no longer with us. Once Grandma agreed to the portrait session I then asked if she would wear her black and white floral dress and some of her beautiful costume jewelry. It is a favorite of mine that she looks so beautiful wearing! I also chose to photograph Grandma in and around her home…a place I’ve always loved visiting! To have her in her own environment, with her own things, seemed like the perfect backdrop.
Not everyone is lucky to have grandparents when growing up. I count myself lucky to have such a treasure trove of memories associated with my grandparents and especially Grandma Vera. It was always so much fun to go and stay a week at the farm with her and Grandpa Ted. We would spend our days taking walks on the country roads, admiring their flower and vegetable gardens, playing cards, and eating delicious food. Many visits were also filled with watching the beautiful creations Grandma would be making with her sewing machine for myself and my siblings. She made my sister Erica and I the most beautiful dresses…maybe that’s why I still delight in wearing summer dresses so much! She made us doll clothing, stuffed animals…you name it…Grandma could create it! For this reason I photographed Grandma at her sewing machine last summer. With that, I am thrilled to have these beautiful portraits of a a very special and lovely lady! To see more photos you may do so by clicking here.