As a wedding gift, my dad gave my mom a camera. It was a Minolta SLR film camera, the first camera our family would own to take our very first pictures. Not only did it take our first photos as babies, both my older sister and I took our own first photos with that camera. It’s a piece of our family legacy almost as great as the photos we took with it, only the first legacy that would start with their marriage in 1983. An imperfect but loving marriage, they changed their family tree and provided their kids with an example of what a true partnership is, how a family loves each other, how a man should treat a woman. I love this photo, their first portrait of husband and wife, and I keep it on my desk as a reminder of that 23-year-old couple with the kind of love and dedication to each other whose influence not only changed the trajectory of their own lives, but would span generations.
By photographing these unions, I am able to play a part in giving not only the couple and their families the gift of the memories, but future kids and grandchildren the same example of love when they’re building families of their own. Sometimes it’s the beginning of a legacy, sometimes it’s continuing the path set by the pairs that came before them, and capturing such an important day in an entire family tree makes me really proud to do what I do.
Through my project & photography series “We’re Not Here Just To Have Fun,” I am able to delve deeper into a topic very close to my heart. Being an athlete is a huge part of who I am. I am part of a community of girls who grew up playing soccer on Saturday mornings, whose dads took them to the batting cages, who woke up early for hockey practice before school, who was the only girl on their high school’s football team. For us, flirting is beating you at a game of HORSE.
This series is my way of honoring all of us female athletes, who wear our bruises with pride, and showing that being feminine IS being tough. It’s also being serious, intense, competitive, skilled, driven, capable, passionate, and beautiful. We are all fighters – and that’s what I aim to show.