A Daughter’s Birthday Brings Back Memories | Amelia Island Photographer

The 18th–just a few minutes ago, was my oldest daughter’s birthday. It was her…well, can’t say which birthday. It seems if I tell my children’s ages, these days, I am also telling mine. (I have come to the point in my life where I just want people to wonder).  She and I spent a little time together, though not leisure, on her birthday. Actually, she accompanied me on an event shoot I had at the Ritz Carlton. It was nice to spend time with Kirsten. She is always a pleasure to work with, as are my other children. I am honored to have three adult children who work with me in my business, in various capacities. However, this only seems proper, since all four of my children were introduced to the photography world quite early in their lives and were often used as my ‘guinea pigs’ for lighting and posing situations. The following story is such as this.

I remember one particular time when my oldest son, who was about 8, was not so happy about our little photo session timing. He wanted to play with his friends, so as he walked out the door, he kicked a pine cone pretty hard to show his unhappiness. He did not kick any old pine cone, though–he kicked the one that would find its way straight to my youngest daughter and plant itself squarely on her cheek as she was sitting on her little riding toy waiting for the photo session. Great! Crying followed, scolding, scraped face, upset toddler and very bad feeling big brother. Now, what is a mom to do? I know most would have probably rescheduled.  The key word here is most. (I had realized some time before this that I am not ‘most’).  This mom said, well–we must go ahead and get these photos done, anyway. I waited for the crying to stop, turned my little daughter’s very scraped red cheek the other way and had her sit on her little riding toy with her good cheek towards me. She was able to smile, since the hurt had passed. No problem there. Kirsten, the oldest was able to smile with no problem. So, everyone is ready. I take the shot, and several more. I thought to my self–YES!–we have the picture, everyone survived and all is well.

That is, until I received the 35mm photos back from the lab. I opened the pouch and began viewing the photos. As I looked at them, I noticed that something was not quite right. I looked a little closer. Everyone is smiling in the photos, except for my little pine cone kicker. His lips are smiling but his eyes aren’t. His eyes are quite sad in every photo. I thought back to the shoot. I replayed it all in my head. Of course, his eyes are sad. After all, he had hit his little sister with the pine cone, which he never meant to do and I had scolded him for doing so. I had also scolded him for kicking it in frustration because he didn’t want to take part in the session.

I learned some very important lessons that day. The eyes truly are the windows to the soul. I learned that hurt doesn’t just go away for a photo and a photo truly is worth a thousand words. This has spilled over into my photography career. I have learned to read eyes through my camera lens.  It seems that even though our lips may smile, the eyes always tell the truth.

Hope you have a smiling eyes day!

Now..-to share a few images of some very handsome boys I photographed the other day. Talk about eyes– these kids have some gorgeous ones!! And, there is never a dull moment with these brothers. Always fun!



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2 thoughts on “A Daughter’s Birthday Brings Back Memories | Amelia Island Photographer

  1. Pam, thank you for sharing this very sweet/touching memory. Reminds me of how tender the heart can be and how hard we sometimes work to cover up our pain.

  2. I really loved reading this post. It brings back memories of my kiddos when they were little. I miss them being small. I think back on so many moments I would have done differently. I love my kids so much and it’s so bitter sweet to watch them grow up so fast. I admire the love you and Wade have for your family!!! I can’t wait to be there for Jenni & Stevn’s wedding! Miss you & love you!!!

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