Looking through my photographs for this year, I can see my life unfolding. I see the places we visit, our home, our adventures, the food we eat and often times the feelings I experience. But what I see missing are photographs of my forever friends. I aim to remedy this situation.
There are two reasons that I shy away from making portraits of my friends. First, I don’t feel confident with this type of photography. The pictures I want are those that reveal the authentic nature of people that I love. I know them deeply, and I am afraid my efforts to show them in all their realness will be inadequate. Sometimes the challenge is that I do not want to interrupt the flow of our time together, and other times I just can’t find an interesting point of view, background, or composition.
The second reason for my reluctance in taking portraits centers around my inexperience with retouching. I want my pictures to reveal both the truth and beauty of my friends, their poise and personality. Subtle retouching requires a kind of finesse that I have not yet mastered.
Neither of these are reason enough not to make pictures of people I admire.
Teresa is a “heart to heart” friend. She shares and grows with me through life’s changing circumstances. She gives without ever expecting anything in return, never attaching strings or conditions on her love. It’s easier to go against the flow and make my way with her by my side because she is on the same path. She is happy for me when life is joyous and sad with me when troubles arise. She shores up my faith and strengthens my resolve to do the right thing.
What I am learning is this – what we photograph changes who we are. The camera not only reveals but also fortifies. Making pictures of people I admire strengthens my character.
I am hopeful this will be the beginning of an ongoing series of photographs of the friendships in my life.