I made a mother cry today, not on purpose, I did not intend to to do this it just happened and I am not embarrassed or ashamed of my actions that brought this woman to tears, quite the opposite actually. You see, on this particular occasion, I had a client come in to take her daughters 1 year pictures, which turned out not to be the regular annual birthday portraits that I am so accustomed to doing. As I was talking to this mother trying to get a little more information on what her families needs were for the photo shoot, she surprised me by saying "I just want to apologize ahead of time if I become to emotional. Little A is our foster child who we've had since birth and today she will be going back to live with her birth parents." My heart dropped, I felt for this lady who although not biologically was a mother nonetheless to this sweet little girl, that she had to give up and I knew at that moment her heart was breaking and it would forever ache for this child that she would never see again.
Still, I put on my happy face, took them into the studio and worked my magic as best I could with this little girl, who even at such a young age must have sensed that her whole little world was about to change because she was not in the best of moods. Nonetheless, we proceeded with the photo shoot, making sure to take a portrait of mother and daughter. Once we were done I started to enhance the images, I added black and white here, some soft focus there and than one of the images caught my eye... in this specific pose, mom was kissing little A on the cheek as she looked at the camera with one of the few smiles that we were able to get out of her and I thought, "How can I enhance this moment and make it just a little bit more special?" and than I remembered one of my favorite quotes.
My mom is everything to me she's the one that I adore, I keep her love inside my heart because nothing matters more. - UnknownWhat happened next didn't really surprise me, I think I kind of expected it... the mother started to cry, which was a given due to the already emotional state that she was in but it was not because she was sad, it was because I had caught one of their last precious moments together. I may have over stepped my boundaries that day as I gave her, this woman who until that day I had never met before a hug and let her cry on my shoulder as I wept a little with her but at that moment all that mattered, was that she knew from one mom to another, although I had never experienced what she was going through, I felt her pain and she didn't have to keep apologizing for the way she was feeling.
As I watched little A wipe the tears from her mothers eyes and rest her head on her shoulders, I was sad for this woman but at the same time proud and happy to do what I do for a living. I may have my days where I feel like sometimes it's just not worth it, the stress of the job gets me down and I feel like I can't take it anymore, something like this happens and my whole perspective changes. I know that for many years to come she will look at those portraits hanging on her walls, in her photo albums and even on her computer when she wants to remember this little girl and she will find comfort in the memories that I helped her create. It is because of this that I not only love what I do but I feel honored that I get to help families like this one create memories that they will treasure forever and that will last for a lifetime.