Nana, Poppie, and me (1987) with my first camera

Nana, Poppie, and me (1987) with my first camera

Originally my word for 2019 was going to be intentional. But then life happened. And I decided that I need to give myself grace. My beautiful Nana passed away suddenly on December 27. And I immediately felt lost and unfathomable pain.

I still do.

She was one of my very best friends. And without her, I am broken.

As I started sorting through boxes upon boxes of images from the course of her 74 years on earth, my love for documentary photography came full circle. I was given proof of why documenting our days - as mundane as they may seem now - is so crucial. Not for us, but for our loved ones. It gave me something to hold onto. It reminded me of the love she gave. Of the beautiful life she lived. And for those images, I’m grateful.

Admittedly, much of my style this past year has not been documentary. And for that, I give myself grace. My plastic 365 project was to grow me as a photographer. And I chose to focus a lot of my imagery on objects, not people. And for that, I give myself grace.

But moving forward, I’m documenting more of my life. Going through the images of my Nana, I’m so grateful she didn’t shy from the camera. I’m so thankful my Poppie picked up the camera and photographed as well. I’m thankful these moments were important to them. And I want to make it a priority for me moving forward. I want to photograph more of my family and daily life. Write more. Reflect more. And give myself grace when it seems to overwhelming.

Goals and challenges are good. They help us grow. But it’s important to give ourselves grace when it all seems a little overwhelming.

It will take my heart a long time to heal. And I will give myself grace when it all seems to be too much. I hope you will too.