This particular story began a few years ago when my youngest brother, Shay, introduced us one Christmas Eve to an interesting and beautiful young woman named DJ. She was really hip and cool and played Pink songs for my daughter and nieces when they were still young and impressionable (now we learn things from them). My daughter Mary connected with her right away, so much so that she told me that if I was to die suddenly that she'd want to go live with CJ and Shay. I could understand that because DJ is full of that mother-hen nervous energy that Mary would recognize and feel comfortable with.
DJ has an intense amount of energy all bundled up in her body, so much so that when I am around her I feel that my hair is blowing back like I'm in a wind tunnel. Anyone who out-nervouses me is a force to be contended with, I say. I just love her and am so happy that she is realizing her dream, just like I am.
Getting back to the story, as you might imagine, she and my brother fell in love and got married. And all along the way through these last six or so years (maybe more), she has been transforming herself into an amazing photographer. You all know how dedicated I am to transformation, so that's why I decided I had to share her with you. First I must disclose I don't know much about photography. I only know it's good when I see it. But I am an expert in passion and big hearts and genuineness and that's what I think Delary (her real name) instills in every photograph. She's amazing, simply because she is seriously and genuinely interested in discovering the truth and beauty in every person.
She took this photo one day of some girl named Mary. Oh yeah... she's my daughter, looking a little disturbingly mature.
As a mother, I like this one a little more.
This was our Christmas picture for 2008. What's amazing here is how relaxed my girls are. Every personality is captured. The blonde one on the right is historically difficult and uncooperative at picture time. But look at her. Somehow DJ brought out Miss Personality.
In the picture below, DJ photographed Lizeth at my request, according to my ulterior motives. I think Lizeth is the most beautiful person. She is so loving and kind and peaceful, all qualities I admire immensely because I don't consider myself loving and kind and peaceful. Lizeth has cared for my girls for four years now, as if they were her own, without ever making me feel like less than a mother.
I wanted DJ to take Lizeth's picture so I could show Lizeth how beautiful she is. Somehow Lizeth didn't get the memo that she's beautiful. And this was my way of showing her how wrong she has been all these years.
DJ also captures ordinary, everyday occurrences because she's obsessed with photography, just like I'm obsessed with paint. She brings her fancy schmancy camera to every family get-together. And we are all so fortunate because of it. I will treasure these pictures forever. In the picture below, my two girls and my little niece Piper were swinging in their Paw Paw's porch swing.
They were captured, at that moment, so honest and happy. And so content to just be swinging, together.
This picture makes me all teary eyed now. Just imagine how I'll feel about this picture when Caroline is grown up and Paw Paw and his crazy place in the country are just memories. This photograph froze in time, what had been a whole lot of crazy, energetic motion. Caroline had been running up that little dirt pile and down, over and over, like a horse, because she pretends she's Spirit. She stopped, for just this moment, when DJ got her attention. And her four-year-old little self will never be just this way ever again. Lucky for me, I'll always have this picture.
DJ also is a big music fan, and her work reflects that love:
This couple is having such fun. Can't you just see it in their body language?
Dont' know the band, but I like the drummer...
Sometimes photographers capture personalities, when their mothers are hoping for more traditional shots. Often, I think these kinds of pictures turn out to be the best.