I always love photographing moms with their kids. It's a special kind of relationship, and a special kind of love that is so special to capture on film. When Christy won the "I Am Me" portrait session giveaway, I was so excited, because I already knew that a big part of who she is, is being a mom. It wasn't until I had the opportunity to hang out with her and photograph her though that I was able to really understand what that meant to her.
When I asked Christy what her favorite things to do were, she said she enjoyed doing crafts and projects and going to the beach, but "My favorite of all is being a mom." And it shows.
Since she loves the water so much, I suggested we do her session on the water, and I asked her to bring her daughter, Samantha. It really struck me, the way Christy let Samantha be the bold, brave little girl that she is. She wasn't afraid to climb over the rocks in search of a waterfall, but she also wasn't afraid to ask for help when she needed it. Christy encouraged her the entire time we were together. She told her "You can do it!", and she answered every question Samantha had. And she had a lot :)
This is a woman of strength, patience and character, and it shows up best in her love for her daughter.
When I asked Christy about her favorite memories as a child, she told me that her favorite memories are those with her childhood best friend, whose namesake her child now bears. She lost her friend in 2009, and now those memories are all that she has. How fitting to name your child after someone who made your childhood so worth remembering. I know it honors her to see little Samantha growing up to be such a bright-eyed, energetic, fun-loving adventurer.
I could tell when I asked Christy about her favorite more recent memory, it was easy for her to answer. She said it was her wedding day. "My favorite day," she says. "The day I married my best friend." Her husband, Tyler, is currently serving our country and has been deployed for the last few months. I can't tell you how grateful I am to him, and the men and women like him who so selflessly protect us all, but I have to say, I am also incredibly grateful to the men and women, like Christy, who support our soldiers, and give them a loving, safe home to come back to.
I never really know what I'm looking for when I start photographing someone. I know I try to capture who they are, what they love, and why they love it. Christy was not hard to photograph, because she knows who she is, and she loves what she does. She is a mom. She is a friend. She is a beach babe. She is a military wife. She is an athlete. And her favorite color is glitter.
All of these things together, and so so much more more make her Christy. And that is pretty special.
My goal with these sessions is to bring to light the special things that make you, you. Christy, I hope you know that your love is seen, and that your hard work is recognized. And that it is appreciated. I hope you know that you are seen. I hope you realize that you are you. And that is absolutely wonderful.
(c) Jessi Lambert of Jessi Casara Photography