The Power of a Printed Portrait

I have to admit, I’m guilty. . . I’m always behind the camera, rarely in front of it. I print and display image after image of my children and other family members, but almost none of myself.

I look at my mantel and see my children’s smiling faces. Above my television hangs a beloved photo of my dad. Close by, my husband smiles broadly, our son, then three, laughing on his lap. Will there come a day my children look around and wonder where their mom is?

I want them to see me here, too. That’s why when I was six months pregnant with my daughter, I decided it was time to take a deep breath and carve out an hour and a half for myself. It may sound odd, but I feel my most beautiful when I’m pregnant. And knowing this would probably be my last pregnancy, I wanted to hold on to that feeling of peace, power and beauty for as long as I could.

So while I was over in the US visiting my family, my mom and I went out on my dad’s Virginia farm and captured a number of images. My favorite was this one. I love the warm light from the last minutes of sunlight before the sun dipped over the horizon. The fall colors in the trees behind me and how they are reinforced by my red dress. The cowboy boots which I almost didn’t buy because I didn’t want to be seen as “that American” when I got back home to the Netherlands. This photograph captures so perfectly all the emotions I was feeling at the time about our growing family—a vibrant hope for the future, rooted firmly in a sense of who I am and where I came from.

But then came the next and most important step. This photograph could have ended up on Facebook and never made it much further than that. It could be floating on one of my many hard drives, eventually forgotten. I couldn’t let that happen.

I believe it’s important to have portraits of yourself and your family decorating your home. I believe that embracing my strength as a photographer, as a woman and also as a mother will help me see the beauty in every day. I believe that my children need to see that I’m here, too– in our family, but also on our walls. That’s the power of a finished portrait. And that’s why I believe that photographs are meant to be printed.

Are you ready to start decorating your walls with gorgeous photographs of yourself and your family? Are you ready to recognize the unique beauty that you possess? Contact me to start planning your custom photo session.