The official photographer of the family is…


When my aunt, uncle, and cousin Joy and her kids were visiting after Christmas we went to visit our grandparents (both of whom are over 90). Joy’s daughter Ashley, who is 5 years old, took this candid photo of myself, Joy, Grandma, and the back of Joy’s son James. What amazes me is the photos that Ashley can take! She doesn’t take random shots that cut off heads or other random body parts but she always composes her shots (“Aunt Mandy get closer to Mommy”). More than that  the phots she takes are often among the best photos of people and her candid shots – like this one – are wonderful. That look on Joy’s face is a totally characteristic expression (it conjures up the laugh that goes along with it) and even Grandma looks engaged (most of the time she isn’t.) If she lived closer I think I’d make Ash my official event photographer.

By the by, in case you’re wondering, the picture in the background is me at about 3. Grandma has always adored it because she thinks I’m praying. It was only recently that I finally told her that actually that was my pouty-face. She was non-plussed; a benefit of being 90 and having dementia, I suppose. 🙂


8 Responses to “The official photographer of the family is…”

  1. 1 Cheryl
    January 11, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Ask Vampire Cat. I know what you read when no one is looking!

  2. 2 Jenny Greenleaf
    January 12, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Hello, Miss Amanda! It’s fun to see your family members I’ve heard of but hadn’t seen. I like your music, too – definitely my style. 🙂 See you later, alligator! (I’ll have to finish the rest later, though.) Love, Jenny 😉

  3. 3 Holly
    January 12, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Hey there Miss Amanda. I like your site. Tres cool. And I strangely enjoyed the Tetris people. Bizarro! I had the instant desire to want to turn the people pieces myself so I could win. Okay, obviously the video game addiction comes back easily. I know I got sucked in as a kid and wasted many an hour playing Frogger and Goonies. Didn’t play Super Mario as we didn’t own it. But that’s probably a good thing. Take care & I hope the rest of your weekend is marvey.

  4. 4 cathymcdonald
    January 14, 2008 at 3:55 am

    The picture in the background is what captivates me. The scene did not seem to be intentionally shot in front of the image, but the image is, nevertheless, an integral part of the scene. A theory-head could go on and on about reflections of reflections, but I’ll just state that the pictures makes me think about the ever-present power of images in today’s society.

  5. 5 cathymcdonald
    January 14, 2008 at 3:56 am

    By the way, did you know that when a commenter hits “submit” it makes the music start over?

  6. 6 mandamarie
    January 14, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Yes, the photo in the back is fascinating to me as well. Not only because my grandmother’s love of it has always bewildered me but because now, as she sinks deeper into dementia, her attachment to the photo grows exponentially. Interesting especially since she cannot remember my childhood…sometimes she thinks I am not actually my parents’ child. So what IS the power of this particular image for her? It’s impossible to know since she would not be able to articulate it but the only thing she wanted for Christmas, she said, was this photo fixed back into its frame so that it could be hung. The photo was hung there intentionally so that she could see it from her bed in the next room but the unintentional result is that my photo hangs above her head whenever she sits in her chair and one looks at her. For me the photo always resonates strangely since it is inextricably connected to a misinterpretation (that I’m praying when I’m actually pouting.)

    I have to say that this is oddly cathartic, considering this photo and talking about, which I certainly didn’t intend when I posted it.

  7. 7 Cheryl
    January 15, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    As the photographer, I have always been fond of this picture, but not for the same reasons as your grandmother. I took this at the family Christmas celebration and you are modeling an apron I made her for Christmas. You are wearing your special Christmas ourtfit, picked out for you by my mom. It is interesting to consider how this image affects each of us. It makes me remember an exercise in observation our teachers used when I was in high school. I won’t bore you with the details but it made us stop and think about how differently we each see what is right before our eyes. That said I am glad that this picture has such special meaning to grandma that is it traveling into the world of dementia where she now lives. Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts on this fascinating family artifact.

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