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My First Environmental Portrait

Beyond the newborn baby wrinkles and the uninhibited toddler mayhem lies an area of family documentary photography I am exploring - Environmental Portraiture. If you don't know what that means, you're not alone, I didn't know what it was or grasp the concept until very recently. In case you're now curious, an Environmental Portrait is a portrait of someone within their environment. Typically, the environment plays some kind of important role in a person's life or they have some kind of relationship to the environment.

I work very hard to improve my skills as a photographer, and I do so intentionally with every single photo I make. Part of that process means taking on personal projects, and I'm really excited to share this one with you guys!

portrait of a 93 year old woman with paintings behind her

This IS my grandma.

It is an expression I am intimately familiar with. It is the way she is cradling her tiny water bottle next to her chest. It is her passion and pride lining the walls behind her. She loves to paint - boats, landscapes, and flowers. I used to study her paintings as a child, and they would often find their way into my apartments. Many of them have a permanent home, etched in the back of my mind. Her photo albums are lying flat on the shelves. She makes them for every grandchild. Family photos are displayed under the glass on her desk, spaced out ever so carefully; I don't remember a time when they weren't there. It's her freshly combed hair. It's the clutter, the shopping bag on the chair, it is just so much of what makes her who she is.


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