Sometimes a photo is all we have to remember them by... This is one of the most valuable photographs I have taken in all my life and career. It is not only my Thanksgiving ad, but it is the essence of why I do what I do.
We were visiting my grandmother. My daughter was not even 6 months old. My grandmother was sick, getting weak, feeling cold, shivery and achy, and she had started feeling numb in her fingers and hands. She looked like life was finally catching up with her.
I told her I'd love to take a nice portrait of her with my baby, wrapped in some beautiful fabrics. Immediately her eyes lit up! She hurried to her room. A moment later she emerged with red lipstick on her lips and with her hair let down. She pulled out a large plastic bag from under the guest bed which had been set aside for donation, and took out a shimmery skirt to match my fancy fabric.
She took off the 4 layers of wool sweaters and cardigans that were barely keeping her warm, and unwrapped the scarf from her neck. She let me wrap her in the raw silk. She then held her GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER in her achy arms. I knew it was getting hard for her, so I tried to shoot quickly.
She was absolutely happy and proud. My beautiful, strong, smart and amazing grandmother - Leman. Her father's darling Lemanuchka. Holding her great-granddaughter in her arms. The woman who suffered and survived through wars, abuse, rape, suicide, poverty, betrayal, and many deaths. She who knew how to hold on to love beyond this life. The woman who could touch any seed and turn it into a lush, thriving plant. The woman who was stronger than iron, but managed to preserve the spirit of the butterfly inside...
A woman with such high morals and integrity that she managed to raise three children like royalty without a single penny borrowed, without caving to anyone.
Now posing for me with her final legacy, she knew she was making this photo not for herself, but for her great-grandkids.
Next time I was able to visit her, she was in a hospital. Half the time she didn't know who was who. I brought a mounted print of this portrait with me, and placed it across from her bed where she could see it.
She cried. I hugged her.
We were not able to make any more beautiful portraits like this afterwards. Her health deteriorated, and she was no longer herself. Her sharp mind was gone. Her memories were hidden under a heavy veil of confusion... Along with the knowledge of who we were. Before long, she joined her beloved father Kurt Seyt and her forever love and late husband, Vedat.
But we keep her in our memories. And most importantly, my daughter has a strong love and connection with her Great-Grandmother because of this portrait. She knows and remembers her through this image. She can feel her love and her joy and how dearly she held her once - because of this photo.
This Thanksgiving, I wish you all much love with those that matter the most to you. Take a moment to slow down from the driving, traveling, shopping and cooking, and just truly breathe in the love. Capture photos of the grandparents with the littlest ones. You will thank me later.
Pamira Bezmen Photography is an award-winning, full service portrait studio in Essex County, New Jersey.
Pamira's work is highly rated by her clients. She creates the highest quality images, along with safe, loving care for your babies, and offers a full selection of professional print products along with a uniquely warm and personalized experience. If you are interested in family portraits, generations portraits, newborn, maternity, sweet 16, or personal branding images, you can call Pamira for a complimentary consultation.
For availability and information, you can contact her at [email protected] or call 862-812-2313.