As a child, I cradled kittens on a deck during a sticky summer day with my sister in front of my parents' camera. On vacation, we stood tall on big rocks with the ocean breeze whipping our hair in front of my parents' camera.

As a college student on Halloween, I bought a disposable camera from Target for $5.96 and took pictures of me and my friends dressed as sexy nurses with bright red lips and short white skirts. I also ruined more than one roll of film attempting to use a darkroom in photography class.

As a mid 20 something I had a baby. I threw up a wrinkled white sheet in a bedroom, stuck her in a pink polo dress with matching bunny ears and staged a amateur photoshoot right then and there. 

As a young 30 something I had three kids at home . . . all the time. I captured baby toes and missing teeth. Crazy bath hair. Laughing smiles on the playground swings. Peacefully napping faces on pink blankets. It was something creative, when nothing else felt creative in my life. 

As a mid 30 something I think about what I can capture next.  I look back at my parent's tattered photo albums of homemade Easter dresses and bad teenage hair styles. I watch my girls page through our yearly photo books and see themselves blowing out more and more candles on birthday cakes, and running through the ocean for the very first time.

My heart warms. And that's why I'm a photographer.

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