Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Portrait Project

I know how important family photos are to me- partly because I realized after my mother died that I just didn't have many photographs of us together.  She was always the one behind the camera taking pictures of me, despite me telling her not to. I treasure the photographs I do have of us together.

If I could go back in time, I'd say, yes, please, take another picture!  How else can I pose? And then I'd stop random people passing us on the street and insist they snap a few portraits of she and I together.
One of my favorite photos of my mother,
holding my first child just after he was born.

But some people don't have a camera, or any photographs at all.  They have very few, if any, tangible items to help them preserve the memory of a loved one who has passed away. When we went to Ghana last year, I met so many women and children whose mothers had died. The sad truth is that many of these beautiful women will pass away- some of diseases like malaria or typhoid- and their sweet babies won't even have so much as a picture to help them remember.

I want to change that, in the very small way that I am able.

Last year, when I'd go up to the Nutrition Center in Nalerigu, I'd often take my  digital camera with me.  Everyone loved seeing their image flash back at them for a few seconds on the LCD screen, and ask to see it again.   I hated that I didn't have equipment to print out the photograph and hand it back to them.

This year, I'm better prepared.  I'm printing out 8X10s of all of the portraits I took last year.  It's a small village, so I know I'll be able to track the women down to give them their photos.

 I'm also taking a small, battery powered photo printer, and a few hundred 4X6 photos and extra ink.  My plan is to set up a small area and take as many portraits as I can and give them to as many families as possible.

I'm hoping I can take a few newborn photos for the mamas- how cute are these twins J delivered last year, in their pretty receiving blankets?

If you'd like to help in anyway please let me know.  If you'd like to read more about the BMC click here, and if you'd like to see how you can support this hospital click here. And, if you are a photographer, please leave me some tips in the comments!  I am *not* a professional, and would love any advice or help anyone has to offer.  
I hope you'll follow along as I blog my way through this project!


  1. I absolutely love this idea. What a great way to give them something lasting! I can't wait to live vicariously through your Ghana experience.

  2. what a *fabulous* idea!! you are such an amazing woman! can't wait to hear all about it.