I was a caregiver for my special needs brother and am also raising my granddaughter, after the passing of her mother, my dear daughter. What I once only shared privately, I now photograph and share with my family, friends, and photo community. My pictures tell the story of how important my Catholic faith is to me and how every room in my home is testimony to my sentimental values.
With The New York Times portrait assignment we did earlier this year, I was challenged with having to take photos of myself. I was always my worst critic with “selfies”, especially because of my aging. I was so afraid of looking horrible, I didn’t even want to look in the mirror. But after looking at my self-portraits, now I say “Oh my God, I didn’t appreciate what I had.” I took a risk and was so pleased. Inside I feel happy. I look at pictures now and think, is that me?
Through photography, I’ve become aware of the beauty around us and how important it is to take advantage of how differently we see now.
I am an artist and I believe it now. The more older adults believe in their own artistry, the more everyone will take all of us seriously.