Becoming a parent is such an inexplicable experience that can only be lived to fully grasp how much it can change a person. As parents we make sacrifices and our needs and desires becomes our children’s; where to live, what to eat, traditions, how to live, etc. We make these changes in what use to be our independent self-centered life and we know it to be more than we ever thought we needed B.P. (Before Parenting).
My mother would tell me “One day Rich, you’ll know when you have your own little ones, then you will know”. I always laughed it off as the motherly thing to say when her kids act out of line. Now I laugh because, now I know. Having your own children makes everything come together and it’s your job to nurture them into the adults they’ll strive to become in society on their own.
My mother’s words comes in moments like the session I did for Virginia and Makeeda; a mother-daughter photo shoot session.
Virginia said these words and it instantly brought me back to my mother. “The way you treat your kids, mold them into who they will grow up to become”. Virginia said this as if she knew this since she was a young girl herself. She grew up in the barrio of Manhattan on 110st and describes it as a time when block parties were open for all and a blanket on the roof top on a hot summers evening was all you needed for a fun get together, that and some cool breezy roof top weather. She grew up in a big family where everyone pitched in to help. The terms “it takes a village” was a natural way of life for her growing up. She continued this way of life by adopting 4 children and fostering 35 of them. Her daughter Makeeda is the youngest of her 7 children she raised into adulthood.
Makeeda scheduled this session for Virginia’s Birthday as a surprise to enjoy a day to celebrate her.
She told her mother that they were stopping by to see my kids. Makeeda use to be my assistant so her mother knew me and my family pretty well, especially my kids who she adores. She came through the door expecting little smiles and big hugs from my kids but instead got a hot pink sash, tiara, and birthday button with a stream of balloons as the Richard Rosario Photography team welcomed her with a Happy Birthday song and her photo shoot surprise. While laughing and smiling at her surprise, she still asks about the kids and if she could see them. For her, kids are gifts and every day is a birthday. Virginia would say throughout her session “every day is a birthday for me, every day we should live as if it’s our birthday” with this certain sweetness in her words. Virginia’s had two hip replacements but that doesn’t stop her from dancing whenever she hears music, dancing as if it’s her Birthday every day.
Her and Makeeda have this hilarious relationship where they are open and would poke fun at each other and it was so awesome to watch through a camera lens; focusing on their laughs and love for each other. You know, it’s just magical how a camera can help block out everything around you and just live in that moment of laughs, smiles, and love. It’s hard to do that these days with all the distractions pulling us away from what’s important as if it’s programmed into ourselves to keep moving forward as fast as possible just to keep up with life. This was truly special to me, these kinds of sessions are what my business is made of; capturing the moments to last forever. I’m just glad I can do that for Virginia and Makeeda and every other mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, best friends; for every woman who gets distracted from what’s important and capture it before it’s gone for good. Love life, love yourself, and don’t forget to.....
Be Fun, Be Gracious, Be YOU.
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