Portrait of a Grandmother: Rochester NY Photographers

So many things about who I am have been cultivated by the women in my life. I'm ridiculously lucky to have had the chance to grow up knowing and loving them all. From my own mother to aunts and all the way to my great grandmother, who passed some years ago.

I'd like to think I follow in their footsteps, collecting each of their similar traits. We're all worriers and maybe a little neurotic. None of us have a green thumb or a penchant for cooking dinner. But we are also loving, hard working, independent and strong when we need to be.

So many of these traits are learned, taught and handed down. I've been so lucky to have grown up with not only a wonderful mother as an example, but my grandmother's example of love as well.

While she's now a great grandmother and grandmother - she's also still a mother. She has the same wishes for her own children that every mother everywhere has. She's still there as a mother to my parents, even when it's hard. Just like my mom is for me.

Because from what I've gathered, you don't stop being a mom when your kids have kids.

Recently my family celebrated my grandmother's 80th birthday, so naturally my camera was at the ready. I took a few minutes to just capture a portrait of her alone. Looking at it now, I see more than just her likeness. I see the matriarch of the family, supportive and strong for us all. I see love, warmth, happiness, family, history.

I see all the other moms of the family in her.

I see me.

Hugs, love, and a Happy (Belated) Mother's Day to you all (especially to my own Momma),


Where it all began | Three generations of photographers

If there is such a thing as the photography gene, I'd guess it runs in my family. My mom has captured every life event of my siblings and I from first car to graduations and every holiday/birthday/lost tooth in-between. It's fantastic to look back on those pictures, especially as now we can compare my brother to his son... de ja vu anyone? But as much as my mom loves photography, she got it from somewhere too. Her mother, of course, my grandma Peg!

My beautiful grandmother, Peg!

Grandma's attic could probably give the Eastman house a run for their money. The sheer volume of photographs is incredible. Every birthday cake, family picnic, even distant cousins I didn't know I had; she has them all cataloged, dated and organized. But do not think these photographs sit hidden in a box or album. Well, some do, but let me show you around a bit.

wall of photos

photos in the kitchen

photo albums

Photos are every where in Grandma's house. What better way to surround yourself with loved ones? All of the kids, grand kids and great-grand kids near and far, are always within reach. Some photos haven't moved in decades, others get switched around, but mostly, they are just added to. If you ever thought you were "out of wall space," I beg you to think again!

gram at computer

grandkids wall

Over the years, grandma has used all kinds of cameras from the Kodak Brownie to Twin Lens Reflex to Polaroids. (Most of those cameras have ended up in my collection!) My mom recently told me how grandma was so impatient to see her photos, that when she had a few shots left on her roll of film, she would just take random photos so she could go develop them! Grandma needed the digital age, but she never liked her digital camera. Instead, she has reverted back to one time use cameras.

She gave the gift of photography to my mom as well. When my mom was pregnant with my brother, kid #1, grandma bought her a nice SLR camera and told her to capture everything. That camera was a fully manual 35mm that my parents went to classes to learn how to use. It's a testament to how much my grandma loves her family and how important photographs are.

My grandma is not a professional photographer, but she loves photography. That trickled down to my mom and to me and I'm sure photography will continue to be important to the next generation as well.

gram and granddaugher

Thanks for letting me show you off grandma :) Love you! -Lori

My Three Grandmothers

This is a personal post, dedicated to my three grandmothers, Nina, Peg and Mary. I love you!

A Little Background

I was lucky enough to grow up with both sets of grandparents close by. I didn't realize how unique this was, until a recent chat with my husband. He only ever knew one set of grandparents, and it was a 6 hour drive to go visit them. My family was close, and losing my grandfathers were two of the hardest days of my life. I still remember them very clearly. Grandpa Pete left us when I was in high school, and Grandpa Dupe when I was in college. When John and I got married, I inherited his set of grandparents, and was excited to have a grandpa again. I now have three grandmothers and one grandfather, all of whom are wonderful beyond words.

My Three Grandmothers

Between the three of them, you could say they've "got it all." Cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, knee conditions, lung conditions, vision impairment, carpal tunnel, arthritis, and more. But more importantly, they have hope, love, faith, family, humor and strength beyond measure. I have learned much and am continually inspired by their lives, courage and outpouring of love.

A few weeks ago, Grandma Dupe decided to have a party. She wanted to see her favorite people again and tell them how much she loved them. It was a chance for us to eat together, laugh together, and make more memories. Coincidentally, Grandma Mary decided to do the same thing in Connecticut. The whole family got together "just because" we wanted to celebrate life. We spent back to back weekends celebrating the lives of these great women. Of course, I had my camera along and enjoyed seeing the joy and happiness on everyone's faces.

family group photo

grandma and grandpa c

family and friends group

a toast to grandma

two grandmas

me and gram d

Celebrate Life

The message I want you to take away from today's blog post is this: Celebrate Life. In regards to photography, this is one of the driving forces behind my art. When we talk about photography as an "investment," this is why. Your photographs will steadily go up in value to you over time. Why are albums the things people reach for in a fire or flood? They are memories that only exist in tangible form because of photography. My point is: take the picture. Make the memory. NOW. Celebrate the good times, and be sure to record and cherish them, as I cherish these memories with my grandmas.

Cheers, Lori