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June 17, 2009


I loved your honesty. It resonates true and beautiful. I am not sentimental but I do keep a picture of myself when I was 20 shortly after I became a member of the Church. I am looking upward - the black and white photograph shows light coming from behind me illuminating my face. I felt beautiful in that picture - beloved of Heavenly Father. A Promising Future. A cherished friend. I don't always feel those things now or at least not all at once. So yes I think that photograph showed me a glimpse of what might be.

I need to have you take some photos of me and my kids! I need to jump into the vision of what I want to be as a mom. Thanks for this beautifully written post that reflects so much of my own thoughts and feelings.

Saydi - things have changed so much since activities committee :) photos are truly therapeutic for me. I love going through your site seeing the joy and love you capture. xoxo

So many take-aways. I love the question, "Can you see beyond your appearance in a picture to what is happening?"

I realize that I don't have very many pictures of me mothering my children. One, I am often behind the camera. But, two, I often can't get beyond my appearance in the picture. Four small children doesn't allow for much "primping."

Motherhood is such a fleeting experience. Days become years, stages becomes fuzzy memories, we become our mothers and our children become standalone people.

I need to capture the now - with me in it - before it becomes only a box of pictures with me safely behind the camera.

Saydi - thank you so much for this post. I'm a photographer too and have been thinking a lot about the issues you brought up. Not just as it pertains to my clients, but as it pertains to me. I need more pictures of me with my son. I've started to turn my camera over to others, but I need to do for myself what I do for others and have a session done. I'm so grateful to have discovered your talent and am thrilled at how closely our photographic philosophies align.

Every time I see pictures of myself, I have the renewed realization (because it happens every time) that I am not as pretty as I thought (oh well!) but that my kids are truly delightful. (And many of the pictures of my children have been taken by none other than this Saydi!)

Of course. Of course. Saydi and Macy you must meet one another. Between your sensibilities related to photography,
Macy's Masters in Music Education, and Saydi's Masters in Social Work, you likely would find a lot of common ground. If I can help make that happen, let me know.

Beautiful post, Saydi. I enjoyed visiting your blog as well. You are incredibly talented.

We have a huge collage frame in our family room filled with a variety of "the best of" moments of the past year. One of my favorite photos is one of my daughter Grace and I the day she passed her cardiology tests and was given a 2 yr. break before her next follow-up; the largest break she's had. I was elated! I asked my husband to take a photo of Grace and I in which Grace is squeezing her arms around my neck in probably the tightest hug ever; we are beaming with joy. I feel gratitude for life when I see that photo and am reminded to CHERISH each day (even those with moments when I really want to pull my hair out).

Your story gives new meaning to the term, "picture perfect."

So often family pictures mask pain, disappointment, discontent - plastered smiley faces, saying, "Cheese!" How liberating that the photograph of you and your son revealed a beautiful truth about yourself as opposed to a simple reflection of a "face" that we show the world.

It reminds me of several years ago when a friend of mine had some head shots done for her acting resume. When she presented the photos to me, I broke down weeping because the pictures captured the beauty of her soul, her being, so perfectly. Again, picture perfect!

Hi Saydi,

Thanks for contributing this post. I saw myself in every word of your spot-on description of your disillusionment with young motherhood. I spent so many years mourning the death of the image of motherhood that I'd built up for myself. The contrast between my hopes and my reality was so vast it was painful. I don't know that I have found a way to bridge that divide in my own mind, but the photo and the thoughts you shared are both gorgeous and comforting. I, too, have a hard time seeing past the shock of my own appearance in pictures, but there have been a few snaps that captured real happiness, which is much more appealing that bone structure or skin tone. Thank you for your honesty, insight, and talent.

Beautiful photo, beautiful thoughts. Thanks for sharing; it changes the way I think about some of my photos.

Thank you Saydi.

It is such a relief to hear your story. I read your mom's 'I Didn't Plan to Be a Witch' when my kids were little and I was not the mom I thought I'd be. Both of you have helped me feel better about my mothering!

Plus you gave me a compelling reason to fill some photo frames around the house!

That is a GREAT photo! I have a favorite picture of me with my youngest, taken by a friend who snuck it in on the sly. I was leaning down and listening to him and he was laughing... I have no idea what we were talking about, but it's a great picture.

I am inspired to find moments that can visibly remind me I find joy in being a mother. A picture speaks 1000 words.

I'm not a great photographer, but I love pictures, especially those of my family and friends. I love the way a picture brings back specific memories of the day/time it was taken.

For instance, when I was a struggling single mom with two young kids, we had a cheap family portrait taken. My youngest was tired and cranky -- in that 2-year-old zone where she would swing back and forth from laughing to crying. I had a tissue in my hand and I kept wiping her eyes (and nose) and somehow, we finally got "the shot" with all of us smiling. However, in that picture, I can see just a bit of tissue peaking out of my hand and it makes me smile.

That picture is one of my favorites, as it reminds me of that day and of that time -- when we were starting off totally on our own, living hundreds of miles away from any family support (mainly to get away from my abusive, drug addicted ex-husband). We were in a town where we didn't know anyone (except for my boss at my new job there, who I had worked with before). I was scared and overwhelmed, but relieved to be in a safe place with a good job and a way to support my girls.

Another favorite picture is a snapshot of my two girls -- they must have only been 8 months and 2 years old at the time. The older is sitting behind the younger, cuddling her and they have these huge grins on their faces. It was a reminder to me that, even during the mess my life was at that point, my girls could still be happy and healthy. One of my favorite gifts ever was when my daughter (now an adult) had that picture retouched and enlarged, giving it to me one mother's day in a beautiful frame.

This is such a great post Sayds! I love it. Let's take some great Motherhood pictures this summer. Love you.

LOVE this Saydi! How time rolls! It seems like yesterday that you were the little girl on my lap. How lucky am I to have you!

how lucky I am to have you both!
dad eyre

Photographs really are our most valuable possessions, even though they have little monetary value. If my house were on fire (knock on wood) I'd grab the people and pets, and then my family photos and then, if there's still time, my computer hard drive). Most everything else can be replaced or doesn't really matter.

It's so true of all ages! One of my favorite photos is a family photo taken for the church directory. You can tell we were laughing at the awkwardness of having a family photo with three teens and mama had just said, "we're going to have this picture taken and we're going to like it."

My favorite photo would probably be one of the ones that have never been taken of me with my son. I am always the one behind the camera. If I'm ever in a picture it is totally posed. Even though I am as critical of my appearance as the next woman, I would love a totally spontaneous shot of me with my son or my husband.


Love your photography philosophy. I was a child photographer, and had acquired the reputation that I had infinite patience with special needs children. I saw their beauty and strengths and not their differences,and sat on the floor with them. Eventually I translated my thoughts to my tutoring.

I love that you capture the 'relationship' of mothering. In one of your photos, the little girl on the left hugging her mother, with her eyes closed and her whole being linked to her mother's side captures an emotional height. As a writer, the word I would use to define that moment is 'ecstatic'.

The pictures I have in my house of my family reflect these relationship moments. One of my favorite pictures is of my daughter and I when I taught at her nursery school. The school photographer allowed her to come in my class when he shot the class photos and took one of her and I. Our close relationship is certainly palpable as well as a mother's beaming pride of her child, and a daughter's pride of her mother. The picture shouts, "This is MY mommy! and This is MY daughter!" I cherish this photo. When my daughter married last summer, she brought her framed copy to her new home and placed it in her living room.

Other favorites of mine are of both my children together at various stages in their lives. So wonderful that you found your bliss, a bliss that recognizes the bliss that is motherhood.

What a lovely and inspirational post.

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About this blog

  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.


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