I come from a family of strong women. A grandmother who was very much the matriarch, even until her death at the age of 96. A mother who started her own word processing business long before the age of personal computers.
And an aunt who went against the grain and became the first woman to graduate with a Master's degree in Agriculture from Tarleton State University.
It was 1972, ironically, the same year I was born, when my aunt purchased a camera so she could photograph grasses for an agronomy class. A camera that she had tucked away all these years and then gifted to me last summer for my 44th birthday. She said, "I think it just needs a new battery for the light meter. Have fun, kid."
I had the idea that the first photograph I took with my new/old camera should be of grasses. I drove to the dunes before the light left and, not knowing if the camera even worked, quickly made some shots using a very apropos roll of fourteen year old expired film.
She's quickly becoming one of my favorite cameras.
I'm proud of the women in my family. I love that I have this gift from one of them who was bold and brave. I think about that when I shoot and I hope that my girls will recognize the same strength in even one of my images.