Sally Abdel Razak
It's a legacy, not just a photograph.
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
The most precious thing I own is a portrait of my late mother.
She never wanted to be photographed, and so anytime a camera was pointed in her direction she'd point towards us and say "just the kids!".
I lived abroad and could only travel back to see her once or twice a year for many years, and each time I did the more and more I sensed how time was so fleeting. I wanted to have a portrait of her and so I nagged her for weeks until she finally agreed.
And I am so glad she did. To me, just the experience of photographing her alone is such a precious memory. We giggled and laughed as she pulled funny faces because my mom was always SO cheeky.
But after a little while, I captured this- a portrait of my mother, relaxed in front of the lens, with the most beautiful expression on her face. I lost her just a few years later.
Her portrait is something that brings me so much comfort. It's a document of her, with her crown of grey hair, and the smiling lines on her face and a reflection in her eyes of me photographing her. It always makes me so emotional mentioning that last part because in a way, this is one of the last photographs I have of us together.
I am so grateful to have this, and to be able to share it with everyone that loved her as much as I did.
Cherish your loved ones and photograph them. And #existinphotos for yourself and for those that love you. One day your images will become your legacy.