The room was dimly lit...for every nurse that asked if I wanted the lights on my answer was the same..."no thank you" I don't need light, I work in the dark. That's the whole point...to find the light in the darkness and be able to share it.
To not change a thing in the room, to not alter the environment a bit for that baby working oh so hard to breathe. The Mom seemed nervous...unsure of where to stand she stayed tucked back watching me as I zoomed in on her boys features.
I knew if I wasn't in the room she would be standing over the crib, rubbing his toes and whispering just loud enough for him to hear her voice over the sound of the machines. I stopped shooting. I knew there was a language barrier but I had an idea of how to break it.
"Can I show you something?" She nodded her head and walked towards me.
I pulled up a picture of myself on my phone...one where I am leaning over an intubated little Riley.
"That's me...that's my daughter...she's ok now...but that's US."
I literally felt the nerves leave her body as she looked from my phone to meet my eyes. Her face softened into a smile...a knowing one...a comfortable one. Before she saw me as a photographer...now she saw me as her. Because I am...I am her, I am every mother I have ever captured. With that she found her place in the room...right back at his side where she belonged, the place she always is when no one is looking. And just like that...light.
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