Happy 2024!

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I am extremely fortunate in that I had a very rich upbringing.  And no, I don’t mean my family was rich – at least not in the monetary sense.

© Brianna Shade 2014

I’ve written before about my father and his influence on my adventurous spirit and my love for photography, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my mother.  When Dad would take us on outings, Mum would ensure we stayed safe.. and check our heads for ticks when we got back.  When we went camping, she provided food for an army (seriously, you have no idea how amazing homemade beef stew is over a campfire when you’re famished and tired from a day of hiking).  She would plan our many excursions to the letter, so all we had to do was show up and have a good time.

She’s witty and sharp, always with a pun and a party theme.  Her laughter is infectious and her love is endless.  And knowing she’s constantly worrying (as mothers do) keeps me mindful of my own safety (even when I’m tempted to defy it).

© Brianna Shade 2014

She also loves to spoil us all.  She’s the first to admire my photography, always asking for more photos to show on her digital frame.  Really, she was the first to love any of my art – back to the crayon and macaroni days.  And she has purchased so many camera accessories for me over the years.


Mum enables me and encourages me in all of my endeavors, never not believing I could accomplish anything.  I think I get my tenacity from her.  She is strong yet quiet – an unsung hero never asking for anything in return but our happiness.

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Wiens

She is also the primary reason I’m such a grammar nerd.  She was quick to correct my speech growing up (she still does), and I find joy in writing (and even more joy in reading) because of this conditioning.  With this influence, my mind records stories.  And between the words and the pictures, I relay them to you.  I see stories in every photo I take, and this adds a depth I feel casual pictures lack.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

It’s easy to be myself when I’m loved so completely.  Reflecting back on the many years of support I had makes me eternally grateful for the amazing life I now lead.

Thanks, Mum, for seeing in me all I had the capacity to be and for being my first and always fan.


Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms out there.  How has your mother shaped your life?

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