The Gift of Being Seen

Jendowner1 © 2009 she saw things : jen downer

There is a certain vulnerability that goes along with letting someone into your home to be a witness to your existence.

This past weekend we were blessed with an opportunity to be seen. We welcomed someone new into our home to document us: the subtleties, the connections, the support, the silliness, the four of us.

Jendowner2 © 2009 she saw things : jen downer

I first met Jen Downer a few years back through some random online
connections. We had dinner together in Portland and talked about life and creating and kids and special needs and photography. We talked about having her take photos of our family at
some point in the future. Fast forward a couple years and the addition
of a new family member seemed like a really good time to be seen.

To be honest, my first thought about having someone take our photos was this: we take so many photos already; we capture each other as we go about our daily routines; Chris and I are quick to grab the camera before moments pass by - why do we need someone else to take more?

Those first two photos are the reason why.

There is really something amazing about having someone else come into your home with a camera in hand who is willing to casually interact, blend in, and document us as we are. Jen captured things that we just can't do on our own, with a sensitivity to the dynamics of our family that was truly appreciated.

Jendowner3© 2009 she saw things : jen downer (butterfly mobile from Royal Buffet)

When she emailed these first few images to me yesterday my immediate response was that these images were my heart.

Jendowner5 © 2009 she saw things : jen downer

Jen and Simon hit it off from the start. I had prepped him this past week that my friend was going to be coming over to take photos of our family. She even got to witness his full production/reading/acting of Green Eggs & Ham. He got to hold her camera and take a few shots.

Jendowner4 © 2009 she saw things : jen downer

What a gift.

Thank you Jen, for seeing us. 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell some new stories.

I can't wait to see the rest of the photos.

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