Tampa Bay Photographer- Why it’s important to “Exist in Images”

So I’m the first to joke that there’s a reason I’m behind the camera!  If you are like me, there’s always an excuse ready to use.  You want to lose more weight, don’t have anything to wear, hate how you look in photographs?  Who’s with me, right?  As a professional photographer, it’s my job to convince people that now is the time to capture those memories, to exist in images and it’s advice I’ve made a commitment to listen to myself. I’m making baby steps towards existing in more family photographs and I’ve made what I consider one huge leap towards that goal and I am so very glad that I did.

This past weekend would have been my grandmother’s 96th Birthday.  She passed away this past November and I was lucky enough to be there to hold her hand.  My Nannie and I had a close relationship for years and she meant the world to me.  When we moved from Charlotte in 2013, I still had a fair number of clients that I would go back and work with 1-2 times a year. I always extended that time a bit to spend time with Nannie and my parents. In May 0f 2015, I booked a professional photo session with Kristin Byrum Photography.  Kristin and I met when photographing a charity event while I still lived in Charlotte.  She and her husband are primarily wedding photographers (and amazing ones at that!) but I reached out and asked if she would be willing to do a session for Nannie and I. She very graciously agreed.

Why did I take the step to hire a professional?  Well, primarily because of images like this- even though I set up the camera and handed it over to an un-named family member, this was the result.

Why to Exist in Images- Grandmother and Granddaughter out of focus

And while cell phone snapshots in the airport are great, they really just don’t compare to a professional who knows lighting, composition, exposure, aperture, etc… plus- who’s that lady in the background? 🙂


I wanted a few images that captured the love & relationship between Nannie & I.  I knew in my heart, I wouldn’t have her for too many more years and I also knew that despite my excuses as to why I didn’t want to be in front of the camera, I would never forgive myself if I didn’t do it.  

Kristin & Aaron were amazing, they put us both at ease and it was an interesting perspective to be on the other side of the lens! Ultimately, what I was hoping for from the session was one image that captured the essence of my relationship with Nannie and for me, the one I’ve posted below is it.  I love how close together we are, that I’m holding her hand but then she reached across and grabbed on with her other hand too.  I love the emotion that I feel in this image.  I know that she loved me- and while technically I don’t need this image to prove that, having this in my home to look at everyday is priceless.

So folks, please, please, please exist in your family’s photographs, no matter if you don’t look the way you want, your hair needs to be colored, you want to lose another x pounds, insert your best excuse here…… Just get in the images. One day you will be able to look back and be so very thankful that you did.


  • Amy Cheyney - Mary….what an incredible post! You made me cry. We haven’t seen each other in way too long! I just wanted to let you know how incredibly true your post is…I am definitely the one behind the camera…and with Trent leaving for college in the next year and a half…just made me think. Hope you and the family are doing well!


    • maryebert - Thanks Amy! It has been way too long, but it means so much that you would take the time to reach out about my post! Can’t believe our kiddos are almost at the point where you & I met years ago. McKenna is also getting ready for college in a year & 1\2. Time flies! Hopefully we will make it back to Roanoke one day soon & let us know should you & Todd & Trent find yourselves near Tampa! xoReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



back to topshare on Facebookpin on pinterestcontact me