My grandfather’s cousin recently sent us a photo of my great-grandmother, Martha Lake Carmichael, that we had never seen before. We don’t have many pictures of her, so a new one is a treasure. In most of the photos we have, she is in profile or her features are lost in shadows. Some of the photos show her laughing or mischievously looking directly at the camera or the comfort and familiarity she felt with the other people in the photos. Only one of the photos is a formal studio shot and the original is as small as my thumb. In that one she doesn’t smile and is dressed very formally.
This new one is taken at the closest distance of all the photos we have and one of the few where she engages directly with the camera. She seems familiar with whoever the photographer is and seems to be comfortable with the attention. Her features and posture are familiar from the other photos, but feel more relaxed with her slight smile.
I love being able to see this different aspect of her. This new image feels like opening a new window onto her that isn’t captured in the other photos.
To read more about Martha, read my Dinner Guest post.