Tiny Hands

Several months ago, I was invited to become a member of FotoFemmes, a women's photography collective that holds monthly meetings in Seattle... but, it is much more than monthly meetings. The group provides support, encouragement, and feedback, sharing new ideas and information, wisdom, and camaraderie. And photographers know what a loner sport this passion can be - so having a group like this has been a real gift to me.

Every month, we have photo challenges. This month, the challenge was rather mysterious. The woman organizing it had a pair of items- kept secret -that she worked with for three days and then wrapped them up to mail via US Postal Service to the next person on the list. When I opened the package, I saw brown mailing paper crumpled up around the items which were "gift wrapped" in blue tissue paper and tied with a white string. At first, I wondered what I could possibly do with these two ceramic tiny hands. But, imagination took over and I had much fun playing with these little hands. Three days later, I mailed the package to the next person on the list. We will post our 5-8 favorite collective images on Tumblr in July. 

I used the brown wrapping paper, the blue tissue, and the string in several of my images. Here are my eight favorites although I thought of more possibilities. But, that's life, isn't it? We are all limited by time, priorities, and deadlines. 

Moms Loving Babies

I always have a good time being surrounded by beautiful and well-cared for babies and toddlers. I get to witness their mothers learning new parenting skills at a time in life when a child's neurological development is rapid and significant. 

Heidi and Aalyiah (4 months old)

Heidi and Aalyiah (4 months old)

Heidi says one of Aalyiah's favorite things to do is to play on her play mat.

Heidi says one of Aalyiah's favorite things to do is to play on her play mat.

Heidi delighting in her infant.

Heidi delighting in her infant.

Conversations with Prison Nursery Moms

About Addictions

"I’m in treatment and I’m so glad that I did it. I’m realizing the things that brought me to my addiction and a lot of it stems from my rape by my uncle when I was sixteen. Going to counseling has been a struggle. It’s bringing up some feelings that I’ve kept hidden. I’m trying to realize that it happened and I’ll never forget it but I need to start getting over it because I haven’t. I will probably never really get over it, but I dwell on it a lot so I’m trying not to.

"I let it consume me and I need to stop. That’s one thing I need to work on. I’m doing IOP (Intensive Out-Patient) now and when I get out, I’ll do both counseling with my counselor and outpatient treatment.

"My counselor did an assignment on triggers – and a lot of my triggers are when I think about that. So, I when I think about it, I try to numb the pain. We watched a video on meth the other day. I learned that meth doesn’t numb the pain. I thought I was numbing it but I was just making the issue worse by getting high. It’s crazy. I’m in prison for possession of meth."