When Karen asked me to photograph her daughter in Irish dance costume, I jumped at the opportunity to do something completely different with dance portraits. Gwen has been involved in competitive Irish dancing for years, has won oodles of medals, and had decided since she is moving on to high school, this was going to be her final year of performing. Being a mom to a ballet dancer, I knew what I would want to see if it was my daughter’s last year of performance. As parents, we always get the beautifully costumed photos and action shots taken at the recitals and competitions. What I never have is the ability to see how much care and love we spend in making our girls look wonderful for their performances every time they practice or go out on stage. It’s a mom and daughter ritual that never grows old.
I had so much fun learning all about the ins and outs of the Irish dancing rituals from Karen and Gwen. I learned about the beautiful costume which comes directly from Ireland; the curled wigs, which is a tradition borrowed from the days of little girls being dressed in their best with their hair curled for church. And of course, I loved getting a chance to spend time with Gwen, who is just at that point of getting ready to start new adventures in high school – a time in a girl’s life that I can definitely relate to with my own daughter.
To Gwen, I wish you so many good things as you start this exciting new chapter of your life in the fall. To Karen, here are your memories of the countless hours spent with your daughter as she’s grown up dancing over the years.
xx’s and oo’s