I am not a fan of being in front of the camera, but the minute I met Nanette, I knew I could ask her to take my portrait. All of my clothing is a little snug these days, my crooked front tooth bugs me, and my hair gets to be like seaweed waving around even if there's no breeze. I didn't know what to do with my hands, whether my smile was starting to look maniacal or frozen (or worse, both), or if I actually looked as exhausted as I felt.
There was plenty to fuss about, but at some point, I just gave in to it. I warmed up, felt myself loosen, and stopped worrying about what things might look like; I felt centered. At one point a tiny fawn, still too young to have any fear, came wandering up the path and spent some time watching the process. After that came the best shots of the day.
I felt as though Nanette was my mirror, that I could just be who I am right now. She understands every single bit of why it is so important to mark this time before I leave. I've already put money aside so that she can take my portrait when I'm back again in a year. This one is one of my favorites - it's not posed, Nanette just called my name and I turned around, already laughing at something we were talking about. This is me, right now.