When I showed my daughter this photograph, I wasn’t sure what her reaction would be. For a child who is almost smiling, singing, laughing to the degree it’s infectious, this moment tells a different side of her. Something deep, fierce, intense and incredibly strong. I was hoping she would share the pride I felt for her in this self-scenario…this portrait. I wondered if she would see her toughness and embrace it along with all of the other wonderful parts of her soul. Upon seeing it, she gave a sly smile and told me she liked it. And with that reaction, as subtle as it was, I knew she got it. This is why portraits are so important, so valuable, in what they teach us about ourselves. It’s alright not to smile when you’re not feeling it, let your face, your posture, your gaze tell ALL the stories of your authentic selves. Those who love you, will love all of your dimensions.