Austin Family Photographer – The Power of Paper

Austin Family Photographer – The Power of Paper and why it matter so much.

You learn some lessons in life inadvertently. For me, the power of paper is one of those things. If you have been here for awhile, you know just how important my grandmother was in my life. You also know just how much she had a hand in my photography career.

Austin family photographer the power of paper old black and white photos
Mimi and Poppa (and my daddy as a baby) old black and white paper prints.

If I close my eyes, I can still hear her sweet voice. The way she answered the phone, “heelllo” in her slow southern drawl. If you knew her, you can probably hear it too. We lost her when I was a senior in high school. She was far too young, in her early 60’s. Gosh what I wouldn’t give for another day with her. I honestly thought I had learned all she had to offer. But, a recent find changed all that.

We were at my mom’s for Easter lunch. My mom had been storing a box for me. I thought I knew what everything was in that box. My college diploma, my State of Texas paperweight from my first job at the Texas Senate, and stacks of pictures. Photography is nothing new to me. I have been documenting my life and the world through my lens since junior high.


But, there was one big surprise in that messy overflowing box. A letter. A simple piece of paper. A piece of history in my hands. I was baffled at first. The post mark said 1979. It was perplexing as it looked brand new. I studied it. Looked at the mailing address and return address. I was so confused. It was so thin I didn’t think anything was inside. But, I finally opened the envelope. It took all of two seconds for the tears to start streaming down my face. It was a letter my grandmother had written to me on my second birthday. I turn 42 this year. You would have thought I was a two year old all over again the way I was crying.

I believe with everything in me that this is the reason I am an Austin family photographer and why the power of paper matters.

December 10, 1979

Happy Birthday Jama,

Today you are two years old and Mimi and Poppa want to let you know how very much we love you and how happy we are that God chose our family to send you to. He has surely blessed us all by doing so.

We hope that you have a very nice day for your birthday and it is our prayer that our Lord will bless you and keep you in his care every day of your life and that you will love him with all your heart and grow closer to him each day. Also we pray that you will learn very early in your life to seek His will and guidance daily. This will also be a very important day always for your Mother and Daddy. 

We love you “little lady”. 

Your Mimi and Poppa. 

The actual letter if you want to see it. Me holding a valuable piece of paper, her picture.

If you love it, print it. Let me help show you some ways. A few of my client favorites are albums and wall art.

Austin family photographer torn edge print
Torn edge square prints matted and framed as a 20×20 piece of art.
Austin family photographer heirloom album
Handcrafted album

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    Jama Pantel Photography Signature
    Austin - Texas

    will travel worldwide
    Jama Pantel Photography Signature