“Love in a spiritual sense may mean seduction to a higher level” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Self Portrait by ©Lori Maloney

“I first fell in love with New Mexico while I was falling in love with my now husband…this quote, from Georgia O’Keefe, echoes well how I feel: ‘When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but if fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air, it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different.’ 

Shooting a self-portrait is a complicated thing, you feel challenged and vulnerable…just as our portrait subjects feel, but with the added stress of focus and technology while you smile! It’s good for us, as photographers, to be in this position! I was thrilled that a trip to New Mexico coincided with this project so that I could capture my self-portrait in a place that I deeply love. San Francisco de Asis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico. Life is beautiful! Lori”

Self Portrait by © Lori Maloney

An Interview with Lori

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

A. It’s hard to pick a ‘best birthday’ because I LOVE birthdays! A few that stand out are: when my parents surprised me with my first dog for my birthday (Man, I loved him…and he LOVED my mom!); when, on my first birthday after losing my mom, my dad, a few friends, and I went horseback riding at the farm – ticket of admission was head-adornment of any kind and I wore a halo, which was decidedly crooked after my horse slipped on some mud!; and, lastly, when I flew to Illinois to see my to-be-husband finish his hockey season and we embarked on our journey home via New Mexico, a state I now love more than any other.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. I can’t really name a ‘worst’ because, as already mentioned, I LOVE birthdays! That said, the ‘firsts’ of every special occasion after you’ve lost a beloved are pretty tough.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. Celebrating birthdays is celebrating LIFE! I really believe in the power of showing someone that you’re happy they’re ‘here’! Life can be busy and we sometimes forget to tell those we love how we feel; thank goodness for the calendar reminder encouraging us to vocalize our love and gratitude to those special people who so compellingly enrich our lives and experiences.

Q. Do you/your family have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

A. I grew up in a tight-knit family and we celebrated everything! My ‘Pop’ was amazing and put his heart, soul, and laughter into every occasion…and my mom, when we were little, would make the most beautiful and elaborate cakes; a tradition my dad took up after her death. Birthdays for me and mine have always included both a family dinner and a party with friends.