Monday, September 10, 2012

Tyler Lee : portraits // northeast, tx portrait photographer

It's early summer, 1998. I'm on the floor of my parents' bedroom, my legs crossed and my head tilted to the side. My little hand is resting on my mom's lap. She is on the edge of her bed, leaned over slightly, one hand gripping the phone, the other covering her mouth which was turning up at the sides more and more as she listened intently to her brother as he spoke excitedly. I hear his muffled voice and wonder at my my mom's growing grin. He was telling her the news they had gotten at the doctor's office. He was telling her about the sonogram.  He was telling her about his twins. My cousins. A girl and boy. 
Many months pass. I'm a wide-eyed and curious child. My golden hair falls down my back past my waist, my knees are dimpled, and I'm probably barefoot. I lay on my stomach in my grandmother's living room floor, my head, tilted to the side again, is resting in the palm of my right hand, my left hand up to my mouth as I rub my lips, my signature "thinking position". I'm face to face, looking deeply into the navy blue eyes of a chubby faced boy with a coat of the downiest blonde peach fuzz on his round little head. He's drooling and I'm wondering why it had to be a girl and a boy instead of two girls. Everyone knows boys are yuck. I'm frowning on the outisde but there is something inside me that thinks he's kinda darling. 
Years go by. I am a snaggled tooth third grader with crooked bangs. I have my hair wrapped tightly in a shower cap as I sit on a patchwork quilt in my living room floor. Beside me is that little boy, now five or so, with a shower cap of his own covering his buzzed haircut. His sister is already dozing off as she tugs slightly at her shower cap. We are all exhausted and though we feel like crying we can hardly keep ours eyes open. My mother and sister have been fighting the lice infecting all three of our heads of wavy flaxen hair all day. We don't even have the energy to itch anymore. We can focus on nothing but our desire to sleep and the discomfort of our oily heads. Beneath our shower caps we are drenched in mayonnaise, a home remedy to get rid of the pesky bugs. Just as I finally bring myself to lay down I hear his pitiful, lisping sob, 
"I smell like a sammich."
Now we're back to present day. The uncle that spoke excitedly over the phone has brought those twins he was gushing about so long ago before they were even born, up from big city Austin to tiny community Johntown. We sit in Mam-maw's floor again. The red carpet is the same. Though it's on a different wall than before, the same piano sits, adorned with all the same old knick knacks and hymn books, to the left of us. I look again into those navy blue eyes. No more blonde peach fuzz or chubby cheeks. His hair is dark, his jaw is chiseled, braces on his teeth, his shoulders broader, and his voice has a froggy gruffness that wasn't there the last time I saw him. He speaks in the same natural, down to earth, gentle way that has always been characteristic of him. I tell him to go get something nice on so I can take his picture. He runs off to the bedroom and then comes back in a clean cut, no nonsense, icy steel gray shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He looks way too much like a man instead of a little boy. If I look hard enough I can still see that Tuller boy, with a lisp and white blond curls. And as we trudge off to capture some memorable images of his strapping handsome young self, for a split second I catch something I believe will always be there...that glint of darling in those eyes.
~Through Christ's Love 

Portraits of his twin sister Kelsey coming soon! :D {Happy Dance.}


  1. awesome shots, Allix. can't wait to see the ones of his twin sister!

  2. these are wonderful!! girl you rocked them.

  3. Such a sweet post Allix!! I loved reading your little story. :) Great shots. :)



  4. These are so great of Tyler! I miss him. lol

  5. The pictures were just lovely. I loved the backlighting of some of them, and the emotion captured in each of them was priceless.
    And your story was great :D It's so fun to watch little kids grow up, and that's why I love photography: Because I can capture them, before they grow up too fast ♥


  6. wonderful shots. you captured him so well!


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