Photograph of mother inspires daughter, wins contest - CBS46 News

Photograph of mother inspires daughter, wins contest

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A Gwinnett County mother is thankful she's able to immortalize her mother through a photograph.

Patricia Whited submitted a picture of her mother in a contest, where celebrities will direct a short film based on inspiration from the chosen images. For Whited, it's the woman in the shot that inspired her.  

"This is Elise, my mom," Whited said, pointing at a photograph on the wall.

"She was a war bride. My dad went over to Germany just post WWII and brought her back over here. She didn't speak any English," Whited said.

Whited's mom was her rock.

"She's my hero. She taught me how to be a mom basically and I think I'm a pretty good one," Whited said.

Elise became sick with kidney disease later in life and passed away two years ago. Whited captured the journey through pictures, a passion she's held since age 10.

"I see pictures everywhere and it was the logical way for me to process her illness, to photograph it. There was a camera between me and the situation," Whited said.

One winter afternoon, Whited snapped the winning photo. The weight of it overwhelmed her. 

"I just looked up and the oak tree I used to play under when I was a child. She was in my bedroom looking out of the window and I just looked up and snapped a picture of her. It almost looked like she was part of that tree, the reflection in the tree. To me what I saw when I looked up was she wanted to go outside and she could no longer do that. I just saw everything in her face that day," Whited said.

Whited's daughter, Emily, makes three generations of women, each as proud as the one before them.

"That's who she was. She captured her (mom). My mom has a talent for that," Emily said.

They hope others will find meaning in the image they feel reflects their family. 

"I think it's pretty obvious it's a powerful image. I would like for them to see a strong woman and maybe see that tree of life," Whited said.

Whited's picture will be part of a short film directed by Georgina Chapman, the co-founder of Marchesa.     

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