A few months ago, I was given an opportunity that had a profound effect on me…
My job is a happy job. Couples in love, new babies, and happy families — a wonderful way to spend my days. I feel honored to get to enter my clients lives, even for a brief time, and preserve the love and the memories for them. To see what they love about each other, and capture it. Again, a happy job. For the most part, that’s the way I view what I do for a living. What I learned a few months ago was that it can be much much more.
I received a call from a client. They asked me to come to Washington DC to photograph their family. They were anxious to schedule it quickly.
A week after returning home with their second baby girl, the mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. The prognosis was not good. In all of their planning, fighting, and coping, this family reached out to me to capture them as they were. I have to admit, I didn’t quite know how to handle this. Not only did I feel enormous pressure to give them everything they could want, but my “happy” job was now bringing me to tears. A friend of mine shifted my perspective, however, when he pointed out that to request these photos meant that the family had accepted what they were facing, and wanted to give their daughters (and Dad) this gift.
The photo session was one of the most impactful I will ever face. It was wonderful and devastating all at the same time. We laughed, we sang, we talked, and we spent hours together just being… I have never felt more humbled and honored to get to do what I do for a living.
It was with great sadness that I learned this weekend of the Mom’s passing. My heart breaks for her husband and high-school sweetheart, and their two young girls. I can only hope that with time, they will look at the album of images, and smile, knowing what a beautiful and loving mother they had… although too briefly.
Here is a look back at our photo session…
I want to thank this family for the opportunity, the honor, the lessons and the inspiration they have given me. You are and will continue to be in my heart and mind.