Just over a year ago, I had the opportunity to meet total strangers that had a HUGE impact on my life. Their friends, the Steadman Family, hired me to do family photos. I was honored to be able to give them this gift. Here are my thoughts (from my personal blog) from a year ago:
My dear, dear friend Julie hired me to go and take pictures last week of her friends, the Brown family. I had never met them prior to this, but I instantly knew I liked them when I arrived at their home. They were funny, and very down to earth. Here is a link to their story.
Here is a link to the pictures I did for them (the condensed version):
I know they would appreciate any comments of encouragement during this time on their blog. I am sure they enjoy receiving them and reading them, even if you don’t know them. Here is the link that contains the full version of pictures and a spot where you could leave a comment of encouragement for them.
This was a very emotional photoshoot for me, naturally. I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility to do a good job and create a lasting memory. As I lost my own father at a very young age, I really wanted to document their relationship together.
I decided that it would be nice to do both some shots in their backyard, which was perfect for this, as well as some against a backdrop. Bryce gave me one of his bracelets and couldn’t stop thanking me for coming and taking pictures. I could relate to Tammy so very much, and admired her strength. She gave me a big hug as I left and I was very overcome by her appreciation. She snuck some chocolate truffles into my car and I found them when I got home. Anyone that gives me truffles is a friend for life. Bryce lasted longer than most of my dads do on regular photoshoots, and he didn’t complain once. He wanted a lot of kissing photos because as he put it, “it’ll be very important to Dani in the future.” I couldn’t agree more.
I was a blubbery mess and couldn’t stop crying all day last Saturday as I edited these pictures to get them online for them. I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet them.
Unfortunately, Bryce lost his battle with cancer a few weeks later. Now, a year later, I’m still touched by the gift this family gave me. I think because they were close to my age (early 30’s), it hit me even harder, being able to relate so easily to their situation. Both my husband and I went and had a 100% body scan done by a dermatologist. In fact, I had a pre-cancerous mole that I would have NEVER guessed was pre-cancerous. I’ve always been a big fan of sunscreen, but even moreso now. For my trip to Florida, I didn’t go to the tanning beds……instead, I had a horrible experience having a spa apply self-tanning lotion (which is a great story in itself!). I make sure to share their story with everyone I know, in hopes that we would all become a little better educated on this terrible disease. I encourage you to go read their story. It will touch you.