A very sweet lady named Beverly contact me last week about getting some family portraits done. She was hoping to get them done quickly, within the next week. I am often asked to do portrait sessions last minute, so I didn't think much of the timeline. I always try to accommodate clients, but the more I spoke to her, I realized that I had to do everything possible to make this session happen. She explained to me that she was fighting cancer and wanted some amazing memories with her children and grandchildren before losing her hair or experiencing more effects from the treatments. We spoke for a little while about how much photographs meant to her..how her walls are covered in pictures. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me feel when I meet someone who appreciates photographic memories- whether they are my clients are not. Someone who understands the importance of a fleeting moment. To have a split second of that person and who they really are or were captured in time... it overwhelms me. It is a moment you will never get back, but will never lose because it will always be there in your hand, on your wall or in the album.
It took some detective work to find a place fitting of such an amazing family. One place was closed from storm damage, a couple more wouldn't work for the time of day, and since it was out of town- I was working with a city I was not familiar with. The work paid off, though and we found a beautiful setting worthy of this beautiful family. A family so full of love and respect for one another that it spills out in every photograph I took. I enjoyed watching them interact, laugh, and enjoy one another's company. One of my favorite things about family photography is watching the dynamic in each family. Spending a couple of hours with a family, you feel like you get to know them a lot. After all, you are there to document them being who they are, you are not altering them, or presenting a false version of them.. you are watching them be who they are and presenting that memory to them just as it was. It became clear how full of love and respect they held for the matriarch of their family.
Of course, the stars of the show were the two little ones. Sweetest little innocent smiles and beautiful personalities. Little Avery was giddy with excitement the moment she saw her grandma and spent the entire session so content and happy. Her big brother was a ham... making silly faces and running around the park. Both of them so well behaved and beautiful/handsome as could be.
I had a couple of hours on the drive home to think about this sweet family and what lies ahead for them. Remembering my own mother who battled cancer and how that uncertain and scary some moments are. Thankful that my mother won her battle with cancer and optimistic for Beverly and her family during this time as well. It sincerely reminded me of the importance of making sure I have memories of my own family, all generations of it. It is a bit of a joke when you are a photographer, that you spend so much time behind the camera, that you are never in front of it. Sadly, though- it is true. Every moment is a gift, and no moment is promised. Memories fade from us over time... it is important to document who we are and the love we hold for those in our lives while we can.