Greg walked into the room and with a huge smile on his face said to his wife, “Hi Beautiful! How is your day?” He sat down, grabbed her hand and talked to her like no one else was in the room. I sat back, watched and sobbed behind my camera. It’s love like this that makes me want to capture an image, if only one, that will show the love that will never die. I am moved by each and every session I do like this, but Karen’s session was a little different. It was all in the way Greg looked at and spoke to his wife. I kept thinking… “THIS is how my dad would be talking to my mom or how Tony would talk to and look at me…” It was heart-wrenching and kept me in tears the entire shoot. I realize this type of love is out there and battling this stupid thing we call cancer, every day. It’s why I go and shoot these sessions. I’ve said it before, but its not about being overly creative (or being creative at all), it’s simply about the people in the photos at this very moment in their lives and their relationship with one another. Karen adored her husband, her children and her grandchildren… you could see it in the way that she used all of her energy to smile when her grandkids ran into the room. That short smile she gave completely lit up her face and it was the only one she gave that day because it was so physically draining. I spent the next short 30 minutes with their family trying to just stay back and adequately capture their love for one another.
As I was leaving the session, Liz’s aunt pulled me aside and said, “I didn’t understand why anyone wanted pictures when Karen doesn’t look like herself, but then I read the other blog posts that you’ve done and I realized its not at all about what anyone looks like, its about the love. The love between the people in the photos is so evident and THAT is why you do these shoots, isn’t it?!” I replied with just a simple “yes”… mostly because I was trying not to cry again. I then hugged Liz, Greg and the kids and then left them to more family time with Karen.
Liz, your mom was truly beautiful and evidently full of love. It was an honor to spend the short time I did with you and your family. Greg, your love moved me deeply… I’m so sorry for your loss and hope that there is some comfort in these images for you, Liz, Stephen and the grandkids to cherish for a lifetime.