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For Anna

Today I am attending the funeral of a dear, sweet mother and client. If you had asked me a month ago I would have never imagined this is how I would spend my day.

Anna and her sweet family had a photo session with me in September. They were excited to be welcoming a baby girl in October and wanted to capture this special time in their lives. Anna and I swapped motherhood stories as we walked around Botanical Gardens photographing herself, her son John Marshall, and her husband Brian. Anna has always been so easy to talk to and so very friendly. I loved seeing her interact with John Marshall. He is such a fun little boy and has a boisterous personality. I LOVED getting to photograph him just being himself. I was struck by Anna’s ability to reign him in when needed without extinguishing his boyish nature and personality. She knew how to allow him to be himself. I love that. Anna inspired me to do the same with my own son.

Anna passed away 5 days after giving birth to her beautiful daughter on October 30th. It simply devastated the community around her. She was the principle at Meadowbrook Elementary and SO well loved among the faculty and students. My heart aches for her husband and 2 children. I have been covering them in prayers all week and trying to wrap my head around this tragedy.

As always, tragedies make me run to photos. This tragedy has been a sobering reminder to give my all when photographing families. I am so thankful for these images of Anna. Suddenly they mean so much more than they did before. Suddenly they are some of the last photos you have. I cherish them as I know her family does.

My encouragement to you is, photograph EVERYTHING. Whether you have a really nice camera, a “point and shoot” camera, or a cell phone camera take photos and don’t stop. Take photos at family gatherings and have photos made of your family. Even if you have to hand your cell phone over to a friend to take the photo have a snap shot made of your family every so often. Tragedy may strike in an instance and you never know when a photo will be all you have left.

Here are some happy times with Anna and her sweet family. I share these for us all to remember her, to remember how beautiful and happy she was. I share these because she didn’t get a chance to share them with you and I know she wanted to. I share these because life can be beautiful even when tragedy strikes.

For you Anna.

  • Lynn Adams - What a wonderful tribute to Anna. Oh how she will be missed by all who knew her.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Dale Treadway - These pictures are beautiful. Thank you so much for capturing Anna and her family so wonderfully.

  • Sharon Franks - A beautiful tribute to a beautiful person.

  • Beverly Frady - Thank you so very much for sharing these photos. You are right, we never know when it will be our last time with someone. These photos are priceless capturing her true beauty. You can see the love in her eyes and the playfulness in her character. I will forever miss her and will forever be changed because of her. She accepted everyone, big or small. She was one of a kind! Beverly Frady-part of her Meadowbrook family.

  • Anne Nesbitt - The pictures are absolutely beautiful! It is wonderful that Anna had you do this photo session I know her family will always cherish these last pictures forever.

  • Hilda Keener - Thank you for sharing the photos of Anna, Brian and John Marshall. You captured Anna not only with your camera, but with your words as well. You have inspired me to take photos ‘just because’ because you truly never know…

  • Heather Gibson - Such a heartfelt tribute to Anna she had such a big heart and a warm welcoming smile dropping my daughter off at school just isnt the .

  • Kathleen morgan - these are beautiful pictures of Anna and her family. how very precious these pictures are and will be to the family as the kids get older.

  • Brian Smith - Thank you for taking these photos. As I lay here in bed with John Marshall and the baby in her co sleeper my eyes are full of tears. I miss her so much but you captured all of us so perfectly. I am so glad we have these photos to remember her by.

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