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.