If you've followed along with the NBC show, Parenthood you'll get the reason why I feel compelled to post on my blog about this. Life is precious. Life is worth living. Life is worth celebrating.
I thought it was especially touching (Ok, I was sobbing) how photography played a big part in the Finale of Parenthood. Yes, it was a wedding so having a photographer there to document the family made sense, but knowing their "lives" it was so much more than that. It was the anticipated passing of their patriarch. It was capturing everyone together for one last time. Folks, THIS IS WHY I DO WHAT I DO.
It is not cliche when I (often) write how I think of a moment's historical significance while I'm capturing it. It's comes directly from my heart. I photograph life events because it is what drives me, what propels me, what means the most to me.
Life to me is about Relationship. It's about pouring our Love into those we've been given, those that cross our paths. Let me tell you a few moments that I've captured that have been integral to my journey as a photographer.
I've been in the home of a bride on her wedding day while her Mother was passing away from cancer. The couple had moved up the wedding and planned something intimate, something amazing for their wedding to include her Mom. I witnessed her Mother awake from sleep for the first time in days to see her daughter as a Bride, dressed and ready and gorgeous standing before her. She opened her eyes and reached out and touched her face, what a tremendous gift they both received in that moment. I recently was speaking to her about her beautiful wedding and the tender moments with her Mom. She said, "That's the gift of suffering, I think - we feel JOY so much deeper (for having gone through it)." Amen to that, dear sister.
I've been in several weddings as loved ones were remembered that had passed on. I've photographed a Bat Mitzvah where the Mother welcomed all of her girlfriends to this fabulous party - they had all decided to wear the dresses of her late Mom (the Bat Mitzvah'd Grandmother) to honor her Mother and have her be apart of the celebration. I've photographed an incredible wedding full of love and family only to hear that the Father of the Bride passed away suddenly (and unexpectedly) the next day.
This year I had another very special wedding on my agenda, of a bride who lost her Mom to cancer. I had known her Mom and seen them at weddings throughout the years. I was so incredibly moved when I arrived for getting ready pictures at her house, and saw laid out some things to honor her Mom, one of them being a photo I had taken at a wedding before Mom lost her battle to cancer. You can't imagine how amazing an honor that was.
This Autumn I photographed a couple getting married that I met through The Bride's Project (she bought her dress from us!). They also know suffering. Gabriel was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer while serving overseas. He fought for his life, and he won. The depth and the emotion of their wedding day was unparalleled with any other wedding I've documented. They knew pain and suffering and they lived to receive each day as a gift, and their love for one another is one of Gratitude and understanding of life well lived.
What I do is an incredible honor. Life takes twists and turns we don't expect and can't anticipate. What I have is the ability to be there in the moment, to capture the love between family members. I've cried and laughed right along with you and I won't stop.
Because life is precious. Life is worth living. Life is worth celebrating.
Life is worth documenting.