If you have been following my facebook page, you might have seen the photo I have created for this lovely family. It reached over 4500 people in the short time it's been up and it got tons of the new facebook reactions. And I can see why! But let me tell you about my personal reaction .....
It was early March, I decided to advertise my services on the local buy sell trade facebook groups. Caryn contacted me soon after that. We talked a bit and after the usual chit chat, Caryn has told me something that broke my heart and left me speechless. She told me that her three beautiful young children had lost their father last year.
My heart sank. I couldn't imagine what she must be going through, what her children must be going through.
Luckily, I haven't had to feel the pain of such a huge loss. The only people I have lost are my grandparents. And I was too young to understand, or realize what had happened.
I was shocked. I didn't know what to say. All I wanted to do is say something.... something that would make her feel better, silly me, right? Like some stranger she has never really talked to could say anything that would make the pain.... less real?
I remember staring at the message Caryn sent me. My fingers were resting on the keyboard of my laptop. They kept lifting up, ready to type. It was like they were yelling at me to just SAY SOMETHING. She knows you've seen the message... you have to type something. But my brain just didn't go hand in hand with my heart in that moment. You know, when there are so many emotions in your heart, you feel so much,
but your brain just can't transform these emotions into words? That's how it was for me.
I went back to the message to see how long it took me to say something.
It took me 8 minutes to find the right words. 8 minutes that felt like such a long time.
After that, all I could bring myself to say was "I am very sorry for your loss" . I felt so stupid. How many times must she have heard that? Is that really all you could come up with? Come on Theresa...... I wanted to say so much more.
Lucky for me though, she had also asked if there is any way she could get one of those memorial shots done, so I added questions about what exactly she had in mind. Great. I avoided it. I'm such a coward.
We went ahead and booked the session. I had this picture in mind that I would create for her. I thought about it for such a long time, I did research, I talked to fellow Photographers. I wanted to make this perfect. I may not be great with words, but what's that popular and famous saying?
"a picture is worth a thousand words"
And I couldn't agree more.
I knew I could make up for my lack of words. Make up for it with the photo composite I had in mind.
After hours of research, days of photoshop work, tons of cussing involved,
I finally created this photo for Caryn and her family.
Of course this wasn't the only reason Caryn hired me. She also wanted family photos, photos of her children. And we all had such a great time together. When I got out of the car to meet them, her kids came up to me and hugged me right away. About 20 minutes into the session, her youngest daughter Ashley started holding my hand and asking me to come to dinner with them after the session.
She was such a sweetheart and she trusted me right away. She even came up with some poses, and so did her sister Camryn. I could have hung out with this family for days, it was soooo much fun!
Even the little boy, Lukas, warmed up to me just enough so I could capture a few smiles. He is on the autism spectrum and has ADD. I was so impressed with how well he handled the session, which would be a challenge for any child his age! He was so well behaved and cooperated in his own way :-)
I'm glad we got some really good photos of him and with him. And I'm sure his mom is too.
He's such a handsome little guy and he is loved by his family so much!
What I thought was just a normal inquiry, turned out to be one of my most favorite sessions up to this day. Not just because of the amazing photos I was able to take, but also because I got to meet this family and spend so much time with them. It was and is a huge honor.
I want to thank you, Caryn, for choosing me to capture these special moments for your and your family.
Theresa Burkhart Photography, located in SPOKANE, WA
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Theresa Burkhart, owner of Theresa Burkhart Photography