I’ve photographed many families over the years, many portrait sessions here in Las Vegas and in other areas where we have lived. But there’s one that will always always stay in the forefront of my mind. I remember a lot of the photo shoots that I do and become friends with the people who I photograph. It’s one of the reasons why I love being a family and portrait photographer. But this family was extra special. Let me tell you a little about them.
Shorty after we moved to Las Vegas from Montana, I set out to meet people to photograph in our new area. At the time I was going through a heavy black and white phase (I will always love black and white images) and wanted some more sample images as a family photographer in our new area. So I wanted to photograph mothers and daughters and edit them in black and white to tell a much deeper story through the images. There’s something about black and white imagery that creates more of a mood and allows to you look deeper into the subjects. That’s how I feel anyway, I would love to know how you feel.
Laura saw my post about what I was wanting to do and reached out. We scheduled a phone call and got to talking about her, her mother, and her three daughters. But the main concern was on Laura’s mom Patsy. Laura and her mom were incredibly close but had received the horrible news that Patsy had been diagnosed with colon cancer. She would be going through treatment but really wanted to do the photo shoot of all of the girls together (a generational shoot which I LOVE). They wanted to get this done before Patsy started to lose her hair from the chemo.
So we had Patsy, her daughter Laura, and Laura’s three daughters. One of which, Marissa, who would be graduating high school soon. Perfect opportunity for senior portraits.
So we booked the shoot! I will never forget what Laura told me before we hung up the phone. She quietly said “I feel like this is a God thing.” I truly believe she was right.
The shoot was so much fun. We went to Wetlands Park in Henderson, Nevada and just went all over the park. There are so many shooting opportunities there and it was also fun to explore together and find some more while we were at it! Wetlands Park is a beautiful nature trail obviously surrounded by wetlands. I highly suggest going to check it out and walk around and explore. You are bound to see turtles sunbathing on rocks, rabbits, and multiple species of birds.
After the shoot was over, we said our good bye’s, I worked on the photos and delivered them their online proof gallery to choose their favorites. The image that I used at the very beginning of this blog is one of my favorite photos of all time. All girls together. Mother, daughter, granddaughters. I’m so very happy that we were able to do this shoot.
I’m so happy it was set up the way that it was. And I’ll be forever grateful that I got to meet all of these ladies. This is why I am a family photographer. Because a few months later, Patsy’s cancer returned. And this time with a vengeance. Her doctors didn’t give her very long and she decided to forego chemo and just let the Lord take her in his plan. Shortly after that she passed away and Laura and her girls now have images of all of them smiling happily together, goofing around, and just being themselves. I love posing a family in an artistic way and getting them close to show their love for one another. But when I can just catch them interacting as they normally would, talking with each other, smiling, laughing, hugging. That’s just perfect for me. Laura and I have kept in contact and I was able to provide an image from their shoot for Patsy’s funeral.
On the morning that Patsy passed away Laura wrote that she would cherish that photo of her and her mother forehead to forehead forever. I will too. And I’ll be forever happy that I was able to get to know and spend some time with these ladies.
So after we were able to do the shoot we can now continue telling Patsy’s story of her life through images with her daughter and granddaughters. These ladies can look back at images of their grandmother and remember the way she smiled. What it felt like when she hugged them. And be immediately brought back to a fond memory with her. Because of this Laura, I definitely agree with you. This is why I’m a family photographer. It was a God thing.
If you would like to read more about family portrait sessions I’ve shot please check out this blog post and come back often to see what’s going on!