They are not just another cancer story
In the home Lifestyle Photography -
Black and White Collection
I walked into John and Wendy's home to find 2 sweet kids playing on a huge sectional couch. Wendy had their home spotless and decorated with things that don't scream "department store" but "this is who my family is."
My local hospital had gotten us in touch... I have a kind lady on the inside that will pass my info onto cancer patients who she feels as though could use a photoshoot as a way to express themselves, or preserve a moment and then we gift them with that- the shoot, the images, all of it. John was the second gentleman this year she's gotten me in contact with who had terminal cancer.
His wife Wendy was willing to sneak away from home for an hour of so for a good cup of coffee and to tell me about who they are as a family and how she imagined them being captured for one of the last times. Wendy used to work at The Time Herald so she's no stranger to photography. I was instantly excited for her to have a chance to be in front of the camera with her family. And her requests were simple- capture us doing every day things we love to do together. The tradition that was top on her list was getting John tucking the kids into bed, like he always does- immortalizing those moments that are pure and so simple.
The day of I took a back seat as this family of 4 bonded over board games, baking cookies, or simply cuddling on the couch together.
We ended the shoot with John tucking the kids into bed. At this moment, with the camera protecting me, creating a barrier between real life and photography, it sunk in that someday soon these kids wouldn't have their Dad there and I had to remind myself- this isn't your time to break down, Autumn. You are here to do a job for this family, you have a gift you want to give them and you need to make yourself numb right now, and so I did.
I watched as Wendy had this carefree way of making this serious man in front of the camera laugh so easily and lower his guard as they talked about their first date. I saw how much he enjoyed talking dolls with his daughter and listening to his son read. Surrounding them were picture books of their own photographs showing family vacations and fun times. That home was filled with air clouded with love.
Less than two weeks later John unexpectedly passed away, but his memory surely lives on, strongly, as the husband who supported his wife in her dreams, and the Dad who smelled stinky toes and flexed his Superman muscles.