I will be honest. I was an hour late to this shoot. That NEVER happens. Like–ever. But the sweet voice on the other end of the phone called to see if I was ok, hoping that nothing had happened to me. I’ve never been so embarrassed! My heart sunk, because it was totally my fault.
Let me back up for a bit. Shortly after I booked this session, my sweet 94-year-old grandma in Southern California took a turn for the worse. Seeing as how it was my late mom’s mom, everything fell onto me to make all of the hard and impossible decisions. So for the past few weeks, I’ve been on the phone with doctors, lawyers, social workers, hospice, family members, and just about everyone you can think of. After all of these phone calls, I urged the last few family members to call her, and when it was my time to call, the nurse took the phone and put it to her ear, then quickly realized she was already gone. Just like with my mom, I didn’t get to say goodbye to her.
Enter a frenzied plane ride to Orange County, a week full of packing her stuff, wading through everything that comes with end of life protocols, waiting in endless lines at banks, the DMV, the mortuary, the vital records office. It seemed to never end. On the last night, I sat on the edge of her bed and said goodbye to her. Looking around her home with teary eyes and after packing up almost a century of items collected, I soon realized something.
The only thing I really wanted was her photographs.
Let that sink in. All I wanted were her pictures. Her photographs were the only thing that mattered to me. They weren’t just little pieces of paper from 1927 until the present. They held actual feelings, emotions, and memories stamped onto each and every one. I gently opened albums from the roaring twenties to WWII, to the sixties and beyond. Each album held curiosity, laughter, tears, and joy.
It was then, at the edge of her bed when I realized just how important my job is for my clients. I get to create these tangible feelings, emotions, and memories for their families to uncover decades from now. The feeling overwhelmed me, and the honor it bought to me was indescribable.
Days later, and a rerouted flight with a 9 hour drive home from a different state later, I got Megan’s call. To be honest, I was in a fog. I didn’t even realize what day it was, but I am SO glad she reached for the phone to see if I was coming to her lifestyle newborn shoot. And she was so incredibly gracious, understanding, and kind when I arrived late to her home.
I needed this shoot so much. It gave me life. I hope that one day, this sweet newborn will find these photos decades from now and cherish them at the foot of a bed just as I did, knowing that these were made with love and that she will understand just how important they really are.
Congrats, Megan & Seth…your family is perfect!
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