They never told me this about photography…..

When I was younger photos made me extremely happy. It was a way to remember the past and all the good memories. I loved looking at them, having them around, digging through my mom’s stuff to find new ones I haven’t ever seen before, seeing them on the walls, and more. It just makes me feel complete in some odd way.

I to this day still have a box of images from my childhood that I love with my whole heart. I haven’t looked at them in a while. But after this, I have a feeling they are going to come down for some time to look at them.

Within this last year of growing my photography business, there has been so many requests for different kind of photos that are out of my “norm”. These images also don’t usually make it on my social media. Such as company headshots, content photography, branding, and every once in a while one that just doesn’t have a category.

Back in April this year (2021), I was contacted by a man that was going to be coming to town for Easter weekend to meet up with his brother who was also traveling here. They were coming to visit their elder mother for the holiday weekend. They wanted to hire me to come take images of them with her and a couple just of her while they were in town. She at the time resided in a assisted living facility due to her suffering from Dementia. I of course agreed, and met up with them to do this photoshoot. I show up on the day of the photo session ready, just like how I am for any other photo session. I start talking with her to warm up and get to know here a little bit and just asses the situation to see things I can do to get smiles, reactions, and emotion. ( I do this at every session – you probably just don’t realize it 😂)

After taking a couple photos of her it was very, very apparent to myself that she embodied a lot of the same personality features of my own grandmother that I was so very close with. Like a little to close you know? My grandmother also had sever dementia. Through out my whole childhood up until the time she passed we were extremely close. I would talk to her about every thing and anything. During the Minot Flood of 2011 we also lived with them from June 2011 – November 2011. She then passed in January 2012. Just a couple months after we moved out. I miss her every single day.

The more I talked with this man’s mother, and saw her sweet personality the more surreal it really was. At the end of the session, I thanked the man’s mother for letting me take pictures of her. I also told her that when I am her age that I hope to be as awesome and stylish as she is. She then told me “Darling you are beautiful in every way”.
I said my good bye’s to her sons and went out to my car and cried. I cried a lot. I cried so much that I called my mom just to explain how surreal the whole thing was.

Over the last several months since this photo session I have through of this man, his brother and their mother. It specifically came back in my head this past weekend. I kept thinking about it, and just out of curiosity typed her name in google to find out that she had actually passed away 4 days ago.

Through photography I have been apart of so many moments in peoples lives. Engagements, Marriages, New babies, graduations, birthdays, and more. No one ever really said anything about the part that brings you sorrow.

My heart goes out this family and to their mom. I didn’t know her well but I could tell you that she was a wonderful lady. I hope that in whatever afterlife there is that she crosses paths with my own grandma. I could tell they would get along and be the best of friends.

My Grandma Betty Ehlers

Ps. on a side note….. I think about this too… but the very first gift that I remember receiving as child when I was like 4 was a film camera from my grandma & grandpa….. maybe she knew?

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