I have been so busy lately (which I am very thankful for) that I haven't had much time to update my blog until now. There was so much going on between moving into a new apartment, shooting an event almost every weekend, and a very unexpected health scare in my family, that this is the first night in about 2-3 weeks that I am able to sit back and actually take my time writing this. Which is great because this photo shoot ended up being so incredibly special to me. Meet the wonderful Young family:
Last year a friend of mine asked if I would donate a holiday photo shoot to her school's annual tricky tray fundraiser. I thought, why not? It's a great way to get my name out there and it's for a good cause, so sure. So I donated a shoot and eventually received an email from the winner. We spoke briefly and decided to wait until it was closer to the holidays to actually meet up for the photos.
The winner was Kristen Young and she and her husband had 2 young children and were very excited to have won the shoot. We decided to meet at the Frelinghyusen Arboretum in Morristown, NJ in mid-November. Besides briefly discussing what kind of photos she would like and what I offered with the shoot, not much other personal information was exchanged. It wasn't until the morning of the shoot that things changed. I received an email from Kristen, and she very politely asked if I wouldn't mind taking a few photos of the whole family together instead of just focusing only on the kids. The reason behind this simple request was that she going through chemotherapy and wished to have some photos of her and her family before she lost her hair completely.
I always want every client to enjoy their photo shoots, be it during their weddings or family photos in a backyard, but this time was different. It even felt different. It was only a few days earlier that I found out that my father was diagnosed with cancer and needed surgery. It suddenly felt like fate that right at the time that I was dealing with my own family's misfortunes, I would have a client who was going through the same situation with their family.
I headed up to the park thinking that I was going to try to make this as special a day for this family as possible but what I didn't expect was that they were actually going to be the ones to make this day special for me. The first thing I noticed about the Young family was their energy. The day started out warm but was quickly cooling and there was never a complaint. They laughed and joked around with me and each other and the kids ran around the park without a care in the world. Everyone was energetic while searching for new spots to take photos and Kristen was enthusiastic throughout the whole hour long shoot. I would have never guessed that she was going through chemo. It lifted my spirits and made me think that things could be ok for my father too.
I will never forget Kristen and her family. There was a reason she won the shoot-- for us to help each other. I am so pleased to say that my father is recovering extremely well and Kristen is almost done with her treatments. It's moments like these, when my life is changed while doing what I love, that keeps me going and keeps me focused on giving people the best that I can give them. You never know what it might mean to them.