“To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” – Albus Dumbledore

I always loved how the people in photos in Harry Potter were like a living memory – moving around, almost interacting with the viewer. I have that sort of image in my mind when I am photographing a wedding. I want you to look at the picture and feel like that moment is there in front of you, breathing and alive, feeling the love that emanates from every moment.

Earlier this year, a bride who I had worked with several years ago reached out to me. She told me, “That photo you took of my mom at our wedding is our absolute most favorite photo of her of all time. You really managed to capture her personality with that one picture….we would really love to print a copy of it for her funeral.”

I was floored, and more than willing to offer what help I could.

It wasn’t the first time I had received a request like this, nor was it the last.

Every time it happens, it strikes a chord inside me. I feel pride knowing that I was able to provide a family with a lasting memory, while at the same time feeling their loss. It is bittersweet, to say the least.

When I look at photos of my own loved ones who are gone, I can’t help but feel them with me.

Maybe it’s because I’m sentimental. Maybe it’s because I linger on the details in the photos – the smiles, the eyes, the touch of a hand on a shoulder…

Perhaps that is why I take so much care to record those little moments. To those who were not involved, they may seem like just another pretty picture. To you, they are everything.

Loved ones no longer with us.

self portrait

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