There it was. An obituary. An obituary of someone I’ve followed and admired in the photography world. She was 37.
I realized this morning, as I turned on my computer, that I hadn’t seen anything from Emily in months. I went straight to her photography Facebook page and her mentoring page. And that’s where I saw it. The obituary. Emily had died “suddenly” several months ago and for some reason I missed it.
How could this happen? This woman that I’d never met, yet learned so much from over the years. This woman that I knew was a wife and a doting mother of a darling boy. I swear I had just listened to one of her podcasts before her death! How could this happen?
As I read through the hundreds of tributes, I saw how many lives she had touched with her photography. Stories of cherished family portraits that hung on clients’ walls, portraits that she had made for them.
What I remember, however, is her and her family. I had seen many gorgeous portraits of her sweet boy, of her family, and even beautiful professional portraits of her. One in particular was of her and her son. She understood the legacy of portraits, of being photographed, of being captured for all time. Just like me.
Reading between the lines, she woke up that morning not expecting to die. And yet, she has a wonderful legacy of portraits of her with her son, portraits of her alone, and as a family. I seem to remember her saying she always struggled with her weight. Yet instead of using that as an excuse, she got in front of a camera anyway. And because of that, she created a beautiful gift for her son, for her parents, and her husband. Portraits that will last for all time.
We all make excuses for not being photographed. We are too heavy, too pastey white, too wrinkly, not toned enough.
Years from now, when your kids go to find portraits of you, what will they find? It’s time to get out from behind the camera.
Just like Emily did.