Last Minute Session - Departure Photography

 Last Minute Session

   A few weeks back, as I was driving through the mountains in BC, my service finally kicked in and my email notification went off. I was being contacted for a last minute session. Turns out this lady was in a tough spot; Melissa wanted to book a session but it had to done before Saturday and it was already Wednesday. To add in another level of complication, the weather in Edmonton was suppose to be terrible for the next few days, so a studio was ideal. Regardless of the obvious obstacles, I was determined to make this session work for one very specific and important reason. She had cancer and she wanted to get pictures done before starting treatment the following week. Having lost one family member to cancer and my mother in law recently going through breast cancer, I understood how important this was.

     So for the next two hours, whenever I would get service, I would pull over, fire off some emails, and make a few calls. I did this two or three times between Valemont and Jasper until it all came together and I found an open studio. Unfortunately, the only time available was for the next day. So when I got home to Edmonton later that evening I didn't bother unpacking the van, I just prepared my camera gear and went to bed.

    The next day, with a little bit of nerves, I planned out the photoshoot and headed to the studio. Knowing the emotional importance of this session, I wanted to make sure everything went perfect. All I could think about was something said during our preparatory conversation. Before each session myself and the client talk back and forth about ideas, what they are hoping to get out of the session, etc. However, Melissa didn't really have any specific ideas other than this one image that kept coming back to her. All she could think about was the moment in “Mona Lisa Smile” when Julia Roberts shows a picture of her mother and says “this is my mom. Is it art?” She wanted a timeless photograph she could look at during her Chemo or if the worst should happen, her kids could look at it and remember her just as she was. 

    I truly believe that the session achieved just that. Melissa’s family was amazing! The children were hilarious and made for some great lifestyle/natural photographs. I absolutely loved taking photographs for Melissa family! Not a day goes by where I don't think about them and hope that they are doing well. However, the strength and determination that I saw that day makes be believe, without a doubt, that her and her family will get through this.

Thank you very much for trusting me with this important "departure moment" in your lives. We are all thinking about your family and sending positive thoughts!

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