"Grief Does Not Change You, It Reveals You..."

I would like to share with you a different type of blog post today. A bitter-sweet story. It is not a wedding, maternity or even a family shoot... it is not celebrating a happy occasion but rather, it is celebrating the life of one sweet dog before he passed away, his name was Huck.

Last month, I received an unexpected email from a dear friend and she wanted to see if I could do a photo shoot within the next day or so. Sadly, she explained that Huck was diagnosed with a rapid growing cancer and he would not be with them for much longer. Her husband was leaving out of town soon for work and she realized she did not have any photographs of the family since the birth of her first son. She wanted imagery of all four of them together and simply document their life at home with Huck. She explained that this is her way of starting the grieving process and a beautiful way to honor him as well. Huck was truly her first boy and you can see how much she truly loved him. I am in awe of the courage it took for her to take this terrible news and create a healthy way to work through it.

We had the photo shoot that afternoon and photographed Huck in all his favorite places... in their son's room, his favorite rug, in the car, and his ultimate place of happiness... the James River. There were a few tears (including mine behind the camera) but there were many smiles and laughter too. It really was a celebration of his life and the love they share for him. This shoot touched my heart like nothing else... if there is a true purpose in photography, it is to stop time and to remember the moments that define our lives (good or bad) and document them honestly and beautifully. 

I am so thankful they trusted me with such a delicate time and that we created a way to celebrate and honor Huck's amazing life. I truly think this quote defines my friend and her family...

"Grief Does Not Change You, It Reveals You..."

In this case, it revealed that they truly cherish life and love, even in dark times. Choosing to celebrate the life of their family member, Huck... because all pets are family.