In a world where quality photography is repeatedly taking the back seat, I was reminded yet again today why it is so very important. The loved ones in our lives are being loaned to us….someday God will want them back. We need to remember this. Document, document, document, and document some more. Pay a little extra for a photographer who puts their heart and soul in their work. Don’t choose someone just looking for a paycheck. Look through their portfolio for images that are tender, sweet. Not just posed and pretty. Life is not always posed and pretty. And it shouldn’t be. The following work I am sharing is from a photographer based out of Detroit. The story is below, grab a tissue.
You are going to want to stop and read this:
This is Katie Kirkpatrick, age 21, on her wedding day. The groom, Nick Godwin, had loved Katie since the 11th grade.
Katie had chased away cancer once, only to have it return — to clog her lungs and grab hold of her heart and try to pull her away from those she loved and those who loved her. Breathing was difficult now; she had to use oxygen. The pain in her back was so intense it broke through the morphine that was supposed to act as a shield. Her belly, legs and feet were swollen because her organs were shutting down and her body was retaining fluid.
She did not use oxygen during that walk; she left the big green tank at the back of the church with her wheelchair. She didn’t want to look back at photos and be reminded of illness at the moment she pledged her love to Nick Godwin, the man who was devoted to her and the man with whom she would build a future. She knew she would get through cancer, she would beat it. In the middle of the party, Katie had to rest for a bit and catch her breath. The pain does not allow her to stand for long period of time.
And Katie smiled.
It was a great smile. Friends said that when she smiled at them, they felt like the most important person in the universe. They liked that she listened to them. When they visited during her many hospitalizations, she always asked what they were up to, what they had received for Christmas, who they were dating. When they got scared about the cancer, she was the one who talked sense to them. Everything will be fine, she said.
As Katie reached the end of the aisle and left her father’s arm, Nick turned to her and whispered: I love you.
Their vows were simple and short.
They did not include “till death do us part” because the minister, Garth Pleasant, who has known Katie since she was a baby, doesn’t use that phrase. Instead, he told them that marriage is a little bit of heaven on Earth and that love is unconditional.
After they kissed, they stood together with their foreheads touching for what seemed like the longest time. It was their moment; nothing else mattered except that they were together and they would always be together.
Katie died five days after her wedding day. Watching a woman so ill and weak get married and with a smile on her face makes us think… Happiness is reachable, no matter how long it lasts. We should stop making our lives so complicated and enjoy the moments we have with each other right now. Life really is too short.
Work as if it was your first day.
Forgive as soon as possible.
Love without boundaries…
Laugh without control
and never stop smiling.
For those suffering from cancer,
We all have close to our heart.
Keep this going.
Photography by Romain Blanquart
Direct link to this wedding: http://www.romainblanquart.com/bride