February 14, 2007
I posted last week but, I had a wonderful opportunity to use the talent I have been blessed with to bless someone else's life in a way I won't fully comprehend.
A dear friend of mine asked me if I would come and photograph a dear friend of him and his wife named Levi. Levi had been given days to live as he has several irremovable tumors in his brain. He is 27, married, with 3 little ones. The youngest was born the day before he had his first surgery to remove a tumor that was outside of his brain. 4, 3, 8 months.
It was the hardest shoot I have ever done. There is one chance to get images that will become absolutely priceless to these little children when they become adults. Having gone through losing a father I know how priceless images of me with him are now.
When I got there, I was told he was in the backroom. I know what my friends backroom looks like and it is no place to take a portrait worthy of what I was asked to do. His family was there (they had flown the 20+ hours from Australia) and his sister insisted that he did not want to move.
I rushed home to get lights and different cameras. I had come early enough to scout it out, set up a chair next to this wonderful light coming in.
Needless to say, when I got back, he agreed to come out and sit in the chair I had set up. The shoot went great. I was using my Twin Len Reflex camera which is a camera you look down into. I lost it half way through as I was looking down on the ground glass as his wife embraced him for their individual portrait.
It hit so close to home. He is me. He is young, married, has a family. The only difference was that when I walked out of my friends house, I had a certainty in my mind, that I would wake the next day healthy and with my family.
I shot this on Wednesday of last week. Levi made one last request. He and his family flew out Friday afternoon to go back to Australia so he could leave this world where he started it.
Life is so delicate. I hope that this Valentine's Day I can stop this fast paced life and realize that.
To me, these are some of the most meaningful images I have ever created.