Photograph Those You Love

August 25, 2008 | Family

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It is with heavy heart that I have to report that we lost my step father this morning. Craig had been suffering from ALS over the past year and a half. It is a nasty disease that leaves your mind but takes your body. I haven’t lost a lot of close people in my life. My grandfather was the closest person I have ever lost and I regret so much that I never made a portrait of him. I just have these grainy disc camera photos of him to remember him by. Nothing that really says who he was or what he was about.

When I was working at Kinko’s I nearly lost my job twice. Both times for the same reason; enlarging prints for someone’s funeral. I would meet a customer at the counter and with red puffy eyes they would slide a dog eared, scratched 4×6 print across the counter. This person in the photo had just passed away and they wanted a 16×20 made to place by the casket. It wasa always some horrible photo. Never a great portrait. There would be a laundry basket in the corner. The drapes on the windows were stained. Reflections in glasses. Scratches on the print. I would take the job, put everything on hold and start to work on the scan in PhotoShop. This is a soul’s last known image on earth. They deserve better than this. My manager didn’t think this way. Scan and print. That’s it. I revolted and continued working on images for funerals. She wasn’t cold hearted enough to actually fire me for the few hours I would spend on those images but she wasn’t at all happy with me either.

That planted a philosophy I have on every single photoshoot. “I’m shooting for this person’s funeral.” I better make images that people will want to see and remember this person by. Something that shows who they were and what they did and how they were living their life pursuing a dream. I’ve made as many visits as I could over the last year to my Mom and Craig. They live in Elkin, NC. I knew this year I had to get Craig to sit for me. I had to photograph him before I lost him. Craig was a retired homebuilder and was now preaching at a church near Elkin. He was born and raised in Dallas, TX but moved with my Mom to Elkin for a slower change of pace and to be near my Mom’s family there. He loved the community and the church he landed in had him start preaching because they were in need of a new preacher. That dying little church began to thrive.

Knowing that things would escalate quickly I had prints made and shipping arrangement taken care of well in advance. Also knowing how many people loved Craig in his community, I had dozens of 8×10 prints made of this for folks to keep.

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On my last trip up there a month or so ago I photographed Craig watching the kids play in the backyard. Goodbye Craig. My gosh we are going to miss you. You’re home now though. Finally in a place bigger than your home country of Texas. Are you photographing those you love? I’m not. Not like I should be. I have a big long list of people to get started on. You always think you have time. Sometimes you do. Most of the time you don’t. Had I not known that we would be losing Craig this year, I probably would have never gotten around to making the images above. Sad isn’t it? Me. A photographer who can’t turn a camera on to his own family. There’s your challenge for the week. Family portrait time this week.

Cheers, Zack

PS – Needless to say I am leaving the studio for the next 3 or 4 days. All normal business will proceed later this week or the start of next week. If you ordered your DVD last week before it sold out, it will be out the door by tonight if it hasn’t already gone out the door this weekend.




Discussion

  • Julia said on August 25, 2008

    Zack, I am so sorry for your loss. What a gift to your family in this time to be able to give them such wonderful photographs!

    I threw a SB-26 at my niece this morning as she went off to her first day of kindergarten. However, I do need to remember it’s not all about the kids or the bride and groom, or the birthday boy/girl. It’s about grandparents and mothers and fathers and uncles and aunts, too. I can’t think of a more important photography project than making sure to photograph great portraits of each person in your family. Thank you!

  • cristina thornburg said on August 25, 2008

    So sorry for your loss, Zack. I’m so glad that you got a chance to make these wonderful portraits of this special man. PTL for where his going home!
    Much love, Cristina

  • Eric Bakken said on August 25, 2008

    Until now, I’ve never cried while reading a blog before. What beautiful words come out of a sad and painful event. Truly something to keep in the heart whenever we create images of people we love.

  • Ed said on August 25, 2008

    I am sorry for your loss, Zack. My aunt was a home health nurse for a man who had ALS and was with him from the beginning and she said it was one of the hardest things she ever did to watch the disease so my thoughts are with your whole family. I photograph my wife quite frequently but not the way I should. My mom died of cancer a little over 6 years ago and she hated the camera so the only real photo I have of her is sitting in a wheelchair in the hospital. I will definitely suggest everyone go out and photograph your loved ones because you never know.

  • zack said on August 25, 2008

    Ed,
    Thank you for a bit of levity today. This quote from your comment can go a couple different ways.

    “I photograph my wife quite frequently but not the way I should.”
    :)

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Kelly said on August 25, 2008

    I’m so sorry for your loss Zach. He sounds like a great man.

  • Chad Wright said on August 25, 2008

    Sorry for you loss, man. Beautiful portraits.

    It’s inspired me to make a list of people I need to take pictures of.

  • Michael Gowin said on August 25, 2008

    Condolences, Zack, on your loss. At the same time, thank you for the important reminder to make photographs of those we love most. You made some wonderful portraits of your step-father, and your words about him are moving as well. Blessings to you and your family in the days ahead.

  • Pammy said on August 25, 2008

    Zack, I am so sorry for your loss. Your words are so true.

  • Daryl Brewton said on August 25, 2008

    Zack,
    What wonderful words.
    I am so sorry for your family’s loss. He sounds like he was a truly good man. Well, he has his body back now. New and Improved. Can you just imagine the smile on his face up in Heaven?!
    We will hold up your family in prayer through your time or mourning and goodbyes.
    Sincerely,
    daryl brewton

  • Ruth Berry said on August 25, 2008

    Zack,

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.

    Family portrait time – yes. I appreciate the push.

    God bless,
    Ruth

  • Joe Reed said on August 25, 2008

    Zack, my deepest sympathy to you and your family. Your blog was very touching, moving, and inspiring! I’m going to photograph the ones I love with more frequency now because you never now what tomorrow brings.

  • Tom Marriage said on August 25, 2008

    Zack,

    Sorry for your loss. All the best to you and your family during this sad time. Your portraits of him will mean a lot to your family and his friends in days to come.

    Tom

  • Scott Piner said on August 25, 2008

    Zack,

    I am very sorry for your loss. My grandfather unexpectedly passed away earlier this year. I had not lost anyone close to me in a long time and I couldn’t believe how difficult that was.

    Thank you for the stark reminder about making sure we photograph those we love.

    Scott

  • Ryan Austin Dean said on August 25, 2008

    My condolences and prayers to you and your family. These are beautiful portraits of what I’m sure was a great man.

  • Hassel Weems said on August 25, 2008

    Zack, we are sorry for your loss.

  • Scott Cejka said on August 25, 2008

    Zak, sorry to hear about your step father. To be sure it’s a great loss to you and your family but it’s a great inspiration to everyone to remember to use their talents for those we love. Thanks to you and your step father for reminding us all. God Bless…

  • --Christine said on August 25, 2008

    Zach, I’m so very sorry for your loss and will keep you and your family in thought and prayer. your post sent me reeling back to the day in 2004 when I was the one standing at the Kinko’s counter before my father’s funeral, unfortunately not in front of someone as insightful as you. your photographs of Craig are beautiful, authentic and timeless. truly a gift.

  • Bruce McCammon said on August 25, 2008

    Zack… this was weighing on your mind when you were in Portland and you shared how we each need to work through the immediate situation regardless of how many other thoughts we are processing. Your candid expression at the time rocked my chair a bit.

    I am truly sorry for your loss but your lesson is clearly taking hold of your readers.

    Peace man, peace.

  • Frances said on August 25, 2008

    Zach,
    Thank you for sharing your story and wisdom. I’m sorry for your lost.
    I hope you and your family will find comfort in knowing he is home.
    Thanks for always sharing and inspiring others.

  • Frances said on August 25, 2008

    Sorry K not H. I new that.

  • Jimmy Douglas said on August 25, 2008

    Zack, sorry to hear about your loss. Looking from Craigs point of view I’m sure he’s elated having his mental, physical and spiritual capacities healed as God intended us to be. For those of you who have never lost anyone you may not understand what it means to loose someone and have no photo’s of them. My father born and raised in Poland lived thru the damage the Nazi’s did. To this day I have almost no pictures of him, he’s so paranoid he won’t let us photograph him. So for years I have lived knowing that when my father passed away we wouldn’t have any photo’s of him.
    So photograph your loved ones often. I can promise you you’ll never regret the joy they’ll bring when you loose someone you love.
    Jimmy

  • Stephen Gosling said on August 25, 2008

    Sorry to hear the news. I am starting to feel like I know you a little bit, checking your blog every few days and I just wanted to pass along my deepest sympathy’s.

  • Sandra Lemin said on August 25, 2008

    Zack, I’m so sorry for your loss. I have had 2 funerals in just a few weeks of each other this summer. 1 was 39 and the other was 61 it has been a hard summer.
    Sandra

  • Laurel Housden said on August 25, 2008

    Thank you for sharing your story and images, thank you for reminding me what photography is all about. My best to your family….your in our prayers.

  • zack said on August 25, 2008

    Thank you everyone.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Erin said on August 25, 2008

    Those are beautiful, I’m sure your mother will treasure them! I am so sorry for your loss but you’re right, he’s in a place where he is whole again and has a new body! I hope you’ll be able to spend this time remember the good times you had with him.

  • john fulton said on August 25, 2008

    I’ve been lucky enough to have photographed two strangers the same month that they unexpectedly passed. In both instances, out of the hundreds of images taken of them through their whole life, my portraits have been used as the last image to represent them. It’s been a very humbling experience on both occasions and even though a couple of the images are in my main folio, I always think of them every time I see those portraits.

  • Mike Zara said on August 25, 2008

    Zack, my condolences – and my gratitude for your touching post, your memento mori.

    I found your blog via Martin Joergensen’s Nikonian post on One Light. What good luck. :-)

  • Mary Ann Burns said on August 25, 2008

    Zach,
    Wow, the photo with the bubbles is just wonderful! as is the black/white portraits! Thank you for the kick of a reminder to turn the camera on those around us, and not just those who pay us
    Prayers for you and your family for peace in your heart and soul, your step dad is himself again, Praise God!

  • Justin Scott said on August 25, 2008

    My thoughts are with your. The pictures you took capture such beauty, I adore them.

  • Heather said on August 25, 2008

    This was heartbreaking and beautiful… you have written something wonderful for him. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Cat said on August 25, 2008

    Sorry to hear about your step father. I hope your time with family these next few day will go well and I’m glad Meghan will be able to meet you up there.

    I went up to visit my grandparents this week and just about walked out the door without my camera. Last minute I changed my mind to rush in and grab the camera and the lights. I’m so glad I did, because I got some fun portraits of the two of them to have for myself and share with my family. I hope they’ll be around for some more, but, as you’ve said, you never know.

  • Chrystal said on August 25, 2008

    Beautiful words and pictures, thank you for sharing. In this fast-paced, busy world family doesn’t always come first on so many levels. We all need to be reminded of priorities now and then, thank you so much for that.

  • Susan said on August 25, 2008

    Zack your tribute to your tribute to your step father is beautiful and heartfelt.

    Your images left me feeling sorry that I did not ever get to meet a man with such a warm and wonderful spirit. Thank you for reminding us to honor those we love.

    Take care, Susan

  • Sissel said on August 25, 2008

    My prayers are for your family Zack. Beautiful story. Absolutely beautiful
    portraits. Thank you so much for the reminder.

  • Marissa said on August 25, 2008

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and my heart goes out to you and your family. You did something beautiful for Craig, you did him a great honor.

  • Catrina Maxwell said on August 26, 2008

    So sorry to hear about your loss. My aunt pasted away over the weekend and I wish I would have gotten more pictures of her. I love the ones you captured of your stepfather. Have a safe trip.

    HUG!
    Catrina

  • Jeremy said on August 26, 2008

    Sorry for your loss, Zack. The images your made of your step-father are beautiful and without a doubt, will be cherished for a long, long time.

    I wasn’t into photography prior to my Grandfather passing (the only person really close to me that I’ve ever lost), but I wish I had been. My Grandmother has since moved away, but plans to return for Christmas. I will have to make a point to make a portrait of her when she does. Blah, I’m starting to bawl as I type this!

    Anyway, my thoughts are with you. Take care.

    Jeremy

  • David Burke said on August 26, 2008

    My Prayers are with you buddy. I am sorry for your loss. Your words really hit me “A photographer who can’t turn a camera on to his own family”. The original inspiration for doing what I do. I need to get busy.

    Thanks. God Bless.

  • Mary B. said on August 26, 2008

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and thanks for the challenge. You are so right about some of us neglecting the opportunities to create lasting portraits of our own families.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Mary

  • Lizz Sisson said on August 26, 2008

    Zack,
    You don’t know me but I want you to know my thoughts are with you. I lost my Grandfather to ALS
    I photographed my Aunt and her 3 sisters while she was dying of cancer, at the time my family was so upset with me but now years later when they see those images they remember those special moments we had those last days.

  • Jayme said on August 26, 2008

    I am soo sorry for your loss.

    *And don’t forget to let someone else grab your camera and take some of you and your kids. I forget that some times too.

  • John said on August 26, 2008

    Zack, I to am sorry for your loss.. I know exactly what you are saying about photographing your loved ones. About a month before our 25th wedding anniversry our two children went to a local studio to have their portraits taken as an anniversry gift. Two weeks later we had the proofs, that was on Thursday. Little did we know that my daughter would be killed in a car accident on the Sunday. That photo is the most precious thing I own.

  • Kimberley Bednarski Anderson said on August 26, 2008

    Love, hugs and condolences friend. Godspeed to Craig. What a wonderful tribute.

  • Roël Dixon-Mahatoo said on August 26, 2008

    Dear Zack, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Please take really good care of yourself … and I send you a great big hug.

    Roël

  • Teresa McKenzie said on August 26, 2008

    Zack, What a wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing and I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Shalista said on August 26, 2008

    Zack, I am sorry about your loss. It’s things like this that make us appreciate the things that are truly important.

    Take care,
    Shalista

  • sylvia said on August 26, 2008

    Dear Zach,
    So sorry to read about your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Christy Marks said on August 26, 2008

    Dear Zack,

    Thinking of you. Truer words were never spoken. Your post hits home for me too. I’m so sorry for you and your family and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Christy

  • Laurie said on August 26, 2008

    Oh Zack, I’m so sorry. What great photos to remember him by. What a wonderful gift.

    Laurie

  • ed pingol said on August 26, 2008

    dude…

  • Mark Gove said on August 26, 2008

    Zack my heart and prayers go out to you. Even thought I don’t know you, I know you are a good guy. I hurt for you my friend.

  • Tom Hanrahan said on August 26, 2008

    Zack I am sure your step father is very proud that you have given such wonderful advice at a time of such personal sorrow. I will get busy and start snapping those who are most important to me.

  • Alan said on August 26, 2008

    Zack, I’m so sorry for your loss. A solemn reminder indeed.

  • Ceece said on August 26, 2008

    Thanks for this challenge. i know exactly what you mean.

    Why is it so hard to photograph those we’re the closest too?

  • Mariana said on August 26, 2008

    I’m sorry for your loss.

    I just lost my dad 2 months ago…I used to take soo many pictures of him he always used to tease me by saying he knew I ddin’t have film in the camera becuase if I did I wouldn’t be wasting it on him.

    It wasn’t a waste! I agree everyone should turn the camera on their loved ones even if it means getting many pictures of half faces half hands blcoking. ;-)

  • Corey said on August 26, 2008

    I am so sorry for your loss. It’s never easy to loose someone – expectedly or unexpectedly.

    I admire you for this post because it’s not easy to say but the message does need to get across. I make it a point to get at least one good image at every wedding of the elderly people in attendance – just in case.

    My father in law died last year unexpectedly and the only images we had – in the past few years of his life – were ones I had taken as his family wasn’t big on pictures. Thankfully I had taken that image.

  • Sarah Welch said on August 26, 2008

    Zack I don’t know you but you have touched me. What a great post I am seriously crying right now! I am very sorry for your loss. Almost a month ago I lost my great grandmother and I am so thankful that I took the time to get some portraits of her and my family. She went in peace and was 100 years old so I have to be thankful for that.

    God Bless

  • Bob D said on August 26, 2008

    Zack,

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. If there’s anything I can do just let me know. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

  • Stacy McPeek-Smith said on August 26, 2008

    Thank you for sharing this and I also thank you for reminding to pick the camera up and photograph the ones near and dear to me!

    I am sorry for your loss!! Prayers to you and your family in this time of grieving. May peace be with you.

    Stacy

  • Robin Lieb said on August 26, 2008

    Beautiful and touching. So sorry for your loss.

  • monica martin said on August 26, 2008

    Zack, so moving. Wonderful photos. Diehl used to tell people who didn’t want photos of themselves that it wasn’t for them, it was for those who love them. A very precious gift you are giving.

  • Marcus said on August 27, 2008

    Hi. I´m new to your blog, but I´m already inspired by your philosophy. It takes the frase “live every day as if it was your last one” to another level. “Shoot every portrait as if it was the last one of that particular person”, could very well be my new motto. Greetings from Finland.

  • porter said on August 27, 2008

    Your words are so true. Thanks for reminding us.

    My thoughts are with you and your family in this time of need.

  • kim said on August 27, 2008

    Zack-
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I just had this thought last night while going to sleep, “Why do I not have alot of photos of my family?”. The answer is, I have no idea.
    I’m getting on this too.

  • jasoncohen said on August 27, 2008

    very inspiring… thanks for sharing… time to pick up my camera

  • Lawrence said on August 27, 2008

    Zack,
    Please include me among those offering condolences for your loss.

    Grace and peace,
    Lawrence

  • Allison Britton said on August 27, 2008

    Zack I am so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts.

  • carlos said on August 27, 2008

    Zack. Saw your tweet about your stepdad but only now saw this blog post. My condolences on your loss. Those first two portraits in particular tell me much about the man, who he was, what he stood for.

    You’ve rekindled my resolve to take meaningful portraits of those I love and I’m sure sparked a desire in the hearts of those who’ve yet to experience such a loss.

    I know your photos will be a comfort and a blessing to all who received them.

  • JD said on August 27, 2008

    words that should guide all of us that shoot for a living……I am responsible for a portrait that the family should to cherish….your loss has this positive; I won’t look at my subject the same way, for sure….thanks.

  • Araxi said on August 27, 2008

    Im so sorry for your families loss. You have left your family with such beautiful images for them to remember him by, because you are right our loved ones deserve so much better. Blessings during this difficult time.

  • Bryan Nelson said on August 27, 2008

    Thank you for reminder of just how little time we have here on earth. I’m in a similar situation as my father-in-law has ALS. I try to take photos of family members when ever we get together.

    However I have been putting of taking some dedicated portraits of my father-in-law.

    Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    Bryan

  • Maureen said on August 27, 2008

    Zack–I am so sorry for your loss. I so appreciate the reminder to photograph our families. My sister lost her 5 year old son almost 14 years ago. I’ve been at her house in Decatur visiting this week and it’s so comforting that she has SO many images of him. Brings back all those good memories of the little guy who wore his baseball hat slightly askew with the brim absolutely straight–a man ahead of his time! I’m sitting here making my list of all my family members and will make a concerted effort to do the same. Peace to you and your family during this very difficult time. He sounds like a wonderful man.

    Maureen

  • Janine said on August 27, 2008

    My condolences to you and your family. Beautiful images that will be treasured forever. Thanks for inspiring us all to do the same.

    Peace and hugs,
    Janine.

  • Lea said on August 28, 2008

    Blessings to you and your family.

    Lea

  • Matthew Walton said on August 28, 2008

    Zack,

    I’m sorry for you loss. I lost my dad’s dad when I was young and have just a few grainy pictures as well. Your post has given me the resolution to photograph my mom’s dad this weekend. I want to have a memory that captures the essence of my granddad. Thanks for the reminder and charge.

    Matthew

  • Gary Thom said on August 28, 2008

    Very sorry for your loss.

    I moved to the US 11 years ago, took up photography again about 4 years ago. I never had the opportunity to take enough photos of my mother before her passing.

    I forwarded the article to some of the younger members of my family back in Scotland, maybe inspire them to get shooting before its too late.

    Gary

  • Kerrie said on August 28, 2008

    Wow, I have a lump in my throat just from reading this and thinking who in my life I have neglected to take pictures of just because I am so busy taking pictures of other people. I needed this and I am terribly sorry for your loss, but you have certainly inspired others from what you have learned. I WILL be taking pics of my two daughters and their grandmother and great grandmother tonight. Nothing will stop me. Thank you.

  • Molly Moore said on August 28, 2008

    Oh, the inspiration you have given!!!
    And the tears!
    Thanks so much for this post.
    My deepest condolences to you and your family. What beautiful shots you got of Craig… I love those portraits where I can look at it and feel like I know them. You captured that. Awesome!!
    He certainly looks like such a sweet soul!
    Blessings

  • Molly Moore said on August 28, 2008

    I’m an idiot… I didn’t type in my site correctly.

  • Willie Fagan said on August 28, 2008

    Though sad, this is a wonderful tribute to a deeply loved person.
    Great portraits and no doubt great memories.
    All the best from Australia.

  • Ty Toney said on August 29, 2008

    The words that you have spoken are so true. We tend to forget that tomorrow is never promised and always think “I’ll do that tomorrow”. My God bring peace to your heart and blessings to your family during this time.

  • Phil Monk said on August 29, 2008

    My heart goes out to the family. It is a touching story, thanks for the reminder and the example. Indeed, time flies. Craig is loving life even more now…!
    In His grace-Phil

  • Steve Seymour said on August 29, 2008

    Thoughts and feelings with you and your family Zack. He looks from the images to have been a wonderful person. My parents, both quite old now, are coming to visit next weekend. Thanks for the nudge I needed to get some honest pictures of them.

  • Marcus Revilla said on August 30, 2008

    Zack,

    You truly are an inspiration to your colleagues and your loved ones. God bless you during this moment.

  • Johanna Lagerfors said on August 31, 2008

    Im sorry for your loss!
    I’d like to thank you for writing this, I think it will mean a lot to loads of people. Even if just one person crabs the camera today, that brilliant compared to nobody.

    I completely, totally agree with you. Thank you!

    ..and the pictures of Craig are truly beautiful. It pains my heart that I didnt have time to photograph my loved grandmother before she died. I was only 17 when she passed away and didnt develop my passion for photography until later. So, to those who have the chance: take it.

  • Nina said on August 31, 2008

    Hi Zack,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful idea to portrait the ones you love the most, so you can see them always as you see them today. I’ll start tomorrow.

  • David Tejada said on September 1, 2008

    Zack: Very sorry to learn about your loss. Lost my father this past year.

    Thoughts and prayers your way.
    DT

  • Eric Ferrer said on September 1, 2008

    Hello Zach. I know what I have to do now as soon as I visit my loved ones in the Philippines. Please accept my deepest sympathy to your loss. And my sincere gratitude for this post. Thank you.

  • ice said on September 4, 2008

    Hi Zack,

    I’m very sorry for your loss, I just learned about it when reading the article, and I know what you mean, I lost my mother a few years ago, and I only have 1 photo of her … wish I had a camera before, wish I had done so many things and told her so many things :) . So my advice is not only take pictures of every moment spent with your loved ones, but allways do what you want to do, never say “I will get to do this later”, it might never happen, allways tell them that you love them, don’t think they just know.
    Thanks for the article, and once again, sorry for your loss, please accept my deepest sympathy.

  • Bruce M said on September 4, 2008

    Zack — We’re all very sorry for your loss, yet inspired by your drive, your love of family, and your foresight in photographing Craig. I know Craig’s story will become part of your OneLight workshops, raising the bar on your usual GOYA attitude to GOYA and document those you love for their memory and for everyone who loves them.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and especially with Craig. Peace to all.

  • Clay Kitchens said on September 8, 2008

    Simply amazing. You should do a B&W tutorial. I love the balance and composition!

  • Clay Kitchens said on September 8, 2008

    I pray that your family is continuing to receive comfort during this difficult time. Your tribute to him and priceless and you’ve done an amazing job. He would be proud of you.

  • Andrew Schaefer said on September 9, 2008

    Well said.

  • Christina LeMarr said on September 15, 2008

    I’m sooo sooo sorry for your loss. I’m in that spot of wishing I had more pictures. I only recently changed my hobby to a career and wish I did it sooner. I have lost my dearest Aunt just two weeks ago, and now an Uncle has suffered a stroke so I’m in that freak out mode. Stay strong.

  • Jessica Hughes said on September 15, 2008

    So sorry for your loss. :(

  • Steve Krontz said on September 17, 2008

    I am so sorry for your loss. I just went through the same thing with my father, who we lost to ALS in April. It is a horrible disease that needs our attention to find a cure for. I’m considering having a photographers conference with the proceeds going to the ALS clinic here in Atlanta. I know you are a very busy man- but I would love to talk to you about it sometime. I just feel like if there is absolutely anything I can do, I want to do it.

    Our family’s love to yours.

    Steve Krontz

  • Rachelle Freeman said on September 22, 2008

    The last three funerals that I’ve gone to have had my photos next to the casket and it was starting to creep me out. Your post is giving me a different perspective on that and making it a beautiful thing in my mind. Thank you.

  • Zack Jones said on September 25, 2008

    Zack (Very cool name!)

    Sorry for your loss but I understand the feelings exactly. I lost my father earlier this year but fortunately he’s right here with me through his photos.

    I now make it a point to photograph those that I love as often as I can. Just just never know when you’re taking that last photo.

  • Shannon Rowell said on October 7, 2008

    My dad suddenly passed away 6 weeks ago. I am in the Dallas area (FT Worth). You speak the truth about photographing your family. I was amazed that I didn’t have more photos of my dad when I began a memorial slideshow for him. Many times I would get my half-sister in the photo with my daughters, but not take the time to have dad step in or get him by himself. Of course, I am never in a photo with him. Over the last 2 years I decided not to let those who don’t take photos (and give me a hard time) stop me from doing what I love. I was glad b/c I have photos of family members that are priceless (and used in a memorial last year for my husband’s uncle). I still could have done better for my dad!

  • fotograf aus berlin said on October 27, 2008

    realy nice story… thanks for that

  • Dennis said on November 3, 2008

    So true that we need to photograph those close to us, and an interesting idea to think of photographing someone for their funeral. a bit morbid, but it also may make you take it more seriously and really dig deep for something meaningful. my condolences for your loss. The first image of the set is an amazing portrait. absolutely beautiful.

  • ShellyP said on November 11, 2008

    This post brought tears to my eyes and made me think about photography in a whole new light. I have so many pix to take now…. I know I’m late but sorry for your loss.

  • Zack's Mom writes said on February 15, 2009

    Zack did an awesome thing by presenting our family, friends and community with these great portraits. Over 100 of our guest were able to take home this lovely memory of their favorite guy on the whole world, their loving and fun to be with pastor. Craig and Zack had 16 wonderful years of happiness together. Both were my favorite pets so I was indeed a blessed Mother and wife. He was a loving friend to all who knew him. He shared his faith in our Lord with all. Thank you dear Zack for this loving memory of our beloved Craig. Those are some very special photos. We know the love you put into them but we also know the sadness and pain that pierced your heart knowing that we were loosing him soon. Zack, always remember our first Christmas with our Texan. Chasing a diamond bracelet sale at 3:00AM. That was one of Craig’s all time best memories. Love you to the moon and back Mom

  • Zack's Mom said on February 16, 2009

    Zack, it’s taken a few months for us to
    Catch our breath after the loss of this
    Beautiful man in our life. You captured the essence of his passion in these excellent portraits. I know the deep
    Pain you have carried from our loss of
    Pappy Craig. He loved you so completely and one if his all time favorite memories was the two of you
    chasing a diamon bracelet sale the week before Christmas 15 years ago.
    He said the chase began when he went out looking for you at the Bennigan’s off
    Greenville Ave. in Dallas at midnight.
    You were shocked to find him awake let alone at Bennigan’s at that hour. From there you went to Ft. Worth but finally ended at Corrigan’s Jewl. a mile from where you started several hours before.

    As you know, Craig loved and appreciated you with every fiber of
    His being.

    He was very Proud of you, your integrity and your capacity for excellence in all that you do.

    Love you …”All the way to the moon and back.

    Mom

  • Janet Waldie said on February 16, 2009

    The pictures of Craig are beautiful–We’ll always remember him smiling and joking. He was so much fun! Your mom asked us to visit your website–my husband Dave is lst cousin to Craig.

  • Brooke Gregory said on February 23, 2009

    I loved your Dad very much,
    he “saved” me. He was my poppa
    bear. I met him at cracker barrel while he was shopping for Priss and he invited me to church. Craig was there for me when i walked down the aisle to “just as i am” and he was gracious in baptizing me. i miss him greatly. priss is suppose to get me a picture soon. thanks for sharing this. I do photography and yes, we all should photograph our loved ones more than we do. God bless you, Zack. -”brookie bear” (as craig and priss call me)

  • jay.eads said on October 6, 2009

    thank you again for this. said sadly and appreciatively

    j

  • Rob Katja Lifestyle Fotograf Dresden said on June 26, 2010

    many thanks from dresden / germany for that great works!

  • fotograf rob said on July 6, 2010

    really great works, especially the second one in b/w




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