Tonight I was completely inspired by a fellow photographer, David Perry, that gave an amazing talk at tonight’s Seattle Professional Photographer’s Association meeting. He talked about putting words to your photos and went into depth about some of the images he created, and the power of images.
My post tonight comes from a rather unique photo session I did about a year ago. I really wanted to share this from my heart.
One of my best friends had a very special little boy, Jameson. He had many extraordinary needs, from feeding tubes, to a special bed, special therapies, nurses,etc….. you name it. He was visually impaired, didn’t speak in words, yet he cuddled and spoke in “Pirate” which his friends and family understood well, didn’t walk, yet was always on the road from one event to another, and yet he taught us more than you can believe.
I was privileged to photograph Jameson and his loving mother, Jamie, about two and a half years ago. It was the first time I had ever photographed a Special-Needs child and I was thrilled about photographing him. I always viewed Jameson as a perfect little boy in his little body… just a sweet little angel. The day of the photo session came and Jameson was not in the best of moods. Jamie called me concerned but I told her to come over anyway and we could see what we could do. By the time Jamie and Jameson arrived at my studio he was perking up, and actually in a good mood. We photographed Jameson with his favorite stuffed animal, his mother, and his mother and aunt. We were all done and as I was cleaning up my photo gear Jamie was holding Jameson in her arms just talking to him and kissing him. As I turned around and saw the love…. I told her “THAT’S the picture!!”. The following black and white image is the moment I just described:
Later on The ARC of Washington State used a similar image for the cover of their book, “The Waiting Game” (a book of stories about families with children with special needs who are waiting for medical and social services). (having trouble with the photo so here is a link to the pdf)
Moving on with the story…………………………….
So about a year-ish ago I went to an incredible week-long photography class in Canada where I studied with two phenomenal photographers. By the end of the week my head was overflowing with new ideas, to say the least!
The following image was created out of that inspiration. I call it “Jameson’s Garden”.
After Jameson passed away the family created a garden in their yard to remember their beautiful son. In it they planted trees that were donated by friends, added lighting, placed an Angel in the yard, and other elements to make it a special, memorable place. (Today it is thriving and a beautiful, serene place to sit and listen to the water trickling).
I wanted to create a special image for Jamie. I placed her in the garden in a dress I picked out. To make this a one-of-a-kind image for her I placed personal symbols of Jameson in the photo with her. She was looking at his photos, holding a special infinity necklace that holds his ashes, and an Angel in the background. Miraculously the lighting was perfect for about a half an hour…. just long enough to accomplish what we needed to do. I finished the portrait with my “Artist Series” elements. The following image was created especially for Jamie:
Thank you Jameson for all you taught us and all that you continue to teach us. We love you!!