Last Dance

Normally when I photograph a wedding I am photographing happy events.  I love seeing the excitement on the bride and groom’s faces right after they are married.  At that moment life is full of happiness and possibilities.  But, tonight I photographed another emotion – longing.  Tonight’s wedding was a little different because the groom’s mom is dying from cancer.  This isn’t the first time we have photographed a situation like this but every time is full of emotion.

I had been told we needed to take the portraits with the groom’s mom first because she wasn’t going to be feeling well.  She was in a lot of pain but didn’t want to take her medication until after the ceremony was over.

Later that evening the bride and groom had their first dance.  The DJ then announced they would be having the mother/son dance.  As the groom escorted his mom to the dance floor tears began to come to her eyes.  The groom tenderly put his arm around his mom as the music began.  At this point the whole room was in tears as they watched the groom and his mom dance probably for the last time .  They held each other tight and my mind thought of the not to distant future when she will have to leave him for good from this life.   It seemed to me that they were both letting each other know how much they loved each other and how much they were going to miss each other.

Days like today make me think about what I am really doing as a photographer.  I have a huge responsibility to everyday create the most meaningful things in people’s lives.  The best advice my mentor photographer could have ever given me 15 years ago is that you must always do your best because you never know how much the portrait I take today will mean to someone in the future.

I try my best to do just that.

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