This blog post means a lot to me, it should have been witten down way before, but up to lately, I was having a very hard time dealing with my emotions.
I asked Leah if she would agree me to tell her story, she said yes.
In March 2011, I was contacted by Leah, she was looking for a wedding photographer. After a few emails, she told me my price range was above her budget. I didn't know her financial situation, I just knew I had to meet with her. My guts told me to share some time with her.
Her story is hard to imagine : Stephen and her are a couple for years, together they have 4 children.
Stephen was undergoing chemio to fight a throat cancer. He had a surgery and then an heavy medical treatment to fight his condition.
Of course, he had to quit his job, and so did she to drive him back and forth, every day south of Calgary to the medical center he was going to for his chemio.
The strength in her voice when she explained me her situation was hiding fear, sadness, and tiredness.
We discussed price, but at this time, money was not what was important. This woman just wanted to plan her wedding with the man she loves, she simply wanted to claim her part of happiness. And after wipping a few tears I couldn't hold back any longer, I offered her to shoot her wedding within her budget. To document her story.
The engagement photo session was a blast. Stephen was tired, skinny, but he made it, smiled and played with us (as usual, Evgeniya my assistant was with me).
Then came the wedding in July 2011.
As far as my memory goes, I can't recall going through such big emotions while shooting a wedding. I cried, I laughed, I enjoyed .....
In January this year, Leah emailed me to inform me Stephen passed suddenly.
I couldn't believe it, I was shocked.
Of course I went to the Ceremony of Life, I had to do it, to show my respect to this woman whose strength impressed me at one time ; and to this man who fought so hard.
I can only say that I'm happy I did take those pictures on the 30th of July 2011, I was able to create memories that will last forever, I hope those images will bring a little bit of relief to Leah.