I have written and rewritten this post a million times now. Because the truth of the matter is, there are no words! There are no words to articulate what I am feeling right now! There are no words to express emotions that I cannot explain. But I will do my best, here we go . . .
Last year, my dear friend Erica told me she had been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. After spending that night crying for her and feeling completely and utterly helpless, I realized there was something I could do! I could give her the memories of love and happiness that is her family, through photos!
We did Erica's shoot on the beach last summer and it was an eye opening experience for me. It was during a simple sunset photo shoot, one I had done so many times before, that I realized this was not just another shoot. As I sat there watching the love of Erica and her family play-out in front of me through my lens, I realized that this was probably the first time in months that Erica and her family were so carefree. Running and playing together. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to bring that feeling to other families facing the same difficult times. In those moments I was showing Erica that she was NOT her cancer. She is a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a WARRIOR!
I didn't know where to start. In October of 2014 my husband, father and I accompanied Erica, her family and friends to support her at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Light the Night Walk in Nassau County. What an incredible, inspiring evening that was! Then, in January 2015, we all attended LLS's Light the Night Awards Ceremony. I sat and listened to so many family's stories. Some with happy endings, some with not so happy endings, but one more inspirational than the next.
After the ceremony wrapped I knew I had to speak with the Executive Director for the LLS. We exchanged business cards and talked in emails about my ideas and plans. I started working closely with one of the Campaign Managers of LLS and it was all coming together seamlessly.
Let me say, that what the people over at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society do everyday is beyond exceptional. It is amazing. They, are amazing! I cannot thank the LLS enough for helping me to make this happen and for their continued support with this project!
With Erica being my cheerleader throughout this process, we collaborated on the project name and logo. I am so beyond humbled and thrilled to announce to you, officially:
We have already identified two little warriors and their families to be the first photo session families and I cannot wait to meet them and get to tell their stories through photographs!
I kicked off 2015 with wmp|UNSCRIPTED. Stating that "Life is unscripted, shouldn't your photos be?!" This is one of the most incredible, honest ways to embody that statement!
Be sure to follow me and these families on this amazing journey! I promise it will be inspiring, touching and feel good!