End Of Life Photography | New Jersey Professional Photographer
It has taken me months to decide if I wanted to write this blog. I have gone back and forth in my mind on what the right answer is. End of life photography is beautiful, touching and monumental. There is a delicate balance while performing these sessions. There is a fine line to walk while capturing these priceless moments. I have spent a lot of time learning where I fit in to end of life photography and if it was the right thing for me to do. I wanted to take a minute and explain how this came to be. You will almost *NEVER* see me share these images. I find that they are entirely too personal and I strongly feel these are memories a family deserves to keep private. Over the years I have done several of the sessions, some paid, some gifted. I have offered to gift them countless times and have been turned down. This experience is not for everyone and I respect that. However the families that have chosen this have been grateful beyond words they did.
When photographing these beautiful sessions I constantly transition from a fly on the wall to director to conversation artist and back again. While I prefer to keep things organic and respect what is happening around me with this delicate situations, I also like to find the joy in the most hidden places. Often I will have loved ones sit together and tell me stories about who got in the most trouble in high school, what was the one dinner mom always made that you hated, the first time you got grounded and so on. These light and airy topics always evoke emotion and most importantly- smiles. These sessions include individuals fighting for their life and most often simply trying to find the joy in the little time many have left. These sessions are not about focusing on the struggle they are about the reality of the love a family has. I do my best to “hide” parts of the individuals illness and focus on the joy where ever I can find it. Sometimes that is in a laugh or smile and other times it’s when I am sitting back observing and capturing the honest moments between two people.
End of life (or fighting for you life photography, many times the outcome has yet to be determined) photography is an opportunity to capture the most real and pure parts of the individuals new version of normal. It is a precious gift to leave with your loved ones. A place they can go to hold on to one more memory. These images are often part of the final chapter of an individuals life and give the family something to remember besides the illness. These images provide a connection to the physical and emotional relationships these family share.
With my first session I wasn’t sure what to expect. In some ways these sessions are just like every other, I don’t handle them with white gloves. While I remain respectful I have learned that families appreciate the happiness and joy I am able to bring out and prefer I direct things along to a degree. These sessions are with out a doubt the most moving and beautiful things I have ever captured. In a time of such sorrow and pain I truly feel blessed beyond words to be apart of these sessions. Capturing these sessions was the first time I ever understood what “finding your life calling” meant. This blog wasn’t to convince you that these sessions are for you or your family if the unfortunate situation arises. This blog was to make people aware that is an option. A beautiful, respectful option to tell the final chapter of your life.