If you follow my blog you probably just saw a session I posted of Kaelynn. I had the wonderful opportunity of photographing Kaelynn's senior photos last year. I also was able to photograph her sisters a few years back and their families' photos. Last week Kaelynn was killed in a car accident. I have never been affected by my ability to capture life's fleeting moments before. I was stunned, I sat in silence when I first learned of this tragedy. I didn't want to believe it.
You see, if you didn't know Kaelynn, you really missed out. She had a love for life that was contagious. Every interaction I had with her I laughed. She always put a smile on my face. I was able to spend a considerable amount of time with Kaelynn through photos and meetings. She was a star cheerleader and was loved by so many.
As a photographer, I am able to capture some of the best times in people's lives. I am there when a couple says I do, I am there for a newborn's first photo shoot, and I am there when a senior makes their rite of passage from teenager to young adult as they get their senior photos taken. You never expect to be witness to a tragedy. I have read about it on forums from other photographers but you never truly know how it will affect you. I catch my self thinking of Kaelynn a lot and how much I realize she affected my life through our short time together. It something I hadn't realized as a photographer. I connect with so many people, so often, and so much that it never occurred to me that my ability to document peoples lives affects me in a such a positive way. I learn a lot from the people I get to photograph. They inspire me and motivate me on a daily basis. I learn that we are all given gifts on this earth and I get to witness that on a weekly basis. I have met so many kind, generous, and wonderful people. Kaelynn and her family are no different.
During our session, Kaelynn, her mom, and I were able to talk about everything; life, cheerleading, school, and our lives. At the end of the session we laughed so much from things Kaelynn would say and she put a smile on my face.
Kaelynn was a sweet and loving girl with so much love for life. I am sad that I will not have the opportunity to photograph her again, but I know that she is in Heaven smiling down watching over everyone she touched and inspired in her time here. Remember life is to short. Take time to sit back and take it all in. Hug your loved ones, do the things that make you scared, and never be afraid of where life may lead you.
RIP Kaelynn and thank you for giving me the gift of photographing you!