Updated: Sep 3
I've photographed a few babies who passed shortly after the session - both in hospice and at home and women who were undergoing treatment. Last year I photographed the redesign for Rethink Breast Cancer and was delighted to meet Rhea Sangupta and take the photo featured in her beautiful and honest piece about her experiences living through COVID.
During my Rethink Breast Cancer shoot I photographed a woman who was terminally ill - she passed shortly after our chat. What struck me from that shoot was this - I made a joke to make her laugh and she polity declined my invitation and asked if I could photograph her as beautifully as possible because she's never been photographed professional and she knew this photo would be special to her loved ones.
What I told her and what I think you should know in reading this is - digital files age. If you find yourself sitting on precious images don't delay. I don't understand what it means to lose someone precious to you and I know that there is a period of grace where your only job should be taking gentle care of yourself. But, waiting five, ten or even fifteen years will result in your images not printing well.
This blog post has been banging around my brain for years - long before I launched these services. I'm baffled - BAFFLED - by the fact that everyday people feel totally mystified by Digital photos and think that they will last forever. Ten years ago I received my wedding photos on a CD player - a year after my wedding my new computer didn't have a way for me to plug it into my machine. I know that someone will misinterpret this post and think I am a gross person for making money by mentioning these experiences which is mostly why it has been just an idea for far too long.
For the people who find themselves in this position and want to create beautiful tributes to their loved ones - or for those who only have one precious photo - get in touch I want to help you. One of the things that I say in my class a lot is - we can make anything work. My very good friend had a video that showed her loved one giggling about something and I turned it into a beautiful 8inchx8inch image from a series of screen shots. Was the resolution not great? Sure. Does it bring her AS much joy as a perfectly composed professional image would? HELL YES.
If you find yourself in need of advice - get in touch I offer 20 minute free consultations to people who want to create something from a precious memory. It's amazing what I can do in 20 minutes - I have endless resources and, I"m sure it goes without saying, that I quick consult with me is totally free.
by Emily Doukogiannis
Emily Doukogiannis is a Toronto-based portrait photographer, expert storyteller and compulsive photo book maker. Her commitment to telling people's stories is something Emily does in her spare time via Emily D 4 Change and countless media outlets.
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