I'm a firm believer that fate brings certain people into your life for a reason. At first it may not always be clear as to why, but eventually, in one split second it clicks, and deep down you just know why they've been placed there.
I believe that Annie was brought into my life for a lot of different reasons, and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet her this past fall. Last year Annie had been dealing with some health issues and was later diagnosed with cancer, a synovial sarcoma in her left foot. She began posting updates on Facebook, and through her boyfriend Barrett I was able to follow her journey.
I went to school with Barrett, and though I hadn't spoken a word to him in who knows how long, I have always had so much respect for him. My fondest memories of Barrett are of him being so kind to everyone in school. In a place where I was often made fun of or laughed at because I was different, he was always someone that was incredibly genuine and respectful to me. And though he and I were never super close or anything, we shared many mutual friendships and I'll always remember Barrett as being an incredibly nice person. That sounds so cliche but when looking back at it, it's people like him that make you realize that there are good people in the world!
So when I started seeing Annie's posts it of course caught my attention. It's not very often that you see a woman her age diagnosed with cancer, and it especially catches your attention when she's the girlfriend of an old high school friend; it definitely tugged at the heart strings.
What stuck out so much about Annie is how optimistic she was, and remains to be. I think when most people hear the word "cancer" it's immediately a very negative and disheartening feeling, which it is rightfully so, but she very clearly took that diagnosis as a mountain to climb and overcome and it is so incredibly inspiring to me.
One afternoon Annie had reached out to me on my business page wanting to book a fall mini session for her and Barrett. She had absolutely no idea I knew exactly who she was but I had the instant desire to offer her and Barrett a private couple's session. Though I didn't know Annie personally, it really felt like I did after following all of her updates and progress over the several months prior to her contacting me. Doing this just felt right.
To make a long story short, Annie loved the idea and we soon set a date for their session. It was a warm, bright, sunny day which perfectly mirrored her personality. It is simply impossible to not smile when you're in her presence, and when she and Barrett are side by side it's hard to deny just how great they are together.
Annie has had her share of ups and downs since our time together, and still posts her updates from time to time. I'm already looking forward to when I get to see her next; this girl radiates positivity. She carries a light with her wherever she goes and I'm so happy to have found a friend in her.
Annie and Barrett, thank you for being you. The love between you two is so very evident and you inspire those around you to be better people. Come see me soon, you lovebirds<3
- - - - -
"Amidst what has been the hardest year of my life, I was lucky enough to cross paths with Jess. She is one of the most genuinely kind-hearted women I've ever met. I'd been following her photography page for a while and she had quickly become my favorite photographer in the area. I reached out to her regarding her "Fall Mini Sessions" and she, instead, offered to gift my boyfriend Barrett & I a full session, free of charge. Turns out, she knew Barrett from high school and had been following our story, and silently cheering us on, ever since she saw that I was diagnosed with cancer. I was and still am SO touched by all of the sweet things she had to say about both of us. I've said it before, but I'm going to keep saying it: she is the kind of light the world needs.
Jess is not only an amazing photographer, but person as well. You can tell she pours her heart & soul into her photography business and it shows through her photos. I was smiling and laughing our entire session- it was hard work to make a "serious" face because I was having such a great time. She had a plan when it came to the flow of the session so we got all of the shots we needed while the light was still perfect, while keeping time in mind. It helped because my boyfriend (along with most males) is not a huge "picture person" so he didn't feel like we were just standing there posing for hours. I have canvas prints of our pictures covering my room- obsessed is an understatement. I can't wait to book our next session!"
- - - - -
Below are a few of my favorite images from Annie and Barrett's couple's session.
I hope you love them just as much as I do!