Jan 11, 2012

Photographing an Angel

Today I said goodbye in this life to a precious young woman, Breanna.

I met Breanna in October and spent a couple hours with her and her stepmom taking her casual senior photos. Breanna was 17 and a senior at Lynchburg Christian Academy. She was planning on going to college at the Savannah Art Institute. She told me she was interested in marketing and fashion. Breanna's Mom, Kristi, works at the bank where I do my photography business and personal banking. Kristi has been very supportive of my photography business and I was excited to have the opportunity to take her daughter's senior photos.

From the onset of meeting her, Breanna had a composure that exceeded her 17 years. Her eyes sparkled and her smile lit up my camera's viewfinder. She was a natural in front of the camera, and from the photos her Mom had shown me, Breanna was also a very good photographer.

We waltzed around downtown Lynchburg taking a variety of shots and poses. Breanna was game for sitting on the pavement, jumping high more than once, and at a moment's notice, (knowing she loved shoes), I asked her for a quick pose in front of an old shoe factory, now an art studio. That shot turned out to be her Mom's favorite. We finished up at a closed gas station that had unique black and white graffiti all over it's windows and walls. I asked her to spin so I could capture that flying hair look. She laughed and spun several times. The last photo I took of Breanna was with her stepmom... afterall she had followed us everywhere and was a great audience as we took photos.

On January 6, 2012, Breanna left this world to go in the arms of Jesus. She died as a result of a tragic car accident. Her friend who was driving also died. Little did I know that the photos I took of Breanna would make up the slideshow at her visitation. Little did I know that these photos would be the last professional images taken of Kristi's daughter.

It is so very hard to put into words how this tragedy has affected me. I suppose it reminds me of how precious life is and that our days here on earth are a gift. In just two hours of knowing Breanna, I knew the time I had spent with her that day was a gift; a gift I will treasure.