This session is super special. It’s special to me personally on a level that can’t really be articulated. Lesley and I share a connection and
understanding deeper than that of just being acquaintances over the last 10 years. Her and her husband, Mike, came into my life through
Ali and Ben at Powerhouse. Little did we all know what the future held for all of us years ago. First Lesley and Mike supported Ben as Ali
got sick and passed. Then almost immediately after, Mike was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon cancer. The tables turned and Ben had to then
support them as Mike eventually lost his battle last year. He left behind these two beautiful people who are doing a kickass job at living
life happily and fully through the heartbreak. I know Mike is SO proud of both of you.
On my way to any session that involves loss, I always have anxiety. I always pray that I am able to hold it together and create happy
memories while not addressing the elephant in the room. I made it a point to wait until the very end to talk about Mike because I just
wanted the session to be as fun and light as it could be. I know Lesley wanted me to capture the joy Kaizer brings to her life and to show they
are a strong little team, her and her boy. Needless to say, words didn’t need to be spoken in the beginning. We both looked at each other
and just got it. Unspoken exchange of “I understand, I’m sorry you’re going through this and know that I care.” We started and the session
was perfect immediately. I’m thrilled with the images. Such love and happiness. Something people who are about to lose someone fear they
will never have again. The heart can heal slowly while still never forgetting what it’s missing so deeply.
We started at the original Powerhouse where I met them years ago. Now it’s called BLDG where Lesley is continuing to do what Mike loved,
designing and screen printing posters. It’s a great interior in Covington with a gallery below! Such an inviting and creative space.
Little man is full of personality. 18mths of total cuteness.
Right off the bat it was evident to me that they never have fun together. So boring, all the time.
Split second apart. I said, “Don’t you give me those brows, young man!” And then he laughed as if he actually understood what that meant. 😉
Lesley’s only request was to incorporate a mural of Mike in Covington by the London Police! Ummm how perfect!! What better way to
incorporate Daddy than his actual face! What’s even cooler is that the mural is pretty high on the wall and this day there happened to be a
18″ crate set up directly below which made it a million times easier for me to shoot a better composition with them. (Thanks for lookin’
out Mike! ::fist punch::)
Imma gonna get youuuu. ::gigggggles and runs faster::
Man Lesley, you sure are beautiful.
These just make my heart so happy.
I’m going to sound like I’ve gone off the deep end for a second. What’s new, right? Well it’s never been a secret around here that I view God
as light. This night as they played perfectly in the light blasting between them, I was having a hell of a time focusing. The slightest subtle
movement changes all settings and exposures, not to mention focus. So when a kid is bouncing quickly on mom’s shoulder, I’m moving fast
and adjusting as quick as I can. All I kept thinking during this as I struggled was that it was Mike pouring down and wrapping them up in
his love. The warmth of the sun radiating just between them where Mike would stand. He was there. In the light. While I typically scrap
out of focus shots, I fell in love with this one. It didn’t matter how sharp it was, it was the moment I needed. I literally smiled ear to ear
when I saw it. I can 100% without a doubt say, Mike was with us at this exact second. I just adore this shot.
I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to shoot you two beautiful souls, Lesley. It’s so good to see smiles on your faces. I know you struggle
day in and day out, but you are surviving. You are doing a fantastic job with Kaizer. He’s just the sweetest little guy. I hope he grows more
to look like his handsome Daddy. I pray for you often and when you feel alone, know that you are not. Ever. Many hugs now and the
upcoming years. Heart, Melanie.