I've said this over and over and over. I love how photography brings people from my past back into my life. I know not everyone loves seeing people from different chapters in their lives, but I truly do. In fact, if I travel to another state or city and I know someone living there, it's so hard for me to not reach out to try and connect.
This was a really special family for me to photograph. I went to DePaul University with Shannon and Eric, more years ago than I care to remember. The last time I saw them was 2 years ago, when they all came to watch my son perform in The Christmas Schooner in downtown Chicago. I think there were 11 people in all and the support was amazing. That was before Shannon was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Shannon has been blogging about her life and progression of the disease, in which the nerve cells break down and slowly render your muscles non-functional. It's a devastating diagnosis that I wouldn't wish on anyone.
A few months ago, a mutual friend of ours, reached out, asking if I would like to photograph Shannon and Eric and their kids. I didn't hesitate to say yes. Some of Eric's fraternity brothers were giving this to the family as a gift, which made my heart really happy. Shannon and I coordinated our schedules, moving around kids's activities and unexpected injury their son had and finally managed to connect up in October!
I honestly wasn't sure what to expect about how mobile Shannon would be. Turns out, she has the rockstar of all rockstar wheel chairs and so we were able to venture into the North Park Nature Village Center and capture images in multiple locations. (I even took a small ride in her wheelchair, towards the end of the session. I needed to move it to a different spot and getting in it seemed much more efficient, ya know.) They brought a chair with them so Eric could move Shannon out of the wheelchair for the photos. We also managed to find a couple of benches and logs to sit on along the way. Everyone rocked it out in front of my camera.
While Shannon's mobility has changed, she's still the exact same person I knew in college, as is Eric! The kids have grown so much and are such sweet kids.
Take a peek into what we captured!
The love between all of you is very apparent and I was honored to have you in front of my lens!