With The Snap of a Shutter

A few months ago I smiled in this courtyard as the shutter snapped. My husband chased my son and tickled him into smiling. stedman_nov2013_075 We played peek-a-boo and cuddled up with a blanket.


stedman_nov2013_120-1 And we stole kisses.


stedman_nov2013_249-1 All captured on film. This moment, this season, was precious, and it needed to be saved. Preserved.


stedman_nov2013_068 Only days after this my husband and I would fly to DC and he would begin a trial treatment for the aggressive cancer that had spread all throughout his body. I was keenly aware of what was coming. I knew the value of these pictures. I didn't know what was ahead, but I knew our chances. As the shutter snapped I knew the very real possibility that these could be the last family pictures we would have of our family like this.



stedman_nov2013_242 Going into it I felt nervous. There was a lot hanging over my head and somehow a lot hanging on these pictures too. I changed more times than I could count. I even put on a little makeup (which I hadn't done in years) and quickly regretted it and wiped it off when my face broke out in hives. These pictures had to be perfect.


stedman_nov2013_029-2 As I got closer I got more nervous. I hadn't seen her in years. Tall and beautiful, she looked just like she had in high school, only now she held a camera so gracefully and naturally it looked as if it could be part of her. She smiled. We hugged. And instantly I felt at ease. Before long all of the pressure of the photos was gone. All that mattered was the moment.

stedman_nov2013_275 The look we shared. The smile our daughter flashed. My son's laugh.

stedman_nov2013_011 It wasn't a really long shoot. Thaddeus quickly lost interest despite our best attempts. But in that short time, even with a difficult preschooler, magic happened. The essence of our family was caught in the snapping of the shutter.

I stand in this spot now in a very different season, a very different place. Bryan's cancer has shrunk by 75% since the time these pictures were captured. He lost his hair and it has begun to grow back - sprinkled white, the years this journey has put on us firmly visible to the world. The doctors remind us that we still aren't out of the woods. The threat is still there. But it's softening, fading, and not as prominent.

I stand here in this place now grateful for the precious season captured on film just a few short months ago. I stand here grateful for the hope of many more seasons to come.


If you are interested in seeing more work from this talented photographer, who I'm glad to call my friend, visit her web site.

Rejoicing in the journey, Bethany