Tears for Mia

"When your heart pulls you in a direction that your brain otherwise wouldn't, you know it has to be the right thing."

We were on vacation in San Diego when I decided to look through my news-feed on Facebook. That's when I saw the post in a private Bay Area photographer's group. I can't remember verbatim what it read, but someone was asking if anyone was willing last minute to photograph a young girl named Mia. As I continued to read the entire post, my heart sunk deep into my stomach. They wanted someone to head out to Standford Children's Hospital to take pictures of Mia and her family, because Mia is in her final stages of cancer and her remaining days are unknown.

The first thing I did was convince myself to pass by the post. I was on vacation 8 hours away and my logic was that I was the least convenient person to offer my services. But the post kept showing up in my news-feed every time I logged back into Facebook and I couldn't help but to re-read the request every time it came up. And sometimes the hardest but most rewarding things in life are the least convenient opportunities.

Then I was reminded of something...my cousin, Stacy, she was 14 when she passed away from cancer and although I can't compare any personal story to another, I can somewhat understand what it's like to have someone you love have only days left on this earth.

When your heart pulls you in a direction that your brain otherwise wouldn't, you know it has to be the right thing. So at that realization I decided to respond to the post and offer to photograph Mia.

It wasn't even a week later that I found myself knocking on Mia's hospital room door and being greeted by the sweetest family ever. I think we spent about 20 minutes together (It can be exhausting for someone suffering from something so vigorous to be able to go any longer than that). I was able to hold myself together during our session because in my mind it was all about Mia and her family, not about me and my feelings. But, on the drive home, alone with myself, I sobbed uncontrollably the entire way.

It's been a few weeks since their session with me and I have not been in touch with the family, but I've been thinking of them often and hoping & praying for healing (yes! for Mia and a miracle, but also for her family and the healing of their pain as well). I've decided to share a glimpse of the beauty within the pain by choosing a few images from the session. These images were the most powerful, stunning and emotional images I've ever experienced. None of its raw emotional power has anything to do with me, but everything to do with this incredibly strong, beautiful and loving family.

I would love to continue offering my services to families like this in order to record their love and life. Please contact me or refer me