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Photos Matter | Omaha Wedding Photographer

(To give background to my story:  I shot my cousin Rachel’s wedding back in April.)

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So I was chatting with my Grandma the other day.  She said to me through her hot pink lips, “Ohhhhhhhh Kenz…do you know what my favorite picture from the wedding was?  I just gotta tell ya.”  For those of you that know my Grandma, I’m sure you can hear the excitement in the start of this conversation.  So I encouraged her on with the follow up question, “I have no idea…which one?” not really having any idea what she’d say.  “The one where Bradley (my uncle) has a {explicit}-grin on his face and I’m obviously telling him something serious.  I just love that picture.  Rachel blew it up for me and I framed it for my new condo.  Do you know which one that is?  I just love that picture of Brad and I!”

I honestly stopped and had to be quiet for a second.  I said, “Yes, Grandma…I know the exact one you’re talking about…”

“Oh, I just LOVE that picture.  I have no idea what Bradley and I are talking about.  But I just love that picture of him and I.”

I smiled.  “You were talking about Grandpa.”  And she was quiet.

I had a mental flashback immediately.  I could still hear the DJ’s cocktail hour music in the background.  Some mix of Michael Bublé.  I could see the hundreds of people whirling passed me, laughing and back-patting with longtime friends.  I could still picture exactly where I was standing, with the waft of buttercream in the air as I photographed the wedding cake.  I remember looking up for one quick second…just like coming up for air after you dive into a swimming pool.  Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted my Grandma staring at the memorial my cousin had made of my Grandpa.  Dawned with his suspenders and a collage full of pictures, it was his own little corner of personality and memories.  And my Grandma was staring at it, alone, talking to him as if he was right there…and she took her index finger, kissed it, and placed a kiss on every single one of his pictures.  I couldn’t even believe I saw it happening.  A lump grew in my throat.  I shot through it with warm dripping tears behind my camera.  My heart wanted for me to put my camera down to go stand with her, and hug her, and kiss his pictures too.  But I knew I had to shoot it.  This moment was important to me.  For my family.  Then my Uncle Brad came up and hugged her…stood with her…talked about Grandpa with her…and tried to make her laugh during her moment of reflection.  I cried.  I could feel my grandpa’s presence in that moment and witnessing that was precious to me.  And after those brief minutes, the night carried on…the dinner was served, the caked was cut, and everyone danced on into the night.  But I had that secret moment.  And it meant more to me than anything.

I told Grandma my story and she smiled.  She had no idea.  And now her story has grown from it just being a picture of her and her son, but to “My favorite picture from the wedding is of me and Bradley…and you know what we’re talking about?  Dad.”  She smiles so proudly when she passes this on to anyone that will listen.  And this…this makes my heart happy.  This picture isn’t of my Grandma and my Uncle.  It’s of my Grandma, my Uncle, and my Grandpa.

McKenzie
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  • October 30, 2014 - 11:00 am

    Janette Thomas - OMGosh Kenz… that is so very precious! Made me tear up! Your Grandma is an amazing woman! I don’t know them well, but over the years I have had small conversations with them both. And they were an awesome couple! Always smiling and laughing! Such a great capture for you and your family!

  • October 31, 2014 - 5:57 pm

    Debi Driver - This is absolutely beautiful! I can just see your Grandma doing that, Mac. She is an amazing woman, and so was your Grandpa! This is such a good memory for you and your family. Give my love to your Grandma….:)

  • November 5, 2014 - 3:17 pm

    Rachel Eikenberry - Your Grandpa loved your Grandma. He left a legacy of Love. She was still listening. Your Grandma is a hoot. I got to see her volunteer her time to help kids become better readers at Underwood Middle School. EVERY ONE of those kids left smiling. Love the photos and the story. Keep shooting and sharing!

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