On July 1st, a client and friend of mine Naomi Williams, lost her battle with cancer. Years ago, I worked with Naomi as a budding wedding photographer and created her first brochure. She had only shot 3 weddings and barely had enough images to pull it off. And I had to do extensive retouching just to get them print ready.
That didn’t last long. She quickly became an accomplished wedding and portrait photographer, creating some of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen. Most of you know I recently started shooting weddings and I would pour over her site looking at the masterful way she handled light, composition, the moment. She had a gift for capturing the essence of her subject. I think it’s because of her ability to connect with people. Her smile was instantly disarming, saying don’t worry about this giant camera I’m about to point in your face. We’re just having fun.
Being a wedding photographer takes it toll though. It’s a demanding job and you sacrifice nights and weekends. Several months ago I received a surprise call from Naomi. She wanted to take her career in a new direction. We met at Panera and she laid out a plan that would allow her to spend more time with her family and still do what she loved. And she wanted me to help bring it to life. Recalling how challenging that first project was, I was uncertain if I wanted to go through that again. She’s a perfectionist and I knew that she would push me until everything was exactly like she wanted it.
Until I saw the new photos. I was convinced. Let’s do it.
But what to call this new venture? After several weeks of strategizing, designing and wrangling with her design team, Naomi’s Kids was born. And like everything Naomi touches it turned to gold.
Then I received another call a few months ago. This time from Dan Burgos, a close friend of Naomi’s. It was cancer. Stage 4 Melanoma. The worst kind.
How could someone so young, so health-conscious, be stricken with a terminal illness? It defies logic. There is no answer. It’s not fair.
I’m grateful to have known and worked with Naomi. Most of us could only hope to live a life as full as hers. So go hug your kids if you got em and if not go hug someone else’s kids. And take lots of pictures of them. It’s what she would have wanted.