I haven't written a website blog in forever...more than a year ago actually. I set out this afternoon to update. All those sweet babies that I first did birth photos for (my favorite sessions) have all turned a year old. I did their one year photos as well and thought what a perfect highlight and platform to jump back into this blog thing. I mean those kiddos are precious and I love them! That post will come, after I get back from a mini trip to the family farm, but today...and for a while actually, something else has captured my heart. I hesitate to share, I share with permission, and I'm not sure how to raise awareness of a service offered without sharing. I honestly wasn't sure after my very first few "sessions" that this was something I could handle because it was so hard to do...and then these two weeks happened...two weeks that have brought me to this point and placed on my heart this service to offer to grieving families if they desire it. In two weeks I have been asked to photograph more death than life. More hurt and heartache than smiles as loved ones and families mourned and said goodbyes. It changes you, your mind, almost makes you question your faith...and more accurately I did question and asked difficult unanswerable questions in my mind and voiced a few of those questions out loud or in messages to dear friends/family through tears. These were not my first photographic encounters with death, I'm sure not my last, but definitely the most difficult two weeks I've ever experienced as a photographer and I can't even begin to imagine just how difficult for the families forced to say goodbye way to soon. Dealing so close with death is a lot to process, my heart hurt, still hurts....and then I thought of this business...what this small side business means to me. I also thought about all of those who support it. I thought about how all the pieces have fit together to bring me to this point...how God is present and gives strength, even if it's just enough to get through the day. Were it not for the emotional support, encouragement, and you who trust me to capture those happiest moments, I would not have been able or asked to be present during the darkest moments. No family who experiences loss pays for anything...I don't post images (aside from these three), no watermark, no trace. The images are totally given as keepsakes and memories of loved ones. Your support of this little business allows support to be given to those who desperately need it in the form of a photograph. It isn't enough for them, but it is at least something. These two weeks have rocked my world. I just don't understand. I'll never understand. I know I don't have to. I hate what these families have gone through and will continue to endure. I know the Lord leads and comforts. I'm not totally sure what the future holds for Photography by H. Sumner but I do know that in some capacity, I will definitely continue to give memories when able, and I ask for prayers as I figure out the right way to offer this service on a more consistent basis. Thank you to my nurse friends who also give care and support to these families. Thank you again for your prayers and support as well. I love capturing your happiest moments and will attempt to be more active in writing posts and sharing those memories for friends and families to see. But for today however...these 3 photos are posted with permission from those 3 families who in a two week time span, have forever changed my mission and mindset as a photographer. Please continue to remember those who have been forced to say goodbye way before anyone's understanding.