The ability of photography to capture singular moments of emotion – love, particularly - is what many of us find fascinating with the medium, particularly those of us that photograph people. Ben lost his wife Ali to lung cancer shortly after they married, but with his young daughter Olivia, paid tribute to both the love for his wife and the love for his daughter in a wonderful, touching shoot that highlights the true power of photography.
This story starts with a wedding day shoot in 2009 by photographer Melanie Pace, Ben’s sister-in-law (note: Melanie's site appears down, possibly due to high web traffic). The shoot shows Ben and Ali on their happy day in their new home, empty (they closed on it the day before the wedding), ready to be filled with their lives together. It's easy to imagine how excited they must have felt on that day with so much to celebrate and think about.
Sadly, Ali passed away just two years later with a rare form of lung cancer. At that time Olivia, their daughter, was only one. In November this year, Ben decided that after a roller coaster few years of emotions, it was time to move out of the house. Just before he left, with the house empty once again, he decided to commission Melanie to come back and recreate some of the photos that had been shot on his wedding day with Ali 4 years earlier.
Ben said he did the shoot for his daughter and himself. “This isn’t a story about grief and loss and hurt”, he said. “Yes I’ve gone through those emotions and still do but that’s not what I want people to see in these photos. This is a story about love”.
It’s difficult to put into words how seeing these images side by side makes me feel, but I think that in itself is the power that photography can have on us. Showcasing the two shoots side-by-side highlights love, loss, sadness and happiness all at the same time.
If this doesn’t encapsulate the pure beauty of what photography is, and the power and emotion it has, I don’t know what does.
Via [My Modern Met]