The next shot is a beautiful young woman who suffers from a terrible disability. Hopefully, you didn't see the second part, only her beauty. This was another shot from the event helping folks with disabilities look and feel fabulous. Despite suffering from a rare, painful and incurable condition that has forced her into a wheelchair she was an upbeat and a bubbly person to shoot.
What she wanted more than anything on that day was a picture of her standing, while she can stand with a stick her feet are swollen and painful so she can only manage a few seconds at best. I love this shot because she was a little nervous before the shoot so I told her I wanted to test my camera. She had just finished hair and makeup so I asked her to move over to a plain wall for the background and asked her about her plans for the shoot while I tested my camera. It is funny but frequently I get my best shots while “testing” my camera like this. People are relaxed when they think I am not working but a lot of the time they get stressed and stiff when a photographer says “let's start”.
By using this technique I got a nice quiet calm portrait as she reflected on what she wanted. It really puts your life in perspective when you meet someone who suffers so much every day but is able to be so thankful for small mercies like a picture without her chair in the backdrop, the handle of which I photoshopped out in this photo. It helps that she was gorgeous too, of course, it made my work as a photographer so much easier. She was engaged and soon to be married and I hope they are really happy together. I also hope she was able to stand for some of the wedding like she planned too. I got a lovely shot of her standing with a stick outside and her face lit up when she saw it on the back of my camera. Such a simple thing that we all take for granted, I'm glad I was able to give her a lasting photographic memory of her achievement. That is one of the really special things about portrait photography, capturing moments so people can remember them forever.