True Courage {St. Louis Family Photographer}

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meet Laurie Jo:
Mom of two feisty brilliant daughters, stepmom to a third beautiful girl... Wife to a sweet hubby... Full of smiles and life and joy and optimism. When you are around Laurie Jo, you cannot help but smile along with her. She's irresistible.
She's also in the midst of the fight of her life. See, Laurie Jo has breast cancer.

And she contacted me back in April to see if I knew of any photographers in her area who would be willing and comfortable enough with her situation to take some "cancer photos"-- some images celebrating her journey and telling the truth about the good and the bad.

And though she was in Maryland, I just happened to be travelling to DC in May and told her immediately I would be honored to have the chance. And a session was booked and organized.

It was one of the coolest sessions I've had the opportunity to be a part of. Take a look...

True Support:
A Sense of Humor... Throughout the Family:
"How Do I Look, Ma?"

I Love You, No Matter What:
See, the point of Laurie Jo wanting this session wasn't to grieve the loss of her energy, her health, her HAIR. The point was, she wanted to show her daughters (and I think herself) that there was still JOY in their life. That there was still LOVE and LIGHT and reason to celebrate. That no mater what, they had each other.
(I love this next one so much...Everybody laughing, everybody IN the moment...)

And oh, what an incredible energy Laurie Jo had the whole time I was in her presence. Her FAITH and her JOY were powerful.

And... I am humbled. For all the fear I might feel in my life, I have NEVER been faced with the kind of fear Laurie Jo is facing EVERY SINGLE DAY. And she is teaching me how to have more courage. She is BEAUTIFUL, isn't she??

(Thank you, LJ... For letting me share some of your most intimate portraits... For letting me be with your family that morning. For showing me what courage is. For being my friend.)


P.S. I'll need to check with her, but Laurie Jo keeps a blog about her journey with cancer. Currently, she is done with treatments. YAYAYAY!!!!
If she doesn't mind people coming by, I'll post the address here or in the comments... Check back.


  1. Thank you, Emily, for sharing this! It touched me so much and my eyes swelled up. And YES, she is beautiful and inspiring!

    Your photos are lovely and you captured such stunning beauty in this family. . . and those eyes!

  2. Seeing her pictures, her strength, her happiness, makes me tear up. To be so happy and courageous (and beautiful) while fighting for your life is so amazing.

    Laurie Jo, your family is beautiful. I LOVE the pictures. The show your courage so wonderfully.

    Emily, great job as usual. I'm so glad your shared shared her pictures in story form. They are beautiful!

  3. What a beautiful post, Emily. I'm not even sure how to describe how I love this capturing of real life of finding joy in real life of...something. It's beautiful.

  4. I love the pictures and words. It all brought tears to my eyes.

  5. Thank you Emily for taking these pictures of my family and my journey. You hope you know how much I loved them!! And yes, I would love for you to post a link to my blog.

    Thank you so much!!!

  6. Emily - you give such beautiful words to describe how inspiring Laurie Jo is. When combined with your beautiful photographs, you tell a story that so deserves to be shared.

    Laurie Jo - I've said it before, I'll say it again - you simply amaze me. And you are gorgeous!

  7. Beautiful. The pictures, the story, the words, the people. Thanks for a a good morning cry.

  8. The photos are beautiful expressions of their fun spirits!
    What a beautiful woman. Laurie Jo, good luck in your fight! Congrats on being done with treatments!! You have a precious family.

  9. These are stunning Emily, what a wonderful and inspiring woman! Thanks babe! Hope you are well and that cute little family of yours.

  10. Laurie Jo is GORGEOUS. And her outside ain't too bad either.

  11. I love the joy you captured and she's gorgeous!

  12. Laurie is an amazing example! Thanks so much for capturing and sharing her beauty with us!


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