I’ll start this off by saying this isn’t going to be a fun post . . .
On August 19, 2006, I had the opportunity to shoot a wedding for Brooke and Frankie, a fantastic couple living in New York at the time. They made the trip out to sunny San Diego and were married at the LDS Mormon Temple in La Jolla, with their reception on The Berkeley on the harbor. Even though I only spent the day with them, we had a blast. This couple was really sweet and incredibly caring and sensitive towards each other. While I haven’t seen them any since then, it was one of those amazing wedding photography experiences for me – one that reminded me exactly why it is I do what I do. Their wedding images went on to be featured in Latter Day Bride Magazine.
On April 3, 2009, Frankie was killed in Afganistan while on a morning jog. I’ll leave the details to those who want to read the article, but lets just say it was a horrible and tragic accident. He was days away from coming home . . .
Today I leave for New York City to photograph the memorial service at the Merchant Marine Academy where he graduated. The memorial service is tomorrow at 3pm. We then jump in a car and drive down to Washington DC, where I’ll photograph Frankie’s burial at Arlington National Cemetery. He received three medals during his time in the Navy . . .
When the family called to tell me about the news, Brooke really wanted me to come back to document the events. I’m honored to be able to help her and their families out in any way I can, and I’m very excited to contribute. Even more so, its really the least I could do after Frankie sacrificed his life for the freedoms that I have everyday. At the same time, I’m very nervous of all the emotions that I know are going to be present. I’m really hopeful that I can delay processing all of them until after my job is complete.
This is the second groom of ours that we’ve lost this year. 2009 has been a trying year in that regard. Please keep Brooke, her family, and Frankie’s family in your prayers this week. I’ll keep you updated throughout the week of the events.