The Beauty of the Heart | Eric & Karen’s Story

No Beauty Shines Brighter Than That of a Good Heart

As I was sitting at the front desk, a man came into our studio and inquired about photography. Little did I know that what would unfold turned out to be a blessing for not only him, but for us as well. You see Eric waits across the street at the Cancer Care Specialists office every week. He stands out there, worrying, waiting, and praying for his love to endure chemo. Eric told me that he looked over at the photography displayed on our building and had the idea to do something special for his beauty. He wanted something that would make her forget her troubles, and feel as beautiful as she deserves. “Are you a place that can do something like that?” he asked.

In that moment I felt absolutely compelled to create something beautiful for this couple. Although Eric was adamant that he was not asking for charity, there was no doubt in my mind that this was a gift that I could not accept compensation for. I know I was blessed with a photography talent and a need to serve others, and I was being called to be active in this moment.
We scheduled an appointment in the salon for Karen to come in and have a beauty day the following week. When Karen came in, she was overwhelmed. We gave her a new cut and color in the salon, and prepared her for her upcoming photo shoot.
We then scheduled a time for a wardrobe stylist to come in and style outfits for Eric and Karen. Karen loves purple, so that is exactly what we chose for their looks. They both looked amazing!
We then decided not only to do a photo shoot, but to incorporate video to help tell their story…because their story is about beauty, not cancer. Through tragedy and triumphs they both find strength in their love. They know that no matter what comes their way, that life is precious, and therefore is meant to be shared and enjoyed. They inspired me beyond belief, and I am lucky to have crossed paths with them.
When the day came to reveal their video, Eric had something to reveal to us as well. He shared with me that the doctors had found out that the cancer had spread. When Karen arrived she told me that looking forward to seeing the images kept her focused. It meant the world to me. The look on Karen’s face during the reveal was priceless, and a moment I will never forget. “Is that really me?” I was so happy she could see how beautiful she really is inside and out. She told me that she didn’t think people like me existed, and while I was undeserving and humbled by her words, I will carry them with me forever.
Last night I received a message from Eric, and this is what it read. “Dawn, thank you. I showed Karen the video, she let go and passed away watching the thing she loved. That was the best thing anyone did for us. We loved the video so much.”

Please turn the volume up, and watch the video below. Karen & Eric’s story is one about love, overcoming obstacles, and finding joy no matter what. Their story is for everyone. Cherish the ones you love today, and everyday. XOXO-d.

August 8, 2017


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