Engagement Photography is an opportunity to be creative and explore extraordinary possibility of romance. I met Kaveh and Evelia in 1999 when they commission me to photograph their wedding at The Dillingham Ranch on the Oahu North Shore. Evelia passed away February 17th, 2017 of breast cancer. She was a yoga instructor, a massage therapist, a mountain climber, one of the healthiest person I ever met. Evelia was fit and vigorous; she was my client and my friend. Since I photographed her wedding, we kept in touch over the years. I’ve taken her yoga classes at the Silent Dance Center in Kaimuki, made many visits to her massage table and she was a guest in different social gathering in my home. From time to time we cross path around town in a jazz concert or walking on the beach. She is part of my family album when my sister was visiting and we went to their home for a Christmas party. My mother also had the privilege to go up with her to the Olomana trail.
This photo was taken with my Hasselblad and a 40 mm, 80mm lens in 1999.
We remember moments and how we felt during the experience. That’s why your pictures become your history and your legacy. For me as a wedding and portrait photographer, I never forget these moments and the experience I had with each couple.
Hawaii Engagement Portrait — Precious Moments
Kaveh and Evelia moved from Quebec, Canada to Hawaii. When they approach me for an engagement session with a plan to go to a very special place and offer to carry all my gear. I just reply “Let’s do it!” At the time the gear was heavy film camera photography! A tripod was necessary to keep the stability of the Hasselblad.
It was dark when we began to climb the Olomana trail and at 7 am we were there for sunrise with the magnificent views of the Ko’olau. Wow! Unforgettable!
They brought a change of clothing, makeup and we began the process of photographing in a tiny area. I shot couple rolls of color film, some black and white and a roll of cross-processing slide film.
Indeed, it was once in a lifetime event.
Hawaii Memories — Thinking of the Value of Photography
I made for Evelia and Kaveh a wedding album one of a kind that I never did for anyone else. Hand torn edges with crafted handmade paper; hand mounted one by one. Years later when she orders more photos from the wedding to display in their home, I gave her all the negatives. Not too long after, their home caught fire on the ground. She founded some of the negatives on the rubbish in the area she used for meditation. When she brought me the negatives for inspection, we began to cut all the burning edges and I taught her to wash one by one and hang to dry. The two photos in here it’s all I have with me because she ask me to keep to safety.
I know one thing: When we lose someone we love the first thing we do is to look for the pictures. The remembrance of that moment, their face, expression. It happened to me many times… I can’t tell you how many of my clients call me after the passing of a loved family member. How many families I photographed because they were in the process of saying farewell to a loved one.
A farewell — My Mexican, Hawaiian friend
You will be miss! I still remember the first time you knock on my door all dressed in white.
Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom. Rumi
Sunday, March 5th we gather to honor her life.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.