"A Family Story - How One Woman's Love
For Her Family Caused Her To Stop And
Save One Family Memento On Her Way Out
Of Her Burning House..."
A  TRUE Story - One That Shows What Photography Can Really Mean

   I want to tell you a true story - one that actually brings me to tears every time I tell it.  As hard as it may be to believe, I promise you this actually happened...

   About 12 years ago, in Grand Rapids, Michigan a friend of mine, Chuck, was asked to photograph a wedding.

   The bride's name was Sharon, and she and her family were so wonderful. The wedding was perfect. The photographs turned out perfectly.  Sharon even called Chuck the day after she received her albums to thank him for helping to make her wedding such a wonderful success, and for creating such cherished memories for her, and her family to keep forever.

Now, Fast-Forward Two And A Half Years...  A Tragedy Happened, And Sharon's Life Was Never The Same.

   Two and a half years of wedded bliss later, Sharon and her husband had a beautiful home in a nice part of Grand Rapids. They had decorated the home just the way they liked it. They had even adorned some of their tables and shelves with family heirlooms that had been handed down from parents and grandparents.  Then, one of the things we fear most happened...

       ....a terrible fire started, and began to burn their home and possessions to the ground.

Fortunately, Everyone Got Out Of The House All Right - Thank Goodness For Smoke Alarms - But What Happened On The Way Out May Startle You.

   Just imagine standing outside your house, watching it, and all your cherished memories, consumed in flames.  I don't suppose any of us can really know what that feels like, unless we've actually been through it.

   As Sharon ran through her burning house, trying to get to safety, a thought ran through her mind.  She was running past all of these wonderful memories she'd spent a lifetime lovingly collecting- and she knew she had time to save one of these items - but only one.  She would only have the time to safely grab one thing as she and her husband ran to safety.

Passing Family Heirlooms And Meaningful Trinkets Collected Over Lifetimes, What She Chose To Clutch To Her Heart And Rescue From The Fire Makes Me So Proud I Could Just Burst.

   Running to safety, without giving it any real thought, Sharon grabbed the albums containing the wedding photographs Chuck had created of her and her family.  Holding those albums to her chest, and protecting them almost like a child, she ran from the flame-engulfed home.

  Chuck found out about this himself the next day when Sharon called him on the phone. In tears, she told him about the tragedy. Then, she told him about how she'd saved the wedding albums he'd created for her as she ran from the burning house.  By the end of the conversation, both Sharon and Chuck were in tears.

She Knew That Her Photographer Kept The Negatives, And That He Could Make New Albums For Her, But THESE VERY ALBUMS Were So Important To Her, She Couldn't Bear The Thought Of Them Being Destroyed.

   That very story sums up the reason I became a photographer.  Creating photographs that mean that much to people - I can't imagine anything that would make me feel more fulfilled as an artist.

Sharon Realized That The One Thing That Can Never Be Replaced - That We MUST Hold On To - Are The Memories We Share With Those We Love.

   Life is so terribly short. But, at the same time, life is such a wonderful gift.  And the memories we keep of these moments with our family will last forever. Which brings me to another touching story, one that happened to us at Gregory Wutke - Best of Times Photography.

Several years ago a young mother contacted us about creating portraits of her new baby boy. She had twin girls who were a few years older, and they had many portraits done of the girls. Of course she she did not want to become "too busy" and neglect to have portraits made for her younger child so she called us.

We created beautiful Mother and Baby portraits, as well as portraits at each "milestone" for the new baby. When he was still a toddler, Mom dressed the three children in simple, vintage-looking clothes and we created some wonderful portraits of the children together. They had such a timeless quality, and are still some of our favorites. Since she came from a large closely-knit family, we created Family portraits for her that included her children, husband, parents and all her sisters.

It was not very long after that session that she became ill. We had no idea until reading of her untimely passing in the local newspaper. Eventually her husband contacted us, to have more portraits made from those sessions, and to make sure he could have more in the future. Needless to say, he is so grateful that she had taken the time and effort to have the photography done.

Don't wait to take advantage of the time you have now to capture this time in your life, and in your children's lives.

CLICK HERE to call me on the phone to chat (no cost, no obligation) about how you can have photographs created that will mean this much to you...


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