june 29, 2016

posted in: photography | 3

“I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing… has to go… Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.” ~ Brené Brown

 

Opal
Opal

You first met my friend Opal in May of 2012. I learned a lot about Opal that year. She was only 102 then. She’d been everywhere, done everything, and she was still fully engaged intellectually. She was fascinated by Instagram and digital photography. In April of this year I saw Opal again. At 106 she finally required a little help getting around, but her light was as bright as ever. Great-granddaughter Liz Murphy gave me the news this week that Opal is in renal failure. And though her days are definitely numbered by it, she’s still going to Bingo everyday and staying cheery. That’s our Opal. I was digging through the archives to find some pictures for the family when I came across this shot that I didn’t process from 2012. I’m still amazed by Opal, inspired by her. While looking for her pictures I came across photos of Ryan Bick that I’d overlooked last year when, at his passing, the family asked if I had any pictures of Ryan they hadn’t seen. I pulled this one from the small pile, and cleaned it up. It’s one of the few pictures of Ryan I’ve seen where he isn’t smiling his huge Ryan smile, but he’s softer here; more natural. While Opal’s life has been extraordinarily long, Ryan’s was cut tragically short. And yet their impact on the world and those who love them are in no way greater or lesser than the other. We’re here for only a short time whether that’s 29 years or 106. In the grand scheme of the universe our time is short. One thing that Ryan and Opal have in common is their love for life and making the most of their time. Let them inspire you the way they have inspired me. Don’t wait until middle age to do what you’ve always wanted, love whom you want to love, go where you’ve wanted to go. Do it now.

 

Ryan
Ryan

january 10, 2016

posted in: photography | 2

“Don’t stay where you are tolerated. Go where you are celebrated.” ~ Unknown

 

in the sunset
in the sunset

 

We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of Ryan Bick’s untimely passing. Yesterday, his father asked if I had any photos of Ryan that we hadn’t seen. I spent a good deal of time today going back to various weddings and gatherings over the last few years. Of all the rental-nieces and nephews, Ryan was the most elusive. I have very few photos of him by himself. I found a few, but the last one, the one in black and white, is how I photographed him most often. He was the life of the party.

 

best man
best man

 

his love Chelsea
Chelsea by the sea

 

on the beach
on the beach

 

life of the party
life of the party

january 22, 2015

posted in: photography | 0

“What is to give light must endure burning.”~ Viktor Frankl

 

just so long
just so long

 

I initially missed this day’s post because of late night visitation services for Ryan Paul Bick. People waited in a winter cold line wrapped around the funeral home and down the block for nearly two hours just to pay their respects. A two hour service turned into five. It was quite moving, and it lifted the family like little else could have done given the circumstances. Near the end of the night, when only the family remained, I was sitting alone at the back of the room. There were Ryan’s first cousins – Connor, Taylor, and Ashley – and brother Brett embracing each other, telling Ryan stories, crying and laughing all at once. And, just off to the side, as she had done so many times throughout the night, stood very quietly the love of Ryan’s life, Chelsey Robinson. So sweet. So hurt. So composed. The wonderful thing about the Bick/Barnes/Yelton family (and they do operate as a single family at times) is that they adopt people along the way. They’ve adopted Chelsey, and I have no doubt that she will bring them great joy and comfort, and it will be returned in kind. That’s the kind of people they are. What a blessing to be part of.

january 18, 2015

posted in: photography | 0

“Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet.”
~ Sarah Louise Delany

 

Ryan
Ryan Paul Bick: October 27, 1985 – January 17, 2015

 

This is my rent-a-nephew, Ryan Bick (left) at his sister’s wedding in 2013 to Jeff Whitehouse (right). Ryan passed away last night unexpectedly. He was young. He was handsome and smart and talented. He was loved. If you’ve ever wanted to do something, but you’ve been putting it off for whatever reason, stop the procrastination now. We’re not promised tomorrow. Go live your life to its fullest with loving kindness and mercy to everyone. Ryan will back me up on this, I guarantee it. Godspeed, Ryan. Thanks for letting me be part of your family.