thoughts and prayers needed

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Postby mnp13 » October 12th, 2010, 10:34 am

Shoot number two today, inoperable cardiac defect and they have decided to withdraw life support for their two month old baby girl this afternoon. If you have a few moments, send some support my way around 3:00, I'll be working with the family then.
Michelle

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Postby TinaMartin » October 12th, 2010, 10:53 am

Always Michelle!
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Postby LMM » October 12th, 2010, 11:14 am

I don't know how you will get through that, I couldn't. My thoughts will be with the family and you :(
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » October 12th, 2010, 11:23 am

They're lucky to be getting you as their photographer.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby Pit♥bull » October 12th, 2010, 3:13 pm

:goodthoughts: X10 :)
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Postby iluvk9 » October 12th, 2010, 3:35 pm

mnp13 wrote:Shoot number two today, inoperable cardiac defect and they have decided to withdraw life support for their two month old baby girl this afternoon. If you have a few moments, send some support my way around 3:00, I'll be working with the family then.


Those poor parents. :( You really are doing the job of an Angel, Michelle.
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Postby Jenn » October 13th, 2010, 4:50 pm

Ugh, I agree that has to be so gut wrenching yet make you feel special and well I just don't know how many emotions I would feel and all at the same time..
I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure....
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Postby mnp13 » October 13th, 2010, 5:08 pm

It's terrifying actually. Nothing makes you feel more insecure than knowing if you mess up the pictures then you have ruined a family's final photos of their baby - and when you leave they look at you like you are going to be delivering work that would make Ansel Adams, Steve McCurry and Mary Ellen Mark envious... and frankly, that just ain't happening.

I'd rather deal with bride-zilla. lol

Seriously though, I know to an extent that no matter what I give them they will be happy, but at the same time, I want to be able to give them something that I will be proud of. And hospital light, crowded rooms, tubes, people in not-the-most-photogenic outfits, who are exhausted, have been crying... it makes for hard work. I do my best and deliver the best that I can.

I try not to blame anything on my equipment, but that's limiting as well, which is frustrating. The "ideal setup" is one thing, and then there is what most of us have... and we just make it work... but there is definitely plenty of envy when the long-established photographers in the organization say "get this!" and then you go look and say "sure... in what lifetime?"

But, when you see what some people, like my friend, have - a single polaroid of her baby - and that is all she will ever have. I know that anything I give will be gratefully received, but I want it to be perfect... and that's that hard, and very very scary part.
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Postby Malli » October 14th, 2010, 2:56 am

not to insult anyone, but Michelle, that reminds me of what its like to help people who are euthanizing a pet. You step on eggshells extra gingerly to try and make everything(the state of the sick and dying animal, the blankets they are on, the noises going on in the hospital around the room they are in, making sure everything is organized so that they don't have to be bothered or have any of their last minutes interrupted, etc) as good as possible for them, its often hard to make death and dieing pretty and calm and serene...
I totally understand. Its their last time together, and for Michelle, its trying to make a beautiful record of their last time together.
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby mnp13 » October 14th, 2010, 12:28 pm

Number three today, and my first preemie. I'm on my way in now...
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Postby Jenn » October 14th, 2010, 4:57 pm

Oh, so sad... Good luck girl
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Postby mnp13 » November 14th, 2010, 12:57 pm

My friend Kristin is why I got involved with NILMDTS. She lost her daughter at six months unexpectedly, she was healthy but got caught up in the cord. She is pregnant again, and due two weeks after she lost her first baby. They just found out that she has low fluid, and that they will have to deliver at 30 weeks, but are not sure that the baby will be ok.

The loss of two babies is devastating, but two in a year is unimaginable.

The longer that they can wait, the better, but it's a delicate balance. any and all prayer/good thoughts would be appreciated.
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Postby mnp13 » November 14th, 2010, 1:00 pm

mnp13 wrote:Seriously though, I know to an extent that no matter what I give them they will be happy, but at the same time, I want to be able to give them something that I will be proud of. And hospital light, crowded rooms, tubes, people in not-the-most-photogenic outfits, who are exhausted, have been crying... it makes for hard work. I do my best and deliver the best that I can.


wrong-o

A family I just delivered photos to is upset that they didn't get all of them. I've gotten three emails so far, and the last one was not pleasant. The organization is very very supportive, as are the other photographers and co-coordinators, but it's rough.
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Postby iluvk9 » November 14th, 2010, 1:07 pm

I have a feeling that the anger of losing a child will come out in many ways.
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Postby amazincc » November 14th, 2010, 1:17 pm

iluvk9 wrote:I have a feeling that the anger of losing a child will come out in many ways.

Yes. :neutral:


A family I just delivered photos to is upset that they didn't get all of them.

Why didn't they?
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Postby mnp13 » November 14th, 2010, 2:28 pm

amazincc wrote:
A family I just delivered photos to is upset that they didn't get all of them.

Why didn't they?

Because some turn out good and some don't. No photographer gives - or even shows - every picture to a client.
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Postby amazincc » November 14th, 2010, 2:53 pm

mnp13 wrote:
amazincc wrote:
A family I just delivered photos to is upset that they didn't get all of them.

Why didn't they?

Because some turn out good and some don't. No photographer gives - or even shows - every picture to a client.


Oh... :(
I think losing a child is something so horrific and incomprehensible, and at the same time something so personal, that parents want to hang on to anything tangible that exists... even if it happens to be some not-so-good photos. They might also possibly feel that they don't want to "share" those pictures w/strangers - it's hard to explain what grief can do to a person, or how rational thinking can go straight out the window for a long, long time.
My heart goes out to them.

Try not to take their e-mails too personal. :hug3:
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Postby mnp13 » November 14th, 2010, 5:57 pm

amazincc wrote:Oh... :(
I think losing a child is something so horrific and incomprehensible, and at the same time something so personal, that parents want to hang on to anything tangible that exists... even if it happens to be some not-so-good photos. They might also possibly feel that they don't want to "share" those pictures w/strangers - it's hard to explain what grief can do to a person, or how rational thinking can go straight out the window for a long, long time.
My heart goes out to them.


I totally understand, not that I can identify with that level of loss, but I understand wanting everything that you can get of that person. I've never lost a baby, but my sister has, as has a good friend. But I've lost very close family members.

Please don't think I'm not sympathetic to them, or uncaring, but there are standards that are set by the organization that all of the photographers agree to adhere to. Basically, if it's not a picture of the quality that would go to a paying client, you do not give it to a family. People actually do post these pictures online (the families, not the photographers) and if it's a low quality image it reflects poorly on the organization as a whole and the photographer as well. We are heavily screened (I had to send in 15 different images, my website was reviewed and had references) so if families have bad images it looks like the "professional" part of being a photographer for them is lax.

I'm looking into some new equipment that will help with these shoots - the lighting in hospital rooms is terrible, and when you don't have a window for natural light it's even more difficult. But as always, that kind of investment takes some planning. Not a big deal though, it'll get there.

Try not to take their e-mails too personal. :hug3:

Thanks, I'm trying not to... but that's the hard part.

iluvk9 wrote:I have a feeling that the anger of losing a child will come out in many ways.

Absolutely.
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Postby ArtGypsy » November 15th, 2010, 8:43 pm

iluvk9 wrote:I have a feeling that the anger of losing a child will come out in many ways.


Yes....and so does desperation to have ANY little "piece' of that child that's Left.

I'm not sure I'd argue and want more (especially to the point of sending yucky emails), but I do understand the need to have every single shred of 'essence' that's left after the child has gone.

My first born son died of congenital heart disease when he was 6 months old.... :( and back then, there was no such option of professional photography before he passed away. (not that we expected it, either. I thought he'd make it to the 15 pound mark, so we could have the surgery_)
ANYWAY..*deep breath*, I'm just remembering that grieving parents are frantic to KEEP what belonged to the child; and with babies, there's not much to 'keep'. No favorite toys, games, etc. Just blankets and some pictures.
So even though I can't condone their behavior (after knowing the 'deal'), I guess I do remember the frantic need to have his 'stuff' all around me after he died.

And don't even get me Started with wanting Amanda's Things... :sad2:

Anyway.........Michelle: bless your heart. I can't IMAGINE how hard it must be to enter such a sacred and heartbreaking 'space' and do what you can to salvage some precious memories.
“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage.
Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby mnp13 » November 15th, 2010, 10:29 pm

Thanks everyone. It got another step of worse today... but thankfully HQ is so wonderful and supportive and they are removing it from my hands.

I went through all of the images again, and spent a few more hours working on them so I could give them another 22. They are not images that I think are great (they already had those) but they are acceptable.

Please, do not think that I am not sympathetic to their horrible loss. I can't imagine what it's like to lose a baby, the thought of losing one of my dogs sends me into panic. However, though I hold it together very well at the sessions (I have a total "shut down" switch in my brain), and generally through editing, the final review process is gut wrenching.

Having a family angry with me is just indescribable. They want what I can't give.
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