Sonora Family Photographer | Breast Cancer Warrior | Christine Dibble Photography
My kids have gone to school with Lani’s kids for years. We have bonded at sports practices and in the hours we spent sitting in the bleachers at wrestling tournaments. I have taken her family’s portraits before, and her daughter’s senior portraits last summer. So it was a shock when she announced–at a sports banquet for our kids!–that she had breast cancer. Suddenly she went from carting her kids to their numerous activities to doctor visits and chemo appointments. We had talked right before the holidays about doing family portraits before she started chemo and lost her hair, but things were so crazy that photos were pushed aside. Then she texted one day, asking what I was doing over the weekend. Her hair was starting to fall out, and she wanted photos of the family together and then photos of her head being shaved. Thankfully I was free! We went to a location close by for some outdoor shots. Lani kept her crackers nearby to help quell the nausea. We had to keep brushing hair from her shoulders, and we joked that a stiff breeze would make her look like a dandelion.
Then we moved on to my studio. After walking in, we realized that a pipe from upstairs had leaked through the ceiling and flooded everything. Thankfully the shooting spot was dry, and the chaos of drying and moving things helped ease the nerves, I think. Lani’s husband and boys were happy to take hold of the clippers. Shelby had a more difficult time, but she eventually stepped in to help neaten up the job the boys did. While it was an emotional event, Lani still attacked it with humor. I don’t think of it as cancer taking her hair; the cure is just borrowing it for a while for the fight! Not everyone can carry off a bare head, but Lani really does look beautiful still! And after the cure has kicked cancer’s butt, she will get her hair back!
There will be an event to help raise money to cover medical costs for Lani, and of course it is a fitness event! Zumba for Boobies will be held on April 10. There is more information here.
Corey - What an emotional portrait session! I am so glad you were available to take these for her just in time. They are such an amazing gift while she is fighting and she will treasure these long after the battle has been won!
Brenden - Its actually really hard to write this without starting to cry.Lani has such a beautiful family, and they all look so sweet, loving, and happy in the family portraits at the beginning.I love Lani’s attitude about the cancer and losing her hair. She is tackling everything with grace and humor. She really does look amazing with short hair-she is totally rocking it! Her and her family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Kathy - This brought tears to my eyes. Especially the ones with her daughter. What a touching moment. I can’t imagine the strength it takes to move through such a trying time with such grace and good spirit. She is a true warrior. Your beautiful photos capture her strength wonderfully.
Lauren - Oh Christine. I do not exaggerate when I say this family portrait session has reduced me to tears. My first thought was how lovely it is to see a photography session with a larger family consisting of older kids and teens. But then the STORY! What a beautiful, strong, amazing mama Lani is — and what a gorgeous way to celebrate her strength. I love this session. I love it so much.
Maria - I would be lying if I said the last images did not make me cry. Such a touching family photo session. Lani is beautiful with and without the hair and you created such a wonderful memory for them! I hope she can kick cancers butt asap and that is so neat to have a Zumba class for her!
Samantha - Christine you always knock your family portraits out of the park! I love this Sonora family session in the park among the trees – so beautiful!