amy's family | magic hour photo session | family photography Woodstock, Il

As photographers and artists, we often have opportunities to photograph for causes that are close to our heart. For me, that's Magic Hour, an organization that pairs photographers with people who are in the active fight against cancer. 

Ten years ago this week, I lost my dad to liver and bile duct cancer; then two years ago, my dear friend, Julie, to inflammatory breast cancer. I've also driven many other friends (more than I care to count!) to doctor appointments and treatments, and sat with them when they weren't feeling well.

It's been hard, especially losing two people very dear to me. But it's also fueled my passion and insight to the importance of capturing those who struggle with cancer.

Other than my wedding, the only photo I have of my dad, and me as an adult, is a silly little snapshot of us at a cancer walk a few months before he died. I wish I had known at the time that I would want more...not just the photos, but the memories created around them. 

Having photos is so much more than a way to remember someone if they've passed. It's the fact that this cancer journey is part of their story, and it deserves to be told just as much as their wedding and the photos they took when their children are small.

I love these sessions because it gives me a chance to photograph people at an important phase of their life, but it doesn't have to be sad. Most times the photos are a rich combination of everything they are when they're together: sweet, goofy, loving, happy, thoughtful, fun.

It was a tremendous blessing when Magic Hour asked me to photograph Amy and her family this summer. I don't need to tell their story for them, because I think the photos do exactly that.


Are you receiving cancer treatment and want to make memories with a FREE Magic Hour photo shoot?

Are you a professional photographer who wants to get involved in capturing memories with Magic Hour?

Lisa Kathan