I can’t believe how long it took me to do this lesson. It wasn’t a particularly hard lesson – explore how to use light in photography. I was challenged to turn off my flash and focus on using the light in the room. My assignment was one of two options: find a quote about light representing my journey through babyloss, or use an object that has been special or significant in my journey and explore photographing it in various types of light.
If you’ve been reading my blog any time at all, you know how much I love words. So I immediately went searching for quotes. Here is my favorite.
“The only whole heart is the broken one because it lets the light in.”
~David J. Wolpe
These is a beautiful quote, but I’m not a skilled enough photographer to attempt to take photos that do it credit. So I tried snapping photos of a teddy bear statue in William’s garden. They were significantly unremarkable. As I fumbled around the house I found myself avoiding things that were actually William’s. Until I pulled out his box of things from the hospital.
And the tears came. Harder and faster until I couldn’t breathe.
I was surprised by this. I’ve cried many tears over William, but I felt that I’d become comfortable with William’s earthly possessions, abandoned for that early journey to Glory. But I wept and wept and wept.
And, as they always do, the tears stopped. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I took a series of three photos: one using candle light, one in direct blazing sunlight, and one using sunlight from an open window.
Photo 1: Candlelit
When I look at this photo I’m reminded of the nightlight I needed for weeks after William was born. Although I usually prefer sleeping in the pitch dark, I couldn’t bring myself to turn out the light. The darkness felt too final.
Photo 2: Exposed
While many women go through the loss of a child in the silence of miscarriage or stillbirth, I felt over exposed to the world through the short span of William’s life. We were blessed to have friends on every populated continent praying for us, but when the end came, I felt like the whole world knew my deepest, darkest, most painful secret. It seemed that everyone was watching – and judging – how I was grieving. I couldn’t escape from the glare of the world’s eye.
Photo 3: Sunlit
I suppose this photo best represents where I am today. There is beautiful, glowing sunlight – there are dark shadows. The light is not any less for the shadows, and the shadows are not any stronger because I admit they exist. This photo was staged with William’s Nine Patch in the back and his hand cast sitting on the Word of God. Significant in many ways.