Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Living to the Hilt with Maheen

Maheen saw my photographic portrait work online and fell in love with it, so she hired me. As we walked and talked and photographed, she told me a little of her story.

A couple years ago, she was driving in Florida with her sister. A truck smashed in to her side of the car, and when she woke up in the hospital, she had multiple fractures in her pelvis, and trauma to the side of the head. In just a few days, her nerve damage turned to paralysis.

She tells me that before her accident, she studied hard, worked hard, and was advancing in her field. But after the accident, and after her paralysis lifted, she decided she needed to do a little living. And living, for her, included sky diving. And having her portrait taken every year.

Well, it turns out she just had her portrait taken a few months back, and she was researching photographers to work with next year. When she found my work, she decided she couldn't wait until next summer to work with me, so she emailed me, and we set up a location portrait session.

Even though she said she would freeze up in front of the camera, I assured her she wouldn't. Although I thought she might freeze up toward the end of our portrait session, when she waded out into the Willamette River across from downtown Portland.

I think every time a portrait subject gets into a body of water, the photos are extra cool. I told her later that whenever I tell someone about our portraits in the Willamette River, they tell me how impressed they are by her courage. She wrote back, "ha ha ha! i guess you only live once! might as well live it to the hilt!"

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