Cancer Survivor Gets In The Picture

Sweet Lemonade Photography, capturing life's sweetest moments in central Illinois and beyond.  Located in Mahomet, Illinois, Sweet Lemonade Photography photographs in Champaign and surrounding counties frequently and also travels nation wide and internationally for weddings and destination senior sessions.  



It is so easy to push off family portraits for a variety of reasons.  I hear excuses often.   I want to lose 20 pounds, once my son gets his braces off, after our schedules quiet down (news flash- they never do), etc.  Believe me, I have made the same excuse regarding weight but I pushed on ahead with the session.  Initially looking at those pics a few years ago, I was not thrilled because I was not physically happy with myself.  But let me tell you, I'm so incredibly thankful I have them.  Because NOW what I see is how little my boys' hands were, the laughter between us, the love, the chubby baby face pre-teen that in just a couple short years has turned into a man.  That moment is gone.  Thankfully I have pictures to remember that time and better yet I am in them with my boys.  Memories I will forever treasure!

Unlike common reasons like waiting waiting for weight loss or a better hair day, this senior session kept getting pushed back for a reason much more serious.  This was the second senior session for Cassidi and we kept rescheduling in hopes her dad Ted would feel well enough to be in some pictures.  Ted had been battling cancer and I'm happy to report in August completed radiation and chemo.  Hallelujah, he is in remission!!! Recovery was a slow process and it took a while to regain his strength.  Then in November, his health, Cassidi's busy school schedule and my availability aligned and we got her second session scheduled. 

I absolutely love photographing seniors.  I've mentioned it many times... seniors and weddings are my jam!  Yes, of course, I was looking forward to photographing Cassidi but I could barely contain my excitement for this session.  I was given the opportunity to photograph them as a family.  Tomorrow is not promised for any of us and after a long fight with cancer, I imagine they may have been thinking about the 'what ifs'.  So these family pictures felt like such a celebratory event for me.  I got a little emotional as I was photographing Ted with his daughter and his wife.   The story could have ended differently.  But it didn't.  

I had not met Ted before this session but apparently he had lost a lot of weight during treatment so it was hard for him to see himself so skinny.  It's funny to think I was hiding from the camera cause I was overweight and Ted was self conscious cause he was under weight.  At the end of the day, we were both self conscious about our appearances but our appearance is not what I strive to capture.  It’s not always about what YOU see.... but what do others see. 

When looking at pics of myself, I sometimes see a tired mom that needs to loose weight but my boys see a mom that loves them and creates lots of memories with them. These pics of Ted with his 'girls', he might see a guy that needs to gain weight but the two ladies that surround him see it much differently.  They see a guy who loves and inspires them daily.  

Ted and I.... we both did it!  We both got in front of the camera with those we love even when we were self conscious.  I hope he is as thankful to have these images as I am to have the ones of my boys and I.  Cassidi will look at the pic of her dad kissing her on the cheek and I know she will not just see love but feel it too.   The pic of Ted with his wife Tammi at the very end of this blog snuggled up together talking melts my heart.  I look at that picture and I smile knowing that their love story gets to continue.  

Get in the picture!  Your loved ones will not see the imperfections you notice.  They will see your love for them.  Getting YOU in the picture is worth more than a thousand words.  





At the very end of this blog there is a comments section.  Leave a comment ON THIS BLOG POST (comments section is below the images) so you can say you helped 'chip in' for a beautiful print. 

15 comments on this blog post and they receive a free 11x14 print of their choice.  

30 comments on this blog post and they receive a 16x20 canvas of their choice.

Heather is the owner of Sweet Lemonade Photography and co-owner of Sweet Darling Weddings located in central Illinois (Mahomet).  Life gave her a bunch of lemons (you can read a little more here on her personal blog Sweet Lemonade Life) and by keeping her focus on God, finding the positive in each day, and surrounding herself with supporting, loving and encouraging people she has turned those lemons into the sweetest lemonade.  Her personal blog has been created to share her heart, her adventures and find ways to bless others.  You can contact her at or