My most important photo

Back in 2010 I shot the wedding of Fi & Rob at The Gallivant Hotel, in Camber Sands. They were such a fun couple and determined to have the wedding they wanted, their way and what a special day it was.

I also spent an afternoon with Fi after the wedding giving her some 1-2-1 photography training and was looking forward to seeing them at a friend of theirs wedding which I was shooting last Christmas (2011). It was at that wedding that I found out that Fi had been diagnosed with cancer and that she probably didn’t have long to live.

I was knocked for six. Fi was the most outgoing person, she was such fun and incredibly active, putting most of us to shame. I just couldn’t believe it and spent ages off and on thinking about her and Rob wondering how they were doing and reflecting on my own life and those around me. Then a few weeks later I saw on facebook that Rob had posted that she’d sadly lost her battle.

Again I was knocked for six and I know that people that I spoke to about it, who didn’t even know her and how great she was, were also affected by this news. I think that from the time that she was diagnosed with cancer to her passing was only three and a half months. Looking at the photos on facebook it looked like Fi & Rob were determined to make the most of that precious time and i’m really glad that they did.

I ended up going to Fi’s funeral as I wanted to pay my respects to her and to Rob and was stunned by the fact that a portrait that I’d taken of her at her wedding was used on the cover of the order of service and a big print of it was placed on Fi’s coffin. Rob also mentioned me and the photos I took at their wedding in his speech.

This really got me thinking about how important photography can be. The fact that my image had been used to represent such a wonderful person really struck a cord with me. Like I said I wanted to write about this ages ago, but for some reason it didn’t feel right to and I didn’t want to disrespect Fi’s memory or Rob in any way.

It’s now been a year since Fi’s passing and although I haven’t seen Rob much i’ve been watching him live his life though facebook and i’m really pleased that he seems happy. So i’m writing this now to say that although Fi is gone, she’s certainly not forgotten and she’s still making me think about my life and the memory of her.

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  1. I loved this sensitively written post, Adam, and the photo it alludes to. In case you’re wondering who I am, I live in Shoreham-by-Sea, and first saw your work via Kat’s R&R blog, then met Alexa Clark Kent at Kat’s blogging workshop in the summer. Alexa mentioned you were local, so I thought I’d get in touch with a comment.

  2. This is so lovely – Its brought a tear to my eye.

  3. Such a beautiful photo and words Adam, nice one x

  4. What thoughtful words. I’m Fe’s sister, your photos mean a lot to us and I totally resonate with what you say about the power of photography. Thank you.

  5. Adam, your words encapsulate everything about Fi and Rob. Fiona was an amazing girl. In your photos of her you captured not just her natural beauty, but her inner sensitivity and beauty. Her and Rob were the perfect couple. Life is cruel, but you and so many others keep her memory alive in all our minds. The photos she took, following her lessons with you, adorn many a home…our’s is surrounded with them . She just loved that opportunity you gave her, how to capture precious moments. Thank you so much Adam, this tribute to Fi is wonderful. Regards Fi’s parents

    Linda Grantham
  6. This is so heartfelt. The portrait has a timeless elegance and a serenity that holds my gaze for a very long time. What terrible sadness, yet the joy of being married was hers the day you took this.