peri + holly {mama + daughter}

Ever feel like someone comes into your life for a reason?  That’s how I feel about this little gal Holly.  From the moment I “met” her over the spring and summer as we chatted over email about shooting her Senior photos, we got along like old pals.  Even though we may be years apart in age, we shared so many of the same interests. Over time, our conversations went much deeper, and a saw a sweet girl, who instead of doing what most girls do the summer before their Senior year like planning for college, going shopping, or hanging out with friends, she was home caring for her mother as she went through rounds of chemotherapy.

I remember when I met Holly’s Mother Peri back in July. She was weak, but stood strong and proud watching her only child have her Senior photos taken.  Peri had found a lump in one of her breasts 10 years ago, had it removed, completed radiation and moved on.  One day last May she leaned over towards Holly in the car, and felt a lump.  She went to the doctor, and they did a mammogram, and a CAT scan, and saw nothing.  Peri insisted that something was going on, and after a biopsy the Dr. said that yes indeed their was cancer, although they were not sure exactly where.  Peri decided on a double mastectomy, and after the surgery they found that it had indeed spread to both breasts, and was caught right before moving into her lymph nodes.  She handled the surgery bravely, encouraging Holly all the way.  Holly wrote a beautiful essay for school that she shared with me, and gave me permission to share whatever I wanted with you all.  One of the things that stuck out to me and can tell you a little about Perri’s personality would be the T-shirt she wore the day of her surgery…it read, “Cancer can take my ta-ta’s, but it can’t take my sexy.”   I just loved that. :)

Their story also hit a special chord in my heart because I barely remember my biological mother who died of cancer when I was two years old.  To see the love these two have and the trial they have braved together, has touched my heart in a way I can’t explain.

Peri has finished her months of chemo now, and is on her way to a beautiful recovery.  Hair is beginning to regrow, and with that comes the excitement of what lies ahead. It has been a long journey for their family, but the time and tears they have shared have only brought them closer.  When Holly had the idea to do a shoot a few months back for just the two of them, I thought it was an incredibly beautiful idea.  Indeed, it was such a special session for me…of love, of laughter and true celebration.

We spent most of our session in a cute little tea room in O’Bryonville, The BonBonerie, where Holly and Peri enjoyed tea and lunch together.

This is one of my favorite shots Brett got shooting into the mirror menu on the wall.

Then we had some relaxed portrait time.  These two are adorable. :)

Peri, you are so beautiful! :)

Even though it was COOLLDD and raining, we ventured out for a little walk.

And ducked under a few doorways from the rain….

Well at least they did! :)  Doesn’t Brett look great with his polka dot umbrella??

Holly adores her Mama so much. They are so sweet together.

Holly I am so happy to have shared these moments with you and your beautiful Mom. Peri, I am so happy to have met you and been able to hear your story.  May God give you many, many, many more years together and may your story touch many more lives!  Thank you for letting us be a part. :)

With love,

Jess and Brett

Related Posts with Thumbnails
December 1, 2008 - 4:12 pm

Annie@VarlandPhotography - What a beautiful story… It brought tears to my eyes.

December 1, 2008 - 4:14 pm

Vickey - wonderful in every way

December 1, 2008 - 4:29 pm

lucy - what a very precious session! love these photos. they are both gorgeous! love it!

December 1, 2008 - 4:30 pm

Michelle Yam - Thanks for sharing this beautiful and touching story, Jess! Love the photos! :)

December 1, 2008 - 7:21 pm

holly rouse - oh, you made me cry! these are perfect and beautiful thanks to you two.
like i’ve said before, you are so awesome at capturing LOVE.
i can’t wait to show my mama these…she will be in love with them.
thank you for all your love and friendship!
i am a lucky, lucky girl to have the z’s in my life.
and, of course, incredibly blessed to have Mom.
so blessed.
more love than i’ll ever be able to communicate via the internet,

PS: i hope this blog has upped my celebrity status in the z household
holla to Priya and the boyzzzzz! (sounds like a band name)


December 1, 2008 - 8:10 pm

Amanda - Wow! Breathtaking photos and the story of this mother-daughter duo brought tears to my eyes. My favorite has to be the two of them under the umbrella nose-to-nose. =)

Here’s wishing Holly and Peri MANY MANY years of mother-daughter fun to come. They sound like an amazing family with tons of fun and heart. =)

December 2, 2008 - 5:22 am

wrecklessgirl - WOOOOOW. these are

the image where you are shooting through the window is my favourite, ever.

December 2, 2008 - 5:22 am

wrecklessgirl - and peri (and her daughter) are GORGEOUS. beyond that. stunning.

December 2, 2008 - 5:37 am

Alex - Poooohhhh…. what a story.

I´ver never ever seen a Mom & Daughter-Session yet. What a great idea!

Great captures… The mirror picture is awesome.

All the best

December 2, 2008 - 11:53 am

corinne - thanks for making me cry, jess, holl & peri!
these pictures are amazing & i know that they had so much fun having them taken.

December 2, 2008 - 1:29 pm

Kelly (Daphne Photo Studio) - Beautiful pictures and a beautiful story! I hope you had some carrot cake while you were there…it is the absolute best I’ve ever had…and is rated the best in Cincinnati :)

December 2, 2008 - 5:04 pm

Lauren - What a beautiful story to go along with such beautiful pictures ;) I’d have to agree… the writing on the mirror picture is awesome!! So touching.

December 3, 2008 - 12:23 am

rebecca-linh rodgers - (sigh) those were amazing. (tears)

December 3, 2008 - 7:01 pm

gina w - what a precious and beautiful story (and photos) you’ve shared with all of us…one of strength, faith and above all…love.
it touches me closely as my mother went through this 10 years ago-still going strong! i remember the fears and dark days. but in the end…love conquers all. your photos show that love and tenderness between mother and daughter…the one of holly looking up at peri reminds me of the little girl that will always be in holly looking ‘up’ to her mommy.
just beautiful. i wish everyone in their family much love.

December 4, 2008 - 9:51 pm

betsy - These are the most precious photos!!!!! WOW! How beautiful!!!!!

December 9, 2008 - 1:36 am

matt - i remember seeing this pics last time but the story really struck me this time. it made the pics even more beautiful. ditto on the tears. thanks for sharing their courage and inspiration…

December 9, 2008 - 6:25 pm

Michelle - This was such an incrediable idea and the moments in life that you captured for her daughter to cherish for the rest of her life WOW! As a mom, healthy and happy I would LOVE photos like this so I can’t image the Joy they brought to the two of them when life was handing them a bad hand. Praise God she is healing again. Thanks for sharing

December 9, 2008 - 7:39 pm

melanie - hard to stop the tears on this one. just makes you thank God a lil more for the time we have with all our loved ones! thanks for reminding me to be grateful!

December 29, 2008 - 10:35 am

Maya - Just beautiful. This photos are all so touching. The umbrella one is my fav.

May 25, 2010 - 4:21 pm

holly - revisiting these and tearing up … aw, mama!

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