September 23, 2019
When Sara and Chris mentioned having a couples session with me I knew it was going to be amazing! We also had already agreed on Mermaid’s Grotto as the perfect location and they had told me that the last time they had professional pictures was for their wedding a few years ago. It was the perfect time and I knew we had to have their couples location here before they left Okinawa.
You know when some people come into your life for a reason? Sara and Chris were definitely one of those couples. We may have only been on the island together for a little over a year but they have made a lasting impact on me. I always cherished mine and Sara’s coffee meetups. We are both working women and so we tried to get together whenever we could. We bonded over travel and everything Okinawa and even had a puppy play date before they had to leave.
Chris is actually the one who booked their session with me while Sara was having a pedicure! Haha! Their relationship is so much fun and filled with laughter so I was so excited when their session day finally came! As we were driving to Mermaid’s Grotto it had been showering but once we arrived the rain stopped. Even with some clouds in the sky Mermaid’s Grotto is still a stunning location! With the white sand and perfect blue water with the grotto as a backdrop it is a beautiful location no matter the weather.
And the dress Sara wore was perfection! I loved the red pop of color with the cloudy skies we had and towards the end of our session we definitely all got in the water since it was hot! It’s always fun seeing the final pictures clients choose and Sara chose the perfect blend of pictures with detail shots thrown in which always makes my photographer heart happy haha!
What happened shortly after her session with me though was one of the hardest times of their marriage. I did ask permission from Sara before sharing. I felt compelled to share since it is so inspiring and she is such an amazing woman. Over the course of the past few months Sara had been having strange symptoms of night sweats, skin reactions, allergies, coughing, and alcohol reactions too. Finally Sara noticed she had an enlarged lymph node on her neck.
Once they performed an ultrasound of the area things got serious. After the biopsy and other exams they finally had a diagnosis. Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma. They immediately had to send her back to the states for treatment since Okinawa isn’t equipped for cancer treatments here. You guys, this is crazy! Sara is an active, healthy woman in her 30’s. I’m sure it was such a scary time for her and we prayed so often for them.
Now Sara has completed several rounds of chemotherapy and is responding so well to treatment. All of her symptoms are mostly gone and she is beating cancer’s butt! Even with all of this happening she still continues to work and also work out! She has been such an inspiring and strong woman and I’ve been so lucky to know her while she was here in Okinawa. About a month ago Sara was even cleared by her doctors to return to Okinawa to finish packing out their house and to say goodbye to everyone! Although with the military, it is a small world and I’m sure we’ll be seeing them again in the future. I wish them all the best and pray she continues to do well with treatment.
It was an honor to photograph their couples session here in Okinawa and it’s so crazy how God’s timing works out. I’m so happy they have pictures to remember their time in Okinawa. Here’s a few of their images from their session below and her kind words.
“5 Stars! Heather took our anniversary photos and I could not be happier!! She helped me pick out our wardrobe, the location, and gave great direction while photographing. I’m in love with the way she captured my husband and I highly recommend her and will use her again!!!”