Through her camera lens, Kendra has the uncanny ability to turn ordinary objects, situations, and people into something approaching the divine. She quite literally sees the world differently and it comes through so clearly and beautifully in her photographs.
Kendra spent a weekend in our home as my husband John neared the end of his long battle with metastatic Melanoma. He was on hospice and his death was only a few weeks away. She asked how we would feel about her taking photos during the weekend. I didn’t even have to think about my answer. I had seen her work before, had her take professional photos for me, and knew she would capture this incredibly poignant and special time for our family with dignity, grace, and love.
I was not disappointed. I didn’t see the final shots until after John passed away and I was struck by how well they conveyed all of the feelings of that weekend. The connection and community we all brought around John, the private happy and sad moments we each shared with him, and most of all, his absolute essence of joy and optimism, even as he faced the end of his life. I never saw him look frightened or sad as we went through the two weeks he was on hospice and he never told us, until the very end, if he felt that way.
But when I looked through Kendra’s pictures, I was struck by how much of that fear and sadness I saw in his eyes, in so many shots she took. She’d been able to capture something none of us had seen first-hand (because he hadn’t wanted us to). Her camera, out of sight and mind for the most part, captured what he was actually thinking and feeling without any of us knowing it until we looked at the photos.
It was heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. Kendra is not a typical photographer. She is wise beyond her years, creative, and sees things through her lens that others miss. I am so very grateful that she offered to capture this incredibly joyful and painful time with us. I will treasure the photos she took forever.
JULIE ANNE JONES
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