Anna Bozman Thompson faced a particularly difficult challenge on her wedding day: amid all of the excitement, she was also keenly feeling the absence of her young son, Lake, who died in May of leukemia, just before his ninth birthday. After struggling to take family wedding photos without him, the bride included her late son in a portrait. The moving photo has since gone viral, garnering support from thousands of people all over the world.
In a Facebook post about the photo, Thompson describes how she felt on her wedding day, six months after losing Lake:
Although I felt his presence that day and I was actually happy, it was almost unbearable to take family pictures without him. I could feel my emotions taking over after the ceremony when it was time to take pictures. I became anxious and almost irritated but I knew these pictures had to be taken.
Thompson’s wedding photographer, Brandy Angel, based in Georgia, decided to create an image that would include Lake. With the help of graphic artist Paul Woodward, Brandy photoshopped an image of him alongside Anna, her other two children, and her new husband, Travis. Thompson wrote,
[The photos] turned out beautiful and thanks to my amazing photographer she was able to get some special edits done. I needed this picture more than she or anyone could ever know. THIS is my family. And we will be together again.
Brandy Angel heads up Be The Change — Brandy Angel Foundation, a nonprofit “created to help those in need by sharing their images and stories with the world via social media.” On the organization's Facebook page, Angel and Paul Woodward have offered to create photos like the one they made for Thompson for “anyone at no charge.”
Image courtesy of Brandy Angel Photography.