When my friend, Kase, asked me to photograph him shaving his head I was honored and a bit nervous. Anytime anyone asks me to photograph their family, their event, their new baby I am always honored and always a bit nervous. However this was more nerve wracking than my typical anxiety of making sure I take beautiful photos for my clients. Kase was shaving his head for the first time at age 37 and he wasn’t just shaving it because of a receding hairline or to have the buzz cut that he wished for as a kid. He was shaving it to uncover scars. Scars that would help in telling his story, a story of a baby born with Cranionsynostosis. Scars that shaped insecurities in his life, yet scars he had never actually seen.
I had always known Kase “was born without soft spots.” I had always known that he had surgery as a two month old baby to correct this. What I didn’t know was the medical terminology nor the seriousness of this condition if left alone. I didn’t know how common this birth defect is and how there are various ways of correcting it. I didn’t know that many times it goes undiagnosed by doctors, even with pleading from parents that know in their gut something is not right. Neither did Kase. But he spent years researching and writing a beautiful book that tells his story and the stories of many other beautiful children born with this birth defect. The families stories are heartbreaking and beautiful, filled with uncertain decisions and fears. I was brought to tears many times throughout the book as I imagined having to hand my own boys over to a surgeon to reshape their tiny skulls and as I thought about what Kase’s parents went through.
So this was not any old photo shoot. This was a photo shoot with an old friend who would finally uncover some answers, some potentially emotional answers that he had waited his whole life to reveal. It was an honor to document. And I was thrilled when one of the images was selected for the cover of the book.
Kase did his first reading and book signing to a crowd of almost 100 people and it was amazing. It was a pleasure to meet some of the families and to celebrate such an wonderful accomplishment.
Huge congratulations, Kase! We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends in you, Mary and Lukas.
Love you all.