ASHLEY PHOTOGRAPHER – Southern CA & Destination Wedding Photographer » The Photography Blog of Ashley Perez, a southern california and destination wedding photographer based in Orange County, CA.


I wasn’t going to blog today.  It wasn’t in the agenda.  And to be honest, I’ve been in a bad mood because I had to paint my nails today.  DIY manicures aren’t my favorite.  I’m prepping for a 2-day wedding where I’ll be both a bridesmaid and the photographer.  So I’m simply trying to keep my calm as I prepare for this weekend because I know it’s going to be a busy and an exciting one.  But today, I feel compelled to quickly share a few of the thoughts currently floating through my head.

One of my college roommates was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Her husband is in med school and she has the most adorable little 18 month old daughter.  When I heard the news, I was completely shocked.  And although she and I only recently reconnected through Facebook, I found myself suddenly crying because I felt so very sad for her and didn’t think she deserved to go through this.  I’ve seen way too many people deal with the unpleasant experiences that come with fighting cancer and when friends of mine are diagnosed with it, it just hits too close to home for me.

I read her blog regularly and every time I do, I’m always inspired by her strength.  I don’t know if I would ever have the courage to even go through cancer treatments, let alone allow my husband to take pictures of the process in order to keep family and friends updated.  And in nearly every single picture, my friend is always smiling.  Today I came across a video her husband posted that documented her having her head shaved.  As is the case with many people who are going through chemo therapy, her hair began falling out after a few treatments and she didn’t want to deal with it anymore.  I braced myself as I pressed the play button and began watching.  I thought for sure I was going to start crying.  But then I saw my friend laughing, smiling and joking about how she thought she looked like a boy, and I couldn’t help but smile instead of cry.

This morning, I was throwing myself a bit of a pity party.  And the more I’d think about how difficult I think my own life is at the moment (and I assure you, it’s not), the more I’d feel sorry for myself.  Then I watched that video, and my outlook suddenly changed.  I saw a beautiful young woman smile as she did something I don’t think I’d ever have the courage to do, let alone document and share it with others.  And it made me suddenly feel stronger.

The power of the human spirit is so strong and despite the voice inside my head that sometimes tells me I can’t, I know deep inside that I can.  I can do anything and be anything I want to be if I put my mind to it.  I know that anyone can do anything they put their mind to.  And even when it’s something tremendously difficult, we can keep smiling as we endure.  Just like Laurie does.

A few weeks ago, I did a little photo session with J.  I had the worst static cling in my hair that day and I felt completely awkward on the other side of the camera.  The session was a bit of a disaster and I may or may not have almost cried, but J was able to make me laugh.  Although not at all flattering, this picture reminds me that I can still laugh and smile, even when I think I can’t.


Regina Jordan

Oh man, Laurie has so much courage, right? I hope that she feels better and doesn’t have too much pain. You look so cute smiling away in the photo. Good job, J.