Photographer: Naomi Karth
Description: The Gertie Portraits started on one of the hardest days in my life. My husband and I had just gotten back from the funeral for his sisters, Mary (age 13) and AnnaLeah (age 17), who were killed in a multiple vehicle crash a month earlier. Mary had left behind Gertie, a stuffed Saint Bernard toy, that had gone everywhere with her. We were able to recover Gertie from the wreckage of the car, and ended up appointed the official guardians of the pet.
While I was waiting impatiently for the entire family to arrive so I could do family portraits, Sam suggested I take that time to make some individual portraits of his family. His sister, Susanna, volunteered first, and I handed her Gertie on a whim.
What followed was a unique series on the expressions of those who loved these girls so much and were swimming in the emotions of knowing we’d never see them again here on earth.