A young widow whose husband died in a plane crash when she was pregnant has recreated the family portrait she thought she would never have with the help of an Arizona-based photographer, according to KTLA sister station WPIX.
Stephanie Summers first met photographer Laura Gordillo during an anniversary photo shoot with her husband, Taurean, the television station reported.
“I remember it was hard to get him to smile,” Gordillo wrote in a post on her Facebook fan page. “Then she said once he saw the pics he gave her a huge hug and said ‘Good job babe!’ Thank you for booking her she will be our family photographer from now on!”
But the couple’s future together was cut short. Taurean Summers, a paramedic, was transporting a patient to a Phoenix hospital last year when the plane he was on crashed in Las Cruces, New Mexico, killing everyone aboard, WPIX reported.
At the time of her husband’s death, Stephanie Summers was five months pregnant. She gave birth that winter to a healthy baby boy.
Then, in August — exactly one year after the crash — Summers contacted Gordillo to do another photo shoot. The pictures would be taken at the same locations as the previous one, according to the television station.
“She and their adorable baby boy even wore the same color schemes she and Taurean wore for their session last year,” the photographer wrote.
Gordillo then edited in an image of the woman’s late husband to create the family portrait.
“I was able to create this amazing composite from the first session I took of them and add Taurean to one of the images I took of Stephanie and their little guy … I told her he is and will always be by your side just like in this picture,” she recalled in the Facebook post.
“I couldn’t help but cry the entire time!” Gordillo added. “My heart broke to see what could have been, but at the same time I was so happy to execute such a beautiful image for Stephanie and her son.”
Summers broke down in tears when she was the results, according to Gordillo.
“She emailed me saying she couldn’t stop crying, that she absolutely loved it. She said it hurt so much and she missed him so much and she knows he would have been so in love with his son,” she said.
Gordillo posted the photos, along with Summers’ story, on Facebook. The picture has since gone viral, having been shared by numerous social media users and news outlets.
“It’s honestly been a crazy, overwhelming experience,” Gordillo told WPIX. “It’s surreal … She’s pretty much speechless, she’s absolutely amazed about the response.”