Kris, Sadie, Max & Sonja

Oct 7, 2012

families, Uncategorized

This is my friend, Kris, and his kids – Sadie, Max & Sonja. There’s someone very important missing from these photos… Franya Berkman – his wife, their mother, sister, friend, daughter, scholar, musician, teacher, writer – passed away on August 26th from complications due to breast cancer. I have been honored with the job of documenting this time of grieving and honoring for this beautiful family, but I wish with all of my heart that I was able to photograph Franya as well.

When you look at these photos, your initial reaction may be sadness or feeling sorry for them. It IS sad… but its also a beautiful story of a family learning how to go on after such a tremendous loss. Its the story of a man wanting to bring awareness to something that has affected his and his children’s lives so deeply in the name of helping others. Its the story of these 4 people and all the people who love them honoring the life and spirit of the woman they lost in the most beautiful and profound ways. So while the image and the story may make you feel sad and sorry, the purpose behind the photo is to give you pause to think a little deeper about what has happened here. To honor them and yourself by being AWARE of breast cancer and taking whatever precautions you can to avoid it affecting your own life. ♥

Kris has embarked on an amazingly powerful project to bring awareness to breast cancer in a most impactful way. Photographs of families who have been affected by breast cancer. Families left with a big gaping hole where an irreplaceable mother should be. If you know a family who has lost a Momma to breast cancer,  please pass along the word of Kris’ efforts and encourage them to visit the site and submit a photo.

I ask of you to share this post – on facebook, email, twitter, whatever. These photos are meant to be seen and pondered. Thanks so much!!!

xo, jen


“I’ve seen a lot of breast cancer awareness ads that look very happy: women hugging their silver-haired moms and smiling at the camera. These images don’t communicate the gravity of what we’re dealing with and how important it is that people get screened. I would love to see billboards with images like this: a father and his motherless children. This is the sort of image that will hit home and connect with the mother inside all of us and get people to their doctor to get screened. I’m trying to move people to action.” – Kris

  1. Bearto says:

    Thank YOU.
    This is such a deeply moving and profound effort.

  2. Bonnie Berry says:

    SO SO good. What a special session. You have given this family such a special gift.

  3. Katrina says:

    What an amazingly beautiful tribute. I’m in tears!

  4. Michael Heffley says:

    May the mission of this well-conceived campaign take hold and grow. Race for Life and other such movements are, rightly and naturally, women-centered. The men and children in those women’s lives are also powerful motivators and characters in the drama.

    Great pix!

  5. Dorrine Conrad says:

    Beautiful photos and yes, so deeply tragic…thanks for sharing the message! (a 2 time survivor).

  6. Tara says:

    Wondered if you’d seen this vulnerable and powerfully open blog written by a special person… thought maybe you could use something from it to share with your efforts.

  7. Edna Sobol says:

    such a beautiful family! We love you kris and tink about you and franya and the kids. She is living in our hearts. the project you are doing is very important.

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