Healing Amongst Black & White Photographs

Guest Blog by Cathrine White
Photos By: Cathrine White © All rights reserved 

Life offers us so much through blessing us with gifts both seen and unseen.  After dropping my kids off at school, I sit in silence on a chilly winter morning.  I cherish the time spent in my sunroom where I am surrounded by photographs and memories from where I have come.  For this, I hold extreme appreciation and gratitude.

When I was asked to share my journey with the Woodruff family, I wondered how I would possibly describe what it has meant, taught and given me. It is all so very personal, as I hold so dear the unique bonds that I feel fortunate to have around me.  However, I can say this, sometimes in life we are given opportunities to open our hearts and show our kindness with what we know best.

Photography was born within me from a very young age.  I don’t have a memory when it was not a part of me.  I never had professional schooling, it just became a voice of expression and energy.  Today it continues to bear witness to my joy, happiness, growth and hardship. For within every picture I have taken, there resides a story, a human soul that I aim to capture in all its truth and grace.

‘Documenting’ the story of Lee and Bob was given as a gift of friendship and celebration after Bob’s devastating trauma that almost tore their family apart. Almost.  But the story I captured did not end in sadness and despair.  Instead it was about the resilience of not only the human body, but the human spirit.  It told the echoing tale of family ties, the power of love and the simplicity of prayer as the only plan that comes to mind.  Their family, their marriage, is bound deeply by faith, strength and determination. Their spirit is so easily seen in those initial photos I took, and that same spirit was a catalyst for the friendship that has blossomed into what it is today.

In hard times, all we want is to find usefulness and to help in any way that we can. For me, offering my photography was the only way I knew how to be useful.   That day, there was an awareness and gratitude that I imagine can only be felt after you have come so close to loss, experienced darkness and felt such uncertainty.  When asked how I capture the moments the way I do, my answer is this – it’s a combination of energy and joy within me, a tremendous connection to what is right in front of me. When I pick up my camera, I absorb that connection in a way that is beyond seeing it – it is feeling it, becoming one with it.  It is as healing for my own soul as it can be for the subjects I shoot, a moment of pure synchronicity.   The word ‘namaste’ seems so fitting  – I honor the space within you that is most like that space within me.

That morning with those first moments of captured energy, became the beginning of many amazing moments of black and white photographs.  The years have gone by and we have grown a beautiful friendship. To me, and so many others, the photographs truly reflect their time of healing.

It continues to be a very special experience to grow with Lee and Bob. Their family’s transformation has been a force of its own. They are a true testament to strength and humility. I hope my photographs will always be a memory for what once was and how far they have come and continue to move forward in their personal lives, as well as their efforts to raise awareness with

With Gratitude,
-Cathrine White

Cathrine lives in New York with her husband and three children and their pug Biggie. She travels between L.A and New York for her passion.  To connect and view more of Cathrine’s work please go to her website and blog: York  Los Angeles

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