Kelly Ann Koch reached out to me with a very unique story. Three years ago she was in a horrific car accident that nearly paralyzed her for life. She was looking for a photograph that would mark the three-year anniversary milestone of recovery, but one that would also exhibit the determination, strength and depth of character that it took for her to make such a dramatic recovery. This woman was faced with doctors telling her she might never walk again – and at our consultation, she walked in my door wearing heels. It just blew me away.
Not only all of this, but she’s incredible positive, friendly and full of gratitude. It was a pleasure to make a collection of portraits that showed the range of her personality and style but ultimately really showcased her resilience and fortitude. She truly embodies courage in the face of pain and adversity.
And now I’ll let Kelly tell the story in her own words:
“Hi, My name is Kelly Ann Koch.
Have you ever fought with everything you have to get your life and health back? I have.
Part of my overcoming and healing process involved picturing myself at 1 year post-op, 2 years post-op and 3 years post-op. You see, 3 years ago, I survived a horrible car accident where a parked SUV jetted out, took a u-turn and pushed my car into on-coming traffic. My injuries were very substantial. I went paralyzed from the neck down and had emergency spinal surgery. Turns out you have 24-48 hours to get the herniated discs off of your spine or you have permanent paralysis. I was at 36 hours of paralysis when I had my operation and I met my surgeon that day. I had to learn how to walk again, eat again, drive again and function in life again.You’d never guess by looking at me and my doctors and medical team call me their little miracle patient who well exceeded all of their expectations. I cannot begin to tell you everything I went through, had to overcome and still deal with, but I am filled with deep gratitude
That said, to help celebrate my huge 3 year milestone, I wanted do a photo shoot and find a photographer with the gift of being able to capture the human spirit in their photos.
Additionally, I accepted the nomination for the 2020 Leukemia Lymphoma Society Man and Woman Of The Year, where I will have to compete through fundraising and use photos from March 2020 through the end of May 2020.
So, to prepare for my desired upcoming photos, I Googled over 30 photographers. I kept going back to Jennifer Brindley’s photography website and I kept thinking “this is the person… she has a rare, special gift” and I booked a consultation.
Jennifer was incredibly compassionate, sweet, fun, funny, calming, articulate and professional. I sat with her, shared my story and told her my private insecurities. I let her know that I for sure would need one photo for my 3 year post-op, one professional photo and one photo to officially announce that I accepted the 2020 LLS Woman Of The Year nomination. I must admit, even though I had every confidence that Jennifer would do an amazing job, I was nervous, because looking at photos of yourself is no joke.
The day of the shoot Jennifer set the tone for the entire photo session. I had a blast and it was a beautiful and healing experience. Jennifer also talked me through every pose. Additionally, Katrina did an amazing job with my hair and makeup. I felt like myself the whole time, felt pretty, was put at ease and had a a great time.
Then, when I saw the finished photos at the reveal session, I sat in awe… of Jennifer’s talent, Katrina’s talent and of how these photos captured how far I’ve come.
I highly recommend Jennifer Brindley and Katrina and all I can say is, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.” ~Kelly