I can't remember when I first met Karin O'Brien of Karin O'Brien Photography.
It's weird because she is one of the most important people in my life, not only my colleague but one of my dearest friends.
I guess when you meet someone, you don't assume that they will become a trusted confidant, someone who helps you move, a friend who is on the phone with you during your darkest moments.
If I had to guess, I *think* we met at a music class for our kids. Or maybe a photo class. I just don't know. Maybe she remembers. She lived in my old neighborhood, we shared some of the same friends, she was starting a photography business, had grown up in Michigan. We had lots in common.
As my photo business grew, I knew that I needed help, or at least help doing the stuff that I didn't want to and honestly wasn't that skilled at. Like editing photos, creating a logo, making marketing materials.
I reached out and Karin came on board.
That was six years ago.
Since then, she had another baby, moved to Morton Grove, then St. Louis. I left my marriage and moved five times.
Since that day six years ago, when we sealed our business deal with a hug, Karin has improved my business and my life in countless ways.
When a client says, "Can you remove all my freckles?" I say yes because Karin can. And does.
She is my photo editor extraordinaire. She creates the best holiday cards, designs beautiful albums for my clients, processes my print orders, and interacts with my clients as I would. She makes me and my business look good everyday.
She is smart. Funny. Real. Creative. Crafty. And beyond wonderful.
The last four months have hit us hard. I lost T. Then, Karin lost her dad. Neither of us mince words when it comes to grieving. She takes photos of her meltdowns. I stand back in awe.
She is fierce.
When T died, I was in charge of the funeral photo boards. Which meant I was cycling through hundreds of photos sent to me from her family and friends, on top of the thousands I had already organized earlier in the year for a project and in anticipation of the day when I would need the images in one place.
But then I couldn't deal. A photo would send me spiraling into sobs and unable to function.
Karin took over.
Soon, T's family and our friends just skipped over me and dealt with Karin, asking her questions, emailing her with changes. Using Dropbox, everyone had access to any photo they wanted. Karin created dozens of professional looking photo boards that had hundreds of photos on them, and not one duplicate.
I would not have been able to do it without this woman, my friend by my side.
At the funeral, I must have heard her name a million times.
We are struggling together to move forward without our loved ones.
But rebecca e. eden photography is not struggling.
Because Karin, my photo editor extraordinaire.
xo -- REE