Hey, I’m Liz!
The most important part of what I do is telling your love story on your special day. I don’t just show up to your ceremony. I want to know the you beyond the camera so the photos I deliver are keepsakes that’ll be with you for decades. Your love story is the best inspiration for photos that last for decades.
Tips and Tricks
Today I’m going to get a little deep here. I’m going to step away from the weddings (although there will be wedding photos) and talk about someone who is so strong to go through what she is going through and still be so positive about life.
I met Amanda Harper when she was still Amanda Karr. Amanda was getting married and needed a photographer for her wedding. My cousin Cindy put us in contact with each other and I was so excited to photograph my first official wedding. Now when I met Amanda I knew that she was sick. I knew that it was a very serious illness that she had been battling….I just didn’t know how serious.
Amanda has takayasu’s arteritis. It is a rare type of vasculitis. A group of disorders that causes blood vessel inflammation. Takayasu’s arteritis primarily damages the aorta and it’s main branches. Even with early detection this illness can be very hard to manage. There are many complications that come along with this illness many of which Amanda and her family have had to face and overcome. Amanda first became aware of her illness when her daughter Ari was just 5 months old. She couldn’t walk or even lift her little girl out of her crib. After many many doctors visits, the doctors misdiagnosed her with fibromyalgia and for several months she suffered under the wrong treatment. She got pneumonia and ended up in a coma for 2 weeks because of her auto immune disorder. Amanda met Luke and they went on a trip together. On the way home she had to stop at almost every hospital on the way. Later a vascular surgeon did an ultra sound and found that many of her arteries were blocked, a common complication of Takayasu’s arteritis. An emergency bypass seemed to fix the problem for now. Then came the sharp pain her gut. Upon entry into the hospital she learned that her small intestine was dying off, another complication. Amanda had to have 3 surgeries following this first one and was told she would die if it happened again. When she finally began to feel better Amanda decided to take a vacation to Florida with her family to try and check some things off her bucket list. She visited the beach, met Winter the dolphin, went to Clearwater hooters, and found an owl made completely of shells. Amanda loves owls and has been collecting owl figurines made of materials based on where she buys them from. While in Florida checking things off her bucket list Amanda got sick and had to go to the hospital twice. Her small intestines were dying again. Amanda Thanks Dr. Roy at St. Pete General Hospital for saving her life. After being flown home to Vanderbilt Amanda was told that she was told that she was dying and that her time was limited. Amanda now lives her life with a port connected to her main artery. This is how she receives all of her nutrition and her medication. Her life has literally been turned upside down by takayasu’s arteritis.
Amanda continues to fight every day. Her husband and family are her biggest supporters. She loves spending as much time with her family and her daughter as she can. Amanda is an amazing photographer and I feel so blessed that I was able to photograph her wedding day for her. We always here so much about cancer and other illnesses. Takayasu’s arteritis is such a rare disease that it is hardly ever heard of. We need to raise awareness of this difficult and challenging disease. It may be rare but it does upset the lives of many people and can completely turn your life around. I am so touched to know Amanda and her family and to know that despite her illness she is still enjoying her life to the fullest.
I hope that this blog will enlighten some of my readers about this rare illness and that everyone will take from this the knowledge that we must all live our life to the fullest. You never know when something special could end or when it is your last day. I hope you all enjoy the photos I took from her wedding day. Thank you for continuing to come back and read every week and for supporting my dream!
Such a beautiful bride! Stay positive and live your life to the fullest Amanda! Thank you so much for letting me capture your big day!!
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