This blog entry is beyond difficult for me to write. I do not share my personal life here on my business blog. I prefer to focus on my images and couples’ stories.

Seven weeks ago, I had posted on my behalf  that I had an extreme personal emergency and that my offices would be closed for a time.  Due to the magnitude of the tragedy I am facing, I wanted to talk about my loss publicly.  I can’t keep up with the volume of email I’m receiving and feel I owe my clients an explanation, as it effects my life and thus, my work, dramatically.

There is no easy way to say this, and I wish I could contact you all individually to tell you: my wonderful and beloved husband suddenly and very unexpectedly passed away in April by suicide. I am completely devastated and totally unprepared and shocked by Steve’s death. I debated internally putting his cause of death here, but there needs to be more awareness and openness about suicide and mental illness to prevent this tragedy from happening to other families.

Like many of my clients, we were still newlyweds, married just three incredibly short years after dating for many many more, and he was only twenty-six years old.

I have mentioned my husband a few times here and on my website–he got me started in digital photography, he bought my first ever lens, and he gave me the confidence to start my business. Steve even occasionally helped me out at weddings, so perhaps if you were a former client, you were fortunate enough to meet him and see him carrying bags and arranging bridal gown trains (he became really good at the latter). Behind the scenes, he was making sure your payments were credited properly and supporting me creatively. He was an important member of Kristen Wynn Photography.

But that’s the business side, and that’s not anywhere near as important as the amazing side that I got to see and feel compelled to share with you here. Steve was truly an awesome man. He was hard-working at his 9-5 job. He was generous to a fault. He loved watching Steelers football and riding his bicycle. He was proud of being able to stretch a dollar further than anyone else. He was funny, and he was sensitive, and he was sweet. To me, he embodied the perfect husband and best friend.

Words cannot even convey how much I love him and miss him. I’m a big proponent of professionalism as a photographer, but I’m an even bigger proponent of honesty in business. Despite how it might make me appear to potential clients, I’ll be honest with you about my feelings: the instant I was notified of his death, my world tore into two pieces and my life was shattered–I believe I even screamed out loud, in the moment, that my life was completely ruined without him. I know I will never, ever be the same person I once was; I’m changed forever and so emotionally messed up. And I think that’s an okay way to feel right now.

I will be following this post with another one in coming weeks about where we go from here, me and you as my client. I have now returned to work on a one day per week basis photographing weddings, but I am not yet ready to resume administrative tasks, solicit bookings, and the like at this time just yet. This is why your emails have gone unanswered, your phone messages unreturned-I have had to take a hiatus from any non-essential work to simply survive losing Steve.

In the past, I often posted that a new client had “joined the KWP family” and I truly think we are a family. I appreciate your understanding and support during these times, the worst moments of my entire life.

Hug your partner a little closer today than you did yesterday and cherish every moment with him or her. I love you all, and I mean that when I say it. -Kristen

29 People have left comments on this post



Kristen Giran said: | May 31, 2012 - 10:05:51 |

You are the most incredible and strongest person. I admire you beyond words. I’m always here for you personally and professionally. Love you! -Kristen

Janice Michael said: | May 31, 2012 - 10:05:37 |

Kristen
Speaking for myself and Kelli, our hearts are with you. I can’t imagine being in your shoes. The fact that you are working at all, tells us of your dedication. I don’t know what we could do to help you, but if you need anything just say it. Family is very important to you now. Your KWP family and your biological family will be your guides. I work in an ER and see so many things and from good people. We are thinking of you. Janice Michael

Andy Booth said: | May 31, 2012 - 10:05:50 |

I can’t tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I remember meeting Steve last year, at Ashley’s wedding, and thinking how wonderful it must be to have a spouse as a partner in the business. I have been praying for you since I heard the news, and will continue to do so. Your strength is inspiring.

Karen R said: | May 31, 2012 - 10:05:48 |

Such beautiful words to remember a beautiful soul. Your love for your husband will carry you through the painful waves of grief. I continue to pray for you, Kristen. Know how very much you are loved, every day. {{hugs}}

Jamie Meitchik said: | May 31, 2012 - 10:05:44 |

Your strength is increidble and inspiring, Kristen. Im so happy you shared your story and i cannot wait until you are feeling well enough to get back to Photography full time. The photography world is missing an amazing talent. Stay strong!

Chris Kruger said: | May 31, 2012 - 10:05:14 |

You are truly an amazing person Kristen. To deal with what has happened to you and still keep it tougher is truly amazing! Please, if there is anything I can do (even to talk) just know I, just like every other photographer, is here for you.

Jonathan McKee said: | May 31, 2012 - 10:05:09 |

Hello Kristen,

My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I knew steve in highschool to be caring and just the coolest dude. Please let me know if there is anything you think I may be able to do for you.

Jonathan McKee

Kelly Gorney said: | May 31, 2012 - 10:05:21 |

Still thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers. My heart aches for you.

Bobbi said: | May 31, 2012 - 10:05:08 |

My heart breaks for you… you are in my thoughts and prayers!

Kari said: | May 31, 2012 - 11:05:17 |

Kristen, I am deeply sorry for your loss. As a fellow professional, and wife, I can not imagine the difficult situation you are in, and how you handle it all. You and your family are in my prayers, I can only offer the deepest and sincere sympathy as you work to simply survive the days ahead. God bless.

Stephanie Hickerty said: | May 31, 2012 - 11:05:38 |

Kristen, I am so, so saddened and heartbroken for you. I can’t begin to imagine losing the love of your life. Please, if there is anything I can do to help out, please reach out to me. Biggest of hugs, kisses, and wishes that your broken heart will mend. xoxoxoxo

Kerri said: | May 31, 2012 - 12:05:26 |

Kristen, I am truly, truly sorry for your loss. We recently attended a funeral of a young girl (technically part of Chris’s family) whom also took her life. Her passing has changed the lives of everyone who knew her, both in a good and bad way. It’s difficult to know that she is gone, however we all suddenly are living our lives differently. Taking more time to pay attention to the little things, appreciating that ray of sunshine, striving for our goals – everything that she had always wanted people to do. It breaks my heart knowing that you are feeling this pain. I will be thinking of you.

Bobbie Sue Baker said: | May 31, 2012 - 12:05:08 |

Hi Kristen,

I don’t know you personally, and prior to this point I wasn’t aware of your business. I was made aware from a fellow photographer, Bobbi from The Salty Peanut in WI….and I want to tell you how sad I am that this is the way that I learned about your business. I am so incredibly sorry for your tremendous loss. I could not even imagine what it has done with you, and I am not even sure of the words to say to you to be quite honest, because I know that nothing I say will make it all better.

But please know, you have a community of photographers who will 100% have your back and be by your side. I know I would not personally be able to run my business in an event like this either. I pray that you get loads of understanding from your clients. None of us would come out the other side of this the same person…It takes a lot of courage to share your loss.

You’re right, there needs to be more awareness of suicide. Thank you for sharing your story, and your husband’s story. May he finally find some peace and may you as well.

With kindest words & thoughts of encouragement,

Bobbie Sue Baker

JSK Photography said: | May 31, 2012 - 01:05:18 |

You are amazing. Such a personal and beautifully written blog. I absolutely hurt for you, even though I do not know you. But know that my prayers are with you. You must take care of yourself before taking care of clients, and as a photographer I know that is highly difficult to do. The hurt you have suffered deserves the time you need to get through it.

Steve looks, and sounds, like he was an amazing man. Thank you for your honesty. God Bless you and Steve, and all whom he has touched.

Lindsay Cary said: | May 31, 2012 - 05:05:40 |

Kristen,
I met you through the knot back when we were planning our weddings. Reading about your absolutely devastating loss just rips my heart to pieces. You are incredibly brave I pray that you find peace and are able to grieve with the help of loved ones and frends. May the memory of your beloved husband forever live in your heart. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

Becky said: | May 31, 2012 - 09:05:41 |

There are no words to express how sorry I am to hear this, or that can take away your pain. I want you to know that my heart goes out to you. I pray that healing comes for you!

Becky (Your August 27, 2011 wedding)

Kristina Young said: | Jun 1, 2012 - 11:06:59 |

An incredibly brave and heartfelt post. As difficult as that must have been, thank you for sharing. You are in my thoughts.

Tammy Barr-Linkesh said: | Jun 1, 2012 - 04:06:28 |

Oh, Kristen. Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss.
You are beyond strong in telling your story, and so non-selfish in that you are doing so to help others out there who are dealing with the same problem.
I know I was only your cake vendor for the wedding, but I knew you two had something special. Sometimes I see that love a little more than what I do in my other clients. You guys were one of them.

Remember all the special times you had together, and know he is watching over you at this moment…..

You are in my heart.

Tammy (Cakes by Tammy)

Natascha & Thomas said: | Jun 3, 2012 - 03:06:46 |

Dear Kristen,

i have never been good in finding wise and encouraging words in situations like these, but I know that no words could ease your pain anyway. Thomas and I are shocked and extremely sad about your tragic loss and that you have to go through such a hard time. Of course we don’t actually know each other after having spent only one day with each other, and yet you are such an important part of our life. We got to know you and Steve as two adorable, cheerful and humorous people and hearing these news just breaks our hearts.
No one really knows what happens to the soul of a deceased person, but i hope that Steve’s soul is now in a happy and peaceful place without any fear or grief.
Kristen, I have always admired you ever since we met. I admire your talent, your courage to run your own business and you, simply for being such a nice person. And now I admire your courage to share your feelings publicly and your incredible strength to go back to work so soon. Most people would not be able to do that.
I wish there was something we can do for you, but of course there isn’t. But please know that we keep you in our thoughts and prayers and that we are proud to be a part of the KWP family; obviously a wonderful family.

Billy said: | Jun 4, 2012 - 11:06:10 |

Kristen,
My heart goes out to you, God Bless. Keep shooting, You have a gift!!

Teddy said: | Jun 14, 2012 - 11:06:52 |

Wow Kristen. I am so sorry for your loss. I am even more amazed at your strength and courage to be able to talk about this. You are an absolute ray of sunshine to work with, so please never give up your photography. We’ve only worked together once, but I continue to refer you. My prayers are with you. Stay strong.

Michelle said: | Jul 22, 2012 - 11:07:10 |

Kristen,

I am so sorry for your loss. You are so incredibly brave, strong and resilient. I hope that you find solace in the world, as you have the whole KWP family and more supporting you.

Stay strong.

-Michelle

Lauren bnchanums said: | Jul 26, 2012 - 08:07:41 |

I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. We’re thinking of you.

Lou (gypsy) said: | Jul 26, 2012 - 08:07:38 |

I’m so sorry. My heart breaks for you. I hope you are hanging in there.

Katie said: | Jul 26, 2012 - 08:07:14 |

I’m so sorry for your loss. ((hugs))

Vanessa (MrsZP2B) said: | Jul 30, 2012 - 08:07:50 |

Kristen,

I just heard the heartbreaking news. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. I’m so sorry for the pain you must be experiencing.

Lorinda Saulnier said: | Aug 10, 2012 - 08:08:36 |

Hello Kristen,

I accidentally found your website while looking for a farmer’s market poster. After reading your message,
I felt compelled to write you. A friend of mine lost her husband, about 8 yrs. ago, through suicide. At the time, she was a young mother with two young children. I just wanted to tell you that one day, you will smile again! I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Yvonne said: | Aug 21, 2012 - 12:08:51 |

Hi Kristen,
I’d read your bio and thought I felt that I’d known you for awhile but after reading this my blessings go out to you whole heartedly ! Although no words can make up for your loss I’m sorry for your loss and My prayers go out to you. Such a genuine person . Thank you having the courage to share this with us

Kelly Lester said: | Mar 26, 2013 - 11:03:42 |

I am beyond sorry to hear about this … what a tragedy. It breaks my heart to even think about going through that. If I can shed any light on this I can tell you are a very driven, smart, upbeat person from seeing how active you are on the Pittsburgh forum. God bless.



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