The First Look

The Story of a Father’s Love, a Family’s Tragedy, and the Power of Photography

As some of you may already know I lost the love of my life, dearest friend, and amazing husband to our three children one year ago today. I am forever grateful for Gerry and wanted to share this story with everyone as photography offers us the power to cherish these heartfelt memories.

A time to remember: 

In life we all work, play, laugh, love, struggle, triumph, and plan for the future for our families and ourselves. As brides plan for their wedding day, it is difficult to picture the big day without a full host of family, friends, and loved ones. As we all know, life does not always comply with our wishes and heartfelt desires. 

In December of 2017 Gerry Rodino, my husband of 39 years and father to the bride-to-be Allison, was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a terminal condition that affects cancer survivors. He was given an estimated six months to five years before the disease would overtake him. As Allison’s wedding was scheduled for October 2018, we were hopeful for an extended timeline, but that was not to be.

Allison, recently engaged, had set the date for her wedding, found the venue, caterer, and had issued deposits all around for the various vendors. Over the next several months the disease progressed much quicker than anticipated, and it became apparent that Gerry would not make it to Allison’s wedding day. For various reasons, both Allison and Gerry together decided against moving the wedding date. 

I have participated in a few photoshoots, so for me, this was a logical opportunity for Gerry to see his “Allie” in her wedding dress and for Allison to share this cherished moment with her father. The styled First Look shoot created images that perfectly illustrate a father’s love whilst creating memories that will last a lifetime. This shoot was far more personal, beautiful, and compassionate than any other photoshoot I've been a part of. I am forever grateful for the lovely vendors, Hockensmith Portraits and Hello Darling Beauty, that offered their expertise and assisted in making this day possible. The opportunity for Allison and Gerry to share that cherished moment between father and daughter was absolutely touching and one we will forever hold near and dear to our hearts. 


Jean Rodino