Heaven gained a beautiful Angel

“How blessed am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?” – Winnie the Pooh. These words ring so very true.

Erin was beautiful, inside and out. She was the person you wanted in your court, because she planned everything out, was incredibly organized and pretty much thought of everything, and everyone. My heart has found much joy reliving all of the moments we’ve shared together… weddings, engagements, babies (oh the sweet baby sessions) and countless family sessions. And I keep replaying in my mind how incredibly blessed I am to have known her and shared so many incredible memories with her and her family.

She always called me KimAnne, which is funny because they are like family to me, but it just stuck from the time we met until now. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders and told everyone from the mountain tops that they needed pictures taken, and to call me; how incredibly sweet is that??! Her dad, Jim and I were the first to meet when Julie booked me to capture her and Ronnie’s wedding all the way back in 2005. And I have loved them ever since. There are just people in this life that you meet and instantly feel like you’ve known them your entire life, they are those people to me. I wasn’t a natural business entrepreneur turned photographer, my passion has always been photography. Only it’s so much more than that…I love people and I cherish the relationships created from capturing such beautiful memories. The entire Zane family welcomed me into their lives and hearts from the moment we started working together. I have countless memories with them and so much laughter; so much joy.

Like if I could think of my top 5 funniest memories to date, this crew would ABSOLUTELY have made it to the top. One of them being a personal call from canon Kodak himself offering up his camera advice and services… I wonder if he is still wrapped up in rolls of 35mm film awaiting the day we will hire him for his incredible camera knowledge? I am assuming we were one of many studios he had applied for that day and was quickly snatched up by another photographer from lack of punctuality on our part. You could always hear the laughter behind the scenes from Erin and Julie, and envision the eye rolls from the girls on the other line when the boys were onto their next big adventure. These guys could write a book and I guarantee it would be a bestseller …There ya go boys, your next adventure awaits you. I cherish these moments.

I loved my time in Chicago with them, creating more family memories and a sweet friendship too. I always loved that they were so close to each other and I could visit each of them. The very large canvas print of the baby on the beach in the studio is just one of the many images captured from their family…I love that image of Mason when he was a baby, and I love the memories we created that weekend staying at Rick and Erin’s. From dinners to tailgating for Bears games in Ronnie’s authentic Bears truck, I have loved every moment I have ever spent with them.

The sisterhood of Julie and Erin was something sweet and special too. They would banter back and forth and would lovingly argue who the favorite child was and their friendship was always something I admired and loved. In preparing for sessions together, Erin would have everything planned months in advance, from outfits to colors, although Rick oftentimes threw his own personal style into the mix and even wore a shiny, shimmery gold button down shirt one time to a family session. Seriously, I just can’t make this up. I always looked forward to seeing them and spending time with them, because I knew no matter what was going on in that moment in my life, everything was about to be uplifted in laughter for sure.

All three of us were pregnant at the same time together, and had even experienced heartache getting there together. It was always nice checking in with each other about what was going on with baby and sharing in the excitement of motherhood to come. We shared baby stories, talked about when to start them in preschool and school in general. And I have just loved sharing life with them.

Jim and Jane, I am so incredibly grateful for you and for sharing your beautiful family with me. Thank you for raising such incredible girls and growing such a loving family. My heart hurts for you and all you are going through, and have been going through. You have built such a beautiful and amazing legacy so far and I am grateful to have shared such special moments with you.

Julie, Ronnie, Zane and Adalie, I love you guys and I am just so sorry. There are simply no words for this tragedy but I do know that Erin is with you always in your heart and I pray that all of the memories you have of her will help heal your hurt and bring you comfort. I love you all to pieces.

Rick, Mason and Torin, your wife and momma LOVES you so deeply…I see it over and over as I look at these images, and she thought the world of you always. There is nothing to make this unspeakable pain go away, but I hope you always know how incredibly loved you are and the love she had for you will live on always in your heart and through the people and lives she touched. Love you guys so much and we will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me into your family and sharing such beautiful moments with me. I love you all so much and will keep you in my prayers now and in all the times ahead. 🙏🏼❤️

This video is in honor of you, Erin and your amazing family. Thank you for all the beautiful memories. You created an amazing legacy and you will be greatly missed.

A gofundme account has been set up for the Witt family to help in child care, sports, college and anything else the future holds for Mason and Torin.

Please click HERE to learn about and help support this sweet family.

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