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Remembering Tracy Turpen

Last summer I experienced an enthralling engagement shoot with two photographers I had never met before. Meeting at a cheap hotel in Alamogordo, N.M., we loaded two plastic sleds in the back of my car and headed for the sand dunes they found searching the internet from their home in North Carolina. The pictures we took on this day are the best engagement portraits I’ve ever taken. Tracy and Tyler deserve all the credit. Their ideas, excitement and enchanting love for one another took these portraits to a whole new level. Both of them just laughed and smiled and moved effortlessly in front of the camera. They were charming and sweet to me and it was obvious that they had been thinking about this moment for a long time.
Earlier Tyler had told me on the phone that they had finally found a perfect place for their wedding in the Appalachian Mountains and were excited for me to see it. I was eager to be their wedding photographer but secretly frightened that I would not be able to create the same level of pictures that I did with their engagement photos. More recently, I received an inquiry from a couple who said Tracy had recommended me to them. I wanted to write Tracy an email to thank her and also congratulate her for all of her photos that placed in the Junebug Weddings Best of the Best photo contest. Before I sent this message, I found out that Tracy had passed away. I am devastated for the wedding photography community, her family and friends, the lover that she brought to the sand dunes on that hot summer day and most of all for her little boy, Evander. Tracy, I will never forget the magic that happened at white sands, the passion I witnessed and the happiness that you spread.


This entry was posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 at 12:22 pm and is filed under News.

6 Responses to “Remembering Tracy Turpen”

  1. This was an incredible session indeed. So sad. Our hearts and prayers go out to Tracy’s family.

  2. Brett, that engagement shoot was a real inspiration; it was clear Tracy and Tyler were both very special people. So sad to hear this…

  3. Brett, I’m so sorry to hear this…I don’t know what else to say…The photos you took will be cherished by so many people forever…

  4. Thanks for posting this Brett. It really helps to know how inspirational my friend and mentor was. Not only me but also the rest of the heroes on the photo community, like yourself.

  5. Brett,

    Thank you for your kind words…it was such a blast being your subjects for 5 hours on that hot day in the middle of nowhere, New Mexico. I know Tracy and I looked forward to you being there for our big day and I want to thank you for providing us with lasting memories. I will forever miss my soulmate and am so glad you got to see her joyous personality.

  6. Dear Brett,
    We have not met except through images shared. Thank you for your kind words about my daughter Tracy. I will cherish the images you took and am so sorry you could not complete the next experience of their dream to marry in these mountains. I only have the images taken, but they are images many never will have and I do treasure every one of them.
    She was of course so much more than her photos- wonderful mother, daughter, sister, friend, person. One can tell by looking beyond the photo.
    My best to you.
    With love to Tracy,
    Cathy, her mother

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