If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this father-daughter photo shoot could quite possibly be the most eloquently worded love story in recent history. When Ben Nunery posed for wedding photos in 2009, he probably never contemplated what his life would be like without his blushing bride. Now, four and a half years later, he’s posing for those same photos with his 3-year-old daughter, Olivia. His wife, Ali, lost her battle with lung cancer in 2011, just one year after Olivia was born.
"[The shoot] immediately brought up memories of being there the first time," Nunery told NBC's Today. "They were really good memories I cherish and want to remember. In a lot of ways, it felt like Ali was there, and doing that with Olivia I felt a closeness with both of them."
The photos were shot by Ali’s sister, Melanie Pace, who is a professional photographer. Nunery made the painstaking decision to move out of the house this year. But just before they left, as a tribute to Ali, they re-created the loving photos in the empty house as Nunery and Ali had done just four years before. "I was just really looking for a way to say farewell to the house and have some things that Olivia and I can have to...remember the house," Nunery said, according to Today. "When Ali and I got married, we closed on the house the day before our wedding, so we did wedding photos in the empty house." On Friday, Dec. 6., Nunery and Olivia left the house for the final time to begin a new life as father and daughter while also honoring Ali’s importance in their lives.
“This is a story about love,” Nunery wrote in a heartfelt blog post about the photos. “The pain is nothing compared to the love that I feel for Ali and Olivia and that’s the story I want these pictures to tell to Olivia in the years to come and anyone else that sees them. The pain will subside little by little but the love never will, no matter where we live. Our lives will continue down a curvy and uncertain path but Olivia and I will be able to look at these photos and know that for a short time there was a place where I was the luckiest man in the world, even if just for a little while.”
For photos from the complete shoot, visit Loft3 Photography online.