I've known Todd Grange for many years and have always deeply admired him. Todd was the Tennis Director at the Snowmass Club and his buoyant personality and zany sense of humor was hugely responsible for getting me to play league tennis for the Snowmass Club when my kids were all very young. From his positive approach and boundless energy you would never guess that Todd has any adversity in his life. But many of those who have been in this community for a long time know the story of his now 28-year old son, Max. Max had an accident before his 2-year birthday that left him with cerebral palsy, nonverbal and confined as a quadriplegic to a wheelchair.
I hadn't seen Todd in a very long time but his wife of eight years, Sally (also a friend), called me recently for a family photo session. We met on a beautiful sunny day in December at the Marolt/Holden Mining Museum. They unloaded from their van and I met their newest addition to the family, a tiny little dog named Whimsey. Whimsey came into Max's life in a very serendipitous way when she was found on a dark and rainy afternoon by a family friend who knew that Todd and Max had been regularly searching the animal shelter for the perfect companion for Max.
Soon after Whimsey magically came into Max's life they left her in the van, with the window partially down, while they went to the Snowmass Chapel for a service. Ten minutes into the sermon everybody looked down the aisle as Whimsey, who managed to jump out of the car window, cross the bridge from the parking lot to the chapel, and pitter-pattered her way over to Max in his wheelchair and hopped on to his lap. This is where she now spends most of her time!
These photos of Todd, Sally and Max mean a lot to me and I always feel very emotional when I look at them. The entire family faces a lot of challenges on a daily basis. Every physical move has to be well considered and thought out. Max needs constant care. However, all I could think about while photographing them, talking to them and hearing their stories, was how lucky they all are. There is so much love between the four of them (I'm including Whimsey) that I could only admire and appreciate the beauty of their family life. I think that these photos speak much more eloquently than my words. We should all be so fortunate to have such devotion and support that Todd, Sally, Max and Whimsey share with each other. This was one of my favorite portrait sessions taken in Aspen, Colorado of 2015. Enjoy!