Jeremy Cowart is used to photographing celebrities, which made his work for a show called The Haves and Have Nots for the Oprah Winfrey Network another day on the job… until the end of the session. You need to read the entire post to see the touching thing that happens when John Schneider asks for a private photo.
Cowart says, “One of the cast members was John Schneider. You might know him from his work on Dukes of Hazard or Smallville. John was one of my many subjects that day and like the rest of the cast, he was extremely professional, humble and a lot of fun to work with. He was killing his portraits… smiling, goofing off and he even threw in several impressions of famous actors and presidents. I was very impressed by his talent and good-natured humor.”
“Towards the end of his session, we brought in one of the female cast members to interact with. They were dancing, laughing and having a great time. Again, I was very impressed by his ability to light up the camera and have a good time.”
“Once we wrapped up his session, the female walked off set and John came to me and whispered in my ear ‘Hey can you sneak a few more portraits of me?’ and I said ‘sure of course.’ He said ‘there’s something going on and I just need a photo.’
So I grabbed my camera again and John walked back on set.
He immediately began weeping. Legitimately crying. He was so good at impressions that I thought this was another impression and I thought ‘wow, what an acting talent.'”
“But then after a couple of frames, I could tell that this wasn’t an act. He was really somewhere else.”
“Finally, I put my camera down. This was too real. It didn’t feel right to keep shooting.
So I walked up to him and hugged him.
He whispered in my ear ‘My Dad died about an hour ago. I found out during our lunch break. And I wanted you to capture that for me.’
Then he walked up to my screen, looked at the portraits and pointed to the last one (seen above, last) and said ‘That’s it. That’s my Dad.’
‘I’m so sorry.’ I said. I was stunned. Shocked. And deeply moved, obviously.
I didn’t want to ask any further questions out of respect.
John took off shortly thereafter to go back home to plan the next steps with his family.
I’ve since received official permission from John to share this story and these portraits with you. I will never forget this moment. And I want to thank John for inviting me into his story, even just for a moment and for allowing me to capture this for him.
As a father myself, I wept for him. We all did that day.”