If you have watched my videos on YouTube, you have probably seen his face.
I took these senior portraits of Billy a couple of years ago, and used these photos from some of my teaching. I was excited to capture photos of this quiet and confident young man.
And soon after I took these photos, Billy graduated high school with my daughter.
I took this photo of Ali and Billy at the end of their graduation as he was about to leave in his old white Toyota pickup. I always enjoyed coming home and seeing his truck out front, because I so enjoyed his company. OK..I have to admit it (even though I never told anyone this), for quite a while now I had hoped that my daughter would date Billy.
Not long after I took these photos, Billy started working out religiously and was one of the most fit kids I have ever known. He was not only physically fit, but he was incredibly well balanced mentally. As someone said earlier today, he was one of those guys that everyone loved. Even though he spent time here at the house and worked with me in the photo business, he always called me Mr. Cable.
Last May I had a client ask me to shoot their Bar Mitzvah, but I was double booked for their evening party. I offered to send my daughter to shoot the event on her own. A huge risk, but one that she was willing to take on. As it turned out, she and Billy decided to tackle the job together and they did an amazing job! I was so proud of both of them, as the client sent me email after email expressing her gratitude for the exceptional photos they took.
Billy passed away while leading a group of backpackers from San Jose State. He was so excited about the opportunity to do this. I remember him talking about this at our house before I left for the Olympics. As I sit here and write this blog, I am still in shock and find it hard to believe that this awesome young man is gone.
Billy had passion for a lot of things, but when we would get together (and my daughter would let us break away and talk), he was always excited to talk photography with me. I even took him out and let him play with the Canon 1D X. He was so excited to try this "big boy" camera instead of his Rebel.
What started as a really good day, has ended as one of the worst. This young man had a big future ahead of him, and losing him at 19 is just heart wrenching. I can't even imagine what his family is going through right now.
Billy, I hope, wherever you are, that you can find the best trails and take the best pictures ever!!! I feel lucky to have met you and to have spent the limited time here on earth with you. You left us way too soon, even if it was doing what you loved the most.