In 2004, Marcia Lee's son and brother were shot to death near Los Angeles. The case is one of 4,600 unsolved homicides that occurred between 2000 and 2010 in LA County. The Los Angeles Daily News contacted me to get a portrait of Marcia holding a photo of her deceased son.
I've never had to do an assignment like this so I didn't know what to expect. I was not trying to be a cold person, but I went into her home and didn't ask too many questions. I told her what I expected of her and that I would give her direction on where to look and what to do. She had many photos of her deceased son but I decided the one of him in his military uniform and the one she already had hanging in her foyer would work best. While shooting, she only got emotional one time for just a brief moment. I put down my camera and told her to take her time.
There is something peaceful to me in the portrait of her with her eyes closed holding the photo of her son. It makes me wonder if she had a specific memory of him in mind at the moment.