“I’m Wanda Malfara, and I shoot people for a living”
This was the final line in my beautiful friend’s ‘elevator pitch’ at the networking meetings I used to attend regularly for many years after launching montrealmom.com. For those of you who did not have the privilege of knowing Wanda, allow me to clarify and explain that she was referring to her work as a photographer.
Wanda passed away this week and I have been having trouble finding the appropriate words with which to honour her.
To say that she was talented is an understatement. You need only visit here website wandamalfara.com or her Wanda Malfara Photography Facebook page to see examples of how she was able to capture the essence of so many women and as she might say to get them to see their ‘true inner beauty’.
I never had the courage to book a fantasy photo shoot with Wanda, but the profile pic that I have been using for the last decade was shot by my dear and talented friend. She also photographed my family for a special family photoshoot as well as for two of our family celebrations.
While it is difficult to speak of Wanda without constantly referring back to her talent, Wanda was so much more than her work and her art.
If I had to describe Wanda in one line, I would say that Wanda was a beautiful soul. I felt a connection with her from the moment I first met her and truthfully, I always referred to her as ‘Beautiful Wanda’…because she was truly Beautiful…inside and out.
She was also funny and witty, as evidence by the opening line of this post.
Wanda was Mom to her two gorgeous girls whom she loved fiercely. They were truly her pride and joy.
Wanda was a Friend – when I first met her, I felt I could trust her. I met her through my own work, but considered her a friend. And while we were not ‘chat daily’ friends, we still had that ‘connection’.
Wanda was a Life Force – exuding positive energy wherever she went.
Wanda was a Giver – I still remember when my community held a feel-good special event to support a family whose baby was not doing well health-wise, Wanda agreed to photograph it as her way of supporting the family.
Wanda was a Warrior – She battled cancer- publicly on social media – inspiring others through her own adversity.
Wanda captured our images – whether for our profile pictures, our walls or our memory books.
Wanda captured our essence – Wanda had a way of bringing everyone’s inner beauty to the surface and then capturing it on camera, making so many women feel great about themselves.
Wanda captured our hearts – to know Wanda was to love Wanda.
And now…the world has lost a light. I am heartbroken and I don’t have the right words to pay tribute to my dear friend.
Wanda: you photographed women as entrepreneurs and as rockstars, as moms and as daughters, as fairies and as angels.
Many of us who knew you felt you were an angel on earth.
This week, you have become an angel in heaven.
Rest in Peace, my dear friend and enjoy the view, the angles and the light from your new vantage point.
You are forever in our hearts.
With all of my love,
Tanya, that was such a beautiful tribute to the magnificent Wanda Malfara. Your words are powerful and truly do her justice. I can see how you two connected so strongly and became friends. I share in your grief.
Tanya thank you so much for putting into words my exact sentiments. To know Wanda was definitely to love her. I feel so blessed to have called her a friend.
So so sad! I loved her dearly and had the opportunity to work with her closely on a number of occasions. She was an incredible human. She will be so sorely missed. Thanks Tanya for echoing what many of us feel right now