“Powerful Photos Connect 9-Year-Old Boy with Late Father” originally appeared on Yahoo Parenting and was reprinted with permission.
A collection of emotional photos of a young boy and his late father are going viral this week.
Steven Vincent, a senior trooper with the Louisiana State Police Force, was shot and killed on the job in August, while he was checking on a suspected drunk driver. During his 13 years on the force, the 44-year-old was decorated with awards including the department’s Professional Excellence and Meritorious Service Award, according to KSLA. But perhaps his greatest accomplishment of the last decade was his son, Ethan.
During a recent photo shoot with 9-year-old Ethan, photographer April Reeves decided to honor Steven’s memory by incorporating the late trooper’s image into some of the pictures. In one photo, Ethan wears his father’s State Trooper hat and stands in front of a mirror — Steven’s image is the reflection. In another, the young boy stands in salute as his father’s image is seen walking away.
The emotional photos have struck a chord — the images posted on the April Reeves Photography Facebook page have been liked by more than 9,600 people and shared by more than 8,300. The same images were shared on the Louisiana State Police Facebook page, where they’ve gotten upwards of 7,700 likes and 2,900 shares.
“I truly hope that when he is older he is as happy to have these treasures as I was to capture them for him. This child is amazing, strong, and so very proud of his dad,” Reeves writes in her Facebook post accompanying the photos. “There is something about the way he lit up when talking about his dad and the pride that radiated from him when he placed that hat on his head.”
Steven was also survived by his wife, Katherine Vincent. The man who is accused of shooting the state trooper has been charged with first-degree murder.
On their Facebook page, the Louisiana State Police force remembers the state trooper for his bravery and his attitude. “Although Steven no longer walks among us, we carry his spirit with us each and every day. But nowhere is Steven’s spirit more alive than in the courage of his young son, Ethan,” the post says. “The photographs serve as a reminder of the shared bond between father and son as well as a lasting tribute to a man who is missed by his family and friends.”
Reeves told KSLA that she was moved by just how strong an impact Steven had on his young son. “This was a complete honor for me to be able to do this for them. They deserve more, but this is something that I knew that I could do,” she said. “In the end, I hope that I have given Ethan something tangible in this horrible tragedy to hold on to. Ethan is so proud to be his father’s son and that is beautiful. During our shoot we laughed, shared a few tears, and shared lots of stories. All I can say is that Trooper Vincent made a huge impact on his son and the love this family has is amazing to witness.“
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