We in the Inspire family are heartbroken to share the news that we lost one of our own this week. Eric Langlois has taught generously and exuberantly with his wife Amber on the Inspire faculty for two years. He was a dedicated, entertaining, and inspiring member of the New England photography community. We ache for the loss his wife and children are experiencing. All of us on the Inspire Team are parents with young children, and the pain the Langlois family must be experiencing is near incomprehensible to us.
Last week when Eric went missing, members of the wedding and photography community dropped everything and came together to help with the search. We were overwhelmed to witness from afar, and experience from up close, the outpouring of support. Fellow photographers, colleagues in the wedding industry, strangers, neighbors and friends assisted with the intensive search for Eric. This show of love and assistance in a time of great tragedy was humbling and inspiring. We know that it was a reflection of the kind of person Eric was: giving, all-in, loyal and committed. Eric leaves as his legacy a reminder that relationships - time spent with parents and children, sharing of good times and bad with friends, and generous participation in community - are precious and ultimately all we have to give in the end. Eric gave us his all.
Eric leaves behind his wife Amber, two beautiful young children, and a third baby due Christmas day. We hope that if you are able you will give to Amber and their family - no amount is too small - in order to help minimize their financial concerns during this time of grieving.
We share more about Eric here from Carla Ten Eyck, whose words most plainly and eloquently express the loss we are all feeling:
This week we lost a close friend, mentor, employee and all around amazing person. Eric Langlois of RAW Photo Design, was searching for his bike he lost in a fall the previous day and never came home. After a massive search with hundreds of volunteers, his body was found a week later.
Eric was more than just a photographer. He was a loving, sarcastic and crazy funny husband, friend, practical joker, son, brother and father. He wore skinny jeans when I wasn’t sure if they were cool or not. He loved short sleeved plaid shirts. He actually owned a canadian flag unitard and was caught on camera once actually wearing it. With a Darth Vader mask.
Professionally Eric was a very sought after photographer and teacher. He had so much passion for photography. A self-taught photographer, he took care in what he learned so that he was the best he could be and quickly became a leader in our industry. His dedication to teaching was evident in his sold out workshops and huge student following. His work was edgy, different and not what everyone else was doing, and that was exactly how he wanted it.
Eric and I were bonded in our grief from losing our Mothers. I was his grief-guide. Told him all of the insider secrets that no one really tells you when you lose your Mom. I told him to drop everything and spend every last minute with her. That once she is gone, well. She is gone. There is no going back. Eric took my advice, thankfully. He spent as much time with his Mom as he could. He loved her with every spare space in his big heart until the moment that she left this world.
As I watched Eric eulogize his Mom I am brought to a day where I saw my dear friend at his most vulnerable. He let us all in to that moment when she passed away, with him cradling her in her bed, singing a song that she used to sing to his children. It was at that moment that I vowed to always be there for him and protect him no matter what. In friendship and in business. Anything he needed I would do. And so our friendship grew deeper and deeper over the years. Today I know that he knew there was nothing I would not do for him, whether he liked it or not. I was his Momma Bear.
Everyone had their own relationship with Eric. Some were based on strings of completely inappropriate texts that would have you howling with laughter. OK most were! Some relied on Eric for his expertise in one area or another, from off camera lighting to synching stupid BusyCal with ShootQ (this was a huge part of our relationship) He was the undisputed master of this! Other people would bond with Eric over being a very busy Dad and how to balance work and kids and really be present for your family.
I have been thinking a lot about what Eric meant to me this whole week as I was feverishly searching for him. All that he brought into my life, and the lives of our community. For me, Eric helped me in my own grieving process with my Mom, which is ironic since here I am now grieving him. The lesson in this? Eric knew loss. He celebrated life, he knew to love hard, forgive easy and spend every spare second with his family and those that mattered most.
A few years back Eric and I were at a workshop where one of the exercises was to write your obituary. He was one of two people who had the courage to read his aloud. I remember laughing so hard because he was funny as hell! But I also remember sobbing my eyes out when he spoke about his kids and saw how emotional he was while talking about what he wished for his family.
What little peace I can find in this whole ordeal is that Eric helped unite a community and gave us all the opportunity to feel true, real, hard love. Whether we knew him intimately or casually or not at all. His passion for his work, his friends and his family united us all on our quest to find him and bring him home.