A high school senior in Nebraska decided to take senior photos to commemorate her graduation. But, these weren’t just your typical senior pictures. The teenager wanted to honor her late father, who had passed away on December 1, 2008, in Bethesda Maryland. U.S. Army Captain Robert Yllescas died from injuries he sustained just weeks after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan.
Which is why Julia Yllescas decided to keep her father’s memory alive in the most touching and loving way. Knowing Capt. Robert Yllescas would be proud of her, she made it a point to include him in her photos by using a “ghost effect” to keep a piece of his memory throughout her last year of high school.
Julia asked photographer Susanne Beckmann of Snapshots by Suz, as a special favor. Beckmann has known Julia’s family since she was in elementary school and talked about doing the “angel photos” with Julia’s mother over the years. Instead, Julia knew that her senior photos would be the perfect opportunity to do so and agreed to take the shots.
Beckermann, who is an active-duty military wife herself, stated, “I have been taking pictures of Julia since she was 9 years old, and I thought it would be a great idea to do these angel pictures for her as a special gift for her big milestone and to her family,” explained Susanne. “I take a lot of pictures of military families, and it is always an honor for me to capture their special memories.”
Wearing Military dog tags as a necklace, Julia is seen holding a folded American flag for one photo, standing in front of her father. The second photo shows her sitting down next to a faint shadow of her father as if they were having a conversation. Out of the numerous sweet portraits she took of Julia, these two were the most special ones to the family.
Beckmann posted the photos on her Facebook page, which immediately took off and have been shared more than 25,000 times.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 20, 2019.