Connor Cummings died in a fall from a New York skyscraper while on a trip to take photos with his new Christmas-present camera.
The mother of an American photographer who fell to his death moments after taking his last shot has published his series of final images, as her way of paying tribute to her 20-year-old son.
Connor Cummings died on December 30, having plummeted from the top of the Four Seasons hotel in New York.
He had received a new Canon camera for Christmas and was excited to try it out, said Linda Cummings, his mother.
“He actually died doing what he loved best,” she told the New York Daily News. “He saw beauty in so many different things. He would have been a great photographer.”
Cummings had travelled from his home in Rockaway, New Jersey, to Manhattan with his friend Dimitri Olivares, 18.
On arriving in Manhattan the pair first took a series of photos from the roof of a building several streets south of Times Square.
They then headed to the Four Seasons hotel, sometime after 10pm. With the sky pitch black and the lights of Times Square blazing, it was an enticing prospect for the young photographers.
They took the lift to the top floor of the 52-story hotel, then walked up two flights of stairs to an unlocked door leading to the rooftop. Once outside, they climbed a 25-foot ladder that brought them to metal scaffolding surrounding cooling equipment.
Detectives told the family that Cummings was backing up to take a picture of his friend, without realising that there was a second opening on the scaffolding.
As he fell, his camera landed on the platform unscathed. Two days later it was handed over to Mrs Cummings.
“They said it was quick — that he died right away,” she said. “It’s a small blessing.”
Asked what she thought of the images, she replied: “I thought they were beautiful but scary at the same time.”
But she denied suggestions that her son, studying psychology at University of Massachusetts Amherst, was reckless.
“He wasn’t a daredevil,” she said.