“WHY DO YOU LOVE TAKING MATERNITY AND NEWBORN PORTRAITS?”
Photography has been a passion of mine for many years. However, my passion for maternity and newborn portraits runs deeper. Keep reading… it is quite a story, and one that, perhaps, you may even share pieces of.
As I placed the special ornaments for all my children on the Christmas tree this year, I reminisce, once more, on all the memories that the season brings for me, as a mom. Those holiday bulbs containing tiny little hospital bracelets and newborn hats, the special bulbs for my little ones that grew their wings before we could create memories; it is definitely a tradition that, every year, brings tears dripping down my cheeks, and one filled with the stories that brought us tears, laughter, pain, and joy – all at the same time.
In 2007, the holiday season brought upon news that I was pregnant with twins. As a very young single mom, I didn’t have the luxury to have maternity or newborn portrait experiences. Not to mention, the toxic relationship I was in at the time made me feel unworthy to feel beautiful enough to have almost any photos of me during my pregnancy.
Part of why I give an exceptional experience to my moms-to-be when they come to me is that I know they deserve what I could never have – confidence and empowerment. You are worthy of beauty!
July 10th and 11th of 2008, Madison and Tyler were born, the first loves of my life. It pains me now to know I don’t have beautiful artwork of them as newborns to display on my walls, however, I did create those beautiful little Christmas bulbs containing the tiny pink and blue TWIN A and TWIN B hats that bring back so many memories of that very special time in my life.
A NEW BEGINNING
After many years as a single mom, and then marrying my now husband, Rich, I was so excited to expand our little pre-made family with him. Before I even had a positive pregnancy test, I envisioned every last little detail; from how I would tell him, to how we would tell the twins, our family & friends, as well as how I wanted our maternity and newborn portraits to be themed.
Maybe this is you too!
I was all about sticking with our amazingly beautiful Grimm Fairytale theme we had for our wedding. I had envisioned wearing a beautiful, fitted charcoal lace gown, surrounded by trees on a trail that wound behind me, taken on our wedding anniversary, Halloween. A plumb purple, fur-hooded cape draped over my shoulders. The baby, boy or girl, would have newborn portraits involving one of the brothers’ Grimm fairytales. Every detail was embedded in my brain. It would be perfect!
LOSS AND LOVE
In 2017 I was so excited to fulfill those dreams, however, we sadly lost our little baby, Zurri.
Shortly after our loss, we got pregnant again, this time with our little Rainbow Baby. I was so excited for the opportunity to bring my vision to life, to display those belly bump portraits on my office wall, and to have the opportunity to share that beautiful memory of love with my daughter one day. However, the vision was, once again, interrupted.
I had a very difficult pregnancy, with a condition called Vasa Previa, that had me on bed rest for many months, in the hospital for 2 of them, and resulting in the premature birth of my youngest daughter – our little Valentine turned Christmas, Melody. I also found out that she would have been an identical twin, but that we sadly lost Harmony about 13 weeks into the pregnancy.
Due to the dangerous circumstances revolving around Melody’s birth, the maternity portraits I had been dreaming of were unable to be done. I was devastated to lose that, however, my younger brother surprised me on Christmas Eve, and captured some photos of my last moments of pregnancy on the rooftop garden of the hospital in the snow. They weren’t my dream photos, but I treasure them dearly with all of my heart, because those were the last memories that we would be a family of four, sadly, the last time I would ever have of a little one in my belly, and the last time I would ever enjoy feeling tiny flutter kicks – these photos, while not my original dream, imprinted that memory in light.
Melody was born a few days later, on December 27th – sharing a birthday with her Daddy.
After a very complicated birth, that resulted in a NICU stay for Melody, and another few weeks hospital stay for me, my dream of newborn photos seemed impossible. The first photos I have of her are through the glass of an isolette in the NICU.
Once Melody was strong enough, she graduated from the NICU, however, I was still fighting a good fight myself. After major C-section complications, I held my tiny baby, with barely any life left in me, fighting to keep going for my children. The documentation of this strength is probably the photographs I treasure most.
WE DID IT!
We finally came home from the hospital sometime in mid-January 2018. I was barely able to stand, but I refused to give in on my dream of those perfect newborn photos – so, my wonderful husband held me up, as I made an attempt to take her photos in our dining room. They weren’t in the greatest light, however, this Rainbow Baby portrait truly depicts the amazing gift after the horrible storm we went through to get her here.
It wasn’t until she was a little over a month old that I was able to truly create my dream portrait of our Little Red Riding Hood, propped up on the Brother’s Grimm Fairytale Books, fast asleep. My experience may not have been how I planned, but it was our story, and every last photo tells the beautiful tale of how our family grew.
Today, I live vicariously through my amazing clients and their families. I get to watch my mom-to-be’s truly glow as they look down upon their bellies, beaming about what is to come, and feeling confident and empowered. I get to be there to experience some of the first memories, taking portraits of tiny fingers and piggy toes, baby rolls, and long eyelashes closed and dreaming. I get to experience that feeling I longed for myself, each time I bring to life a dream of another family. That is the best feeling, and I am so happy that I have the opportunity to be a part of these very special memories, and to create beautiful artwork that tells the story of where it all began.