Jennie, Andrew, and Heidi - Boca Raton Maternity Photographer

Surrounded by love, enveloped by light, strengthened through faith.

Jennie and Andrew have graciously allowed me to share some of my favorite images from their sunlit maternity session. If you are not familiar with this beautiful young family, please read a few words I shared along with their first image on social media:

Last week I shared a stunning sunset with one of the sweetest young families I have ever met. Jennie and Andrew are expecting a beautiful baby girl, Heidi Elizabeth. Their daughter, Heidi, has been diagnosed with full Trisomy 18. Jennie has shared her family's story on her blog, Heidi's Song, please follow the link to read Jennie's story in her own words. 

The love Jennie and Andrew share and have for their little girl radiates, it truly shines. It is in this loving spirit, that they have been led to share their journey, to help raise awareness for Trisomy 18 and the value of each and every life. 

Jennie and Andrew have created a page where they are fundraising and collecting donations to help with Heidi's medical expenses.

Two weeks after I shared the first image from their sunlit maternity session, Heidi has made it to the third trimester. This is a milestone that Jennie and Andrew have made sure to celebrate. 

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
— Hebrews 6:19

"...how beautiful I am,"

Click Away 2016 led me to meet another friend, and an incredibly talented birth photographer, local to the Seattle area. We made the time to steal away a few minutes just after the conference ended to create these images in the hotel room window light. Sometimes, and just when it is needed,  taking a risk, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can yield beautiful and authentic results.

Along with the few images we were able to capture in that time, I am humbled by and would love to share Bonnie's beautiful words, they have stayed with me for days:

"There are still so many thoughts surrounding #clickaway2016 and I'm still processing this weekend... but if there's one thing I've never been more sure about it is that you have to step outside your comfort zone.... Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. One thing I love about this craft is it allows us to see the world, and sometimes even ourselves, through the eyes of another... and that to me is everything. I've never liked having my picture made, but this... Good Lord I just can't get over how beautiful I am. @cgonzalezphotography said she had this image in her head all weekend, and I'm so glad we made this happen before I had to head home." - Bonnie Hussey

The Space Between Beauty & Strength

"She has been
through hell,
so believe me
when I say,
fear her when
she looks into a fire
and smiles."
E. Corona

The stars aligned last October and a trip to Click and Co.'s yearly photography conference, Click Away, led me to meeting a woman whose artistic work I had long admired, and whose friendship I had grown to cherish. From the onset, we carried on as if we had known one another for years. Her spirit was magnetic and she exuded a poised strength that radiated within and surrounded her.

Click Away 2016 took place last week in the poetically rainy city of Seattle, and despite several obstacles in the way of both of our trips, we were able to make it to this year's conference. This time however, something was different, Holly shed any barriers she may have had and the strength within her was almost tangible.  

The above quote was selected by Holly, and it is so fitting in each carefully composed word placed eloquently within each hanging line. Holly is a mother, an artist, a creative, a warrior, a fighter, a survivor, and luckily for me, one of my dearest friends. On the last day of the Click Away conference, Holly gracefully allowed our small group of friends to photograph her. My only wish with the imagery created was that she would see herself in the beautiful light we did.

For our sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, wives, friends, and colleagues who fight with the strength of a woman, this heart song is for you.

Vida Elyse - Miami Birth and Newborn Photographer

Vida Elyse was born to Christie and John on December 5th, 2015. The meaning behind her beautiful name stands as a testament to her parents' faith and love, Vida Elyse - a life dedicated to God. On the day John and Christie found out they were going to be giving their son a little sister, they also received Vida's trisomy 13 diagnosis. In Christie's own words "We decided to do what we felt was best for our family and for our daughter and that is to give her the chance to tell her own story." In faith and so much love, John and Christie set out to celebrate every moment they were blessed with their daughter. They were not only sharing the love they had for her with family, but began touching others with their story of hope.

The following images tell the story of the day of Vida's birth. She came into this world on her own time, just a few days shy of Christie's scheduled C-Section, and a few weeks before her December 25th due date. She was born naturally and was able to stay with her loving family without having to take a trip to the NICU. She was able to take a bottle and breathe on her own, unassisted, from the beginning defying the odds of what she would be able to do on her own. A day that was set to be filled with uncertainties was instead overflowing with hope and love. From the incredible team of nurses and doctors at Mercy Hospital, to the outpouring of family and friends that filled any available space in the delivery room and on into the hallway, the love for this little girl was tangible. She was baptized in the delivery room, celebrated by those that had been praying for the family for so many months. This day was a gift, each moment a blessing.

Being present on the day of Vida's birth will always carry with me. To be a witness of such strength and faith firsthand, is a profoundly moving experience. Vida is on this day 24 days old. A constant reminder to each of us that each moment is reason enough to celebrate and be thankful. 

I will close with Christie's beautiful words, "We know that we are lucky enough to carry one of His children into this world for however long that may be." 

Welcoming Joseph - Boca Raton Birth and Newborn Photographer

Little Joseph came into this world with a beautiful full head of hair and had already stolen his mother and father's hearts. We spent some time together on his second day of life at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. Michelle has been one of my dearest friends since we met in 2006 at Lynn University. She stood by me at my wedding and I walked my daughter, as the flower girl, down the aisle at hers. It was an honor and a gift to photograph her new family of three. Welcome to the world little Joseph.

The H. Family - Boca Raton Family Photographer

This family is near and dear to my heart. I have known Helena and her parents for over ten years, and stood by as Helena and Tim exchanged their wedding vows. It was such an honor to capture the love they share, now as a family of three, joined in this session by the most loving grandparents.

The Wneks - Florida Family Photography

On the journey home from an incredible workshop with Deb Schwedhelm, I was lucky enough to spend some time in Naples with Cate Wnek and her beautiful family. We enjoyed the afternoon together with not only great conversation but an impromptu dip in the pool. Cate was kind enough to let me play with her underwater setup to capture a few images with her boys. There is something so special about providing family photography to another photographer. I know how difficult it can be to "get in the frame." This meeting was even more special because it was her oldest's birthday. Instances  like these always remind me of the best in the photographic community, when the love of the art brings friends together.

Cate, in my opinion, Maine is a bit too far from Florida and I hope to see all of you again soon. Thank you again, for welcoming me with open arms.