Someone once told me all I do is take pictures. I don’t think anything could be said that’s further from the truth. Photographs are memories. I could go into the cliche’ rant on how photographs freeze a moment in time, and so on and so on, but in reality any photographer’s job is more than that. Being asked to photograph moments for someone is to be invited into their lives, for a brief portion of time, and capture a journey. Some of those journeys are milestones like birthdays, some are celebrations of choosing to be joined in marriage and some of these journeys are unexpected and filled with trials and tears. But knowing that the images I capture will be gazed upon 1, 5 even 20 years from now is BY FAR the most incredible honor one could be given….clearly making what I do more than just simply taking pictures. I am blessed to have the one job that can capture a memory and that memory can be hung on the walls of people’s homes, carried in their wallets or stored on their phones. What a photographer creates is emotional, tangible and raw.
A few weeks ago I got an email from a Facebook friend of mine who told me about her sister and brother-in-law’s recent birth of their daughter…only this little angel came quite unexpectedly early and half the country away from home.
Holly and Kevin were visiting family for Christmas when Holly went into labor and gave birth to baby Scarlett 14 weeks early. While Holly may have missed out on the opportunity to take maternity photos (which she so desired) she and her family have gained a wonderful NICU family where sweet Scarlett has spent the first 7 weeks of her life.
I did not know what to expect when I walked into the NICU nursery. Would it be cold and mechanical void of humor and be all about business? The vision I had in my mind of what a place this would be was so far off. Yes, there are machines and monitors everywhere but what I didn’t expect was the love and “family” that is overflowing between these nurses and the families with babies here. Everyone loved everyone. Everyone came to visit Scarlett during her much anticipated photo shoot. Having met Holly I can see why everyone loves her. But something tells me it’s not just Holly that brings this out in these nurses and the staff. These women I met are genuine, nurturing and absolutely LOVE what they do every day. I could not have had a more perfect start to my Valentine’s Day morning than with these ladies, this momma and this beautiful baby girl.
I am sad, however, that Kevin was unable to be there as planned. It seems the state of North Carolina and Mother Nature had other plans…..12 inches of snow and no flights out that would get him to the hospital in time. He was truly missed while I was there but I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to step into their lives for a mere hour and experience the love in the NICU.
Tears were shed, hugs were given and I left with such an overwhelming smile and sense of joy. I was honored to do this for this family….in all actuality this experience was a gift to me.
Holly & Kevin,
You are two beautiful people. You have created this one perfect little girl, who is facing trials no child should, she will certainly grow to be a beautiful individual inside and out just like her parents. You two are blessed and I think you know that. Lots of love to you both. You and your sweet girl will be in my thoughts as she spends the next several weeks in the loving care of the NICU team you have been blessed with!!!
Much much love,