My husband and I are expecting our second little miracle in about two months which makes this post extra emotional for me. To preface, when I gave birth the first time around I kept my eyes closed the entire time, it was a focus technique I learned during hypnobirthing classes that quite frankly worked wonders to shut the world out. But what an incredible life experience I didn't realize I was visually missing, until I was blessed with a request from a woman I used to know as just a girl.
Not long after I had my little boy, I was contacted by this old friend from elementary school, someone I had not known since those pigtail, playground days. Based off a few Facebook photos of my family she asked if I photographed other people or just my own. I revealed short tales of wedding photography life, my lack of marketing efforts, my desire to photograph the real every day life, and jaw dropped when she asked to put me on her list of people who might be able to capture the birth of her third baby girl. While birth photography was something I had on my bucket list of experiences to have, I don't guess I ever expected it to come into fruition. Especially because this last year has been one of really pushing myself to photograph anything and everything in search of an artistic voice, with less focus on establishing a defined genre for my work (both I am still confused about, alas).
Heather is her name. She will never really know the gift from God she was to me. I saw a miracle happen. I saw a life become a reality. I saw something I missed and may have not been blessed enough to see again. I saw a relationship between a husband and wife of strength, compassion, humor, familiarity, and intimacy that made me love my husband more. I witnessed a family who defined authentic love at every age and every dynamic. I reconnected with a friend that I knew when I was eight-years-old, as if we had been walking the line together. The unspoken bond of motherhood.
But above all, I saw my child in hers. I was a wonderstruck witness. I got a moment back that I missed, in a way. These photographs are etched in my soul and I am forever grateful for her beautiful life. Happy (almost) first birthday Adley Wren.
Enjoy this glimpse of a wonderstruck witness.