A Maternity Journey – Loss, Hope, New Life

One year ago today my Calmer and I received some life altering news. We were pregnant with our first child, full of dreams, expectations, hope for the future and the changes that lie ahead. On this day one year ago we were scheduled for a routine ultrasound excited to hopefully find out the gender of our first baby and begin planning our new life. Instead, this day one year ago was the beginning of a downward spiral of earth shattering news that no parent ever wants to hear.  She was sick, she was broken, and the pregnancy was no longer viable and would not last much longer.

We were devastated. sick. broken. changed.

I share this not for sympathy.  Or remorse. Or tears. I share this because losing our Bella Rose last summer set me on an amazing journey.  Through all the tears and sorrow I found passion, and hope, and new life. Photography got me through the bad days and led me to new (wonderful!) friends and new opportunities.  Be Young Photography has been a labor of love this year and I know Bella has been guiding me the entire way.  I can’t wait to continue along this journey and I have bigger plans, dreams, and partnerships growing in the coming months.

BUT, in the short term my Calmer and I are again getting ready to chart a new path. We are expecting again and have a daughter arriving sometime in the next month.  Pregnancy has certainly been different this time around but  we could not be happier.  On a recent trip to Tampa I went from photographer to subject which gave me some insight as to the nerves that come with being in front of the lens instead of behind it.  There is definitely a huge level of trust that comes with allowing someone to capture you in pictures.

Your emotions. feelings. inner beauty.

I feel so blessed to have been trusted enough and be asked over and over again this year to capture images of families, babies, children, and couples that will be hung on walls, viewed in albums, and cherished for years to come. And, I am so glad I trusted some of my fellow Launch Workshop ladies with my maternity photos. I will certainly cherish the images they captured of me during this special time.

my apprehension. my joy. my protectiveness. my love for a growing belly and new life on the way.

Tina Cardoso of Howie Mac Photo was one of my fellow Launch Workshop photographers and I am featuring some of her images here. If you live in the Tampa, FL area she has recently launched her business and you should totally give her a call. You won’t be disappointed.

Today I am in my 35th week of pregnancy and I am getting ready to take a little hiatus from sessions and shooting so I can nest and relish in the joys that come with being a new mom.  I’ll be on maternity leave for all of September and most of October but plan to make my debut back into to the photography world with my Holiday Minis on October 30th! (Have you booked your holiday session yet? Space is limited so don’t delay if you want in on the action).

In the meantime I’ll still be blogging and sharing insights (and plenty of photos!) on mothering a newborn, photography tips, session ideas, business news,  and everything in between.  I hope you’ll continue to follow along as my journey continues.

New Beginning, New Venture

For those of you who have stumbled upon my little section of cyberspace, welcome. Please excuse the dust, this is still a work in progress. But, I am really glad you’re here.

My purpose?

Entertain. Inspire. Share. Photograph.

My story?

In March 2009 I decided to pick up my Kodak Z650 point and shoot camera for the first time in months and start taking pictures. My goal? Take at least 1 photo a day and upload them for a year in the hopes that I could learn a little more about myself and photography. Little did I realize this was a passion in the making for me. The pictures began to consume my hours, my days, my life. I’d sit at work planning my photo shoot of the day. When the photos were done and processed I’d upload to flickr, facebook, twitter. I wanted an audience! I joined photography groups online, read photography blogs, did google searches and soaked in as much information as I could to improve my beginner skills.

I was a sponge.

I learned.

I grew.

About two months into my photo a day project I hit a wall. My little point and shoot camera was not enough anymore. It had limitations. I needed a fancy DSLR. I wanted better depth of field, larger zoom, more control! I started saving. and saving. and saving.  All the while I continued taking pictures with my Z650 and tried to hone in on my Photoshop editing skills instead of the technical ones.

Then in May 2009, about 3 months into my project, life took an interesting turn. My husband Brendan (who I will refer to from now on as “The Calmer” because he is the peaceful force in our home) and I got the exciting news that we were expecting our first child. We were ecstatic, and it made my desire for that DSLR even more important. I needed a fabulous camera to take fabulous family photos. As an early baby gift, my parents shockingly generously bought me my DSLR, a gorgeous Nikon D90.  At the same time, my morning sickness took full swing and I could barely function at my day job let alone take pictures.  The morning sickness whisked away my passion to photograph.

I dropped the photo a day project that same month.

I figured my passion would return once the baby arrived.

No worries.

Until September.

In September, after multiple abnormal ultrasounds we lost our baby, a girl, at 20weeks pregnant. It’s a long heartbreaking story and I won’t go into the details. We didn’t get to know her for long but we knew she was beautiful. Her name was Bella. Bella Rose. And it’s because of her that I have my passion back. After her passing I needed something to keep me going. Keep me alive. Keep me strong. I picked my D90 back up and started shooting. I want to capture it all. Every little detail. Every moment.

I hope to share my moments here. I am excited to start a new photography project or two in the coming weeks and tell you more about them.  I also want to start building a photography portfolio. I have my first mother/son photo shoot in a week and a half and I can not wait!  I would love to be able to one day turn this hobby into a side business capturing the moments of others. Friends. Acquaintances. Family.  I hope you’ll take the time to stop by, add me to your blog reader, leave lots of comments and tell me what I’m doing right or doing wrong.

I still have a lot to learn.

But I think I’m on my way.

And I have Bella to thank for that.

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