Back in March, I decided to truly kickstart my photography career by rebuilding my portfolio and I wanted to showcase various people from different backgrounds and walks of life. After receiving such a massive response back, I received a message from a young woman named Destiny. Little did I know, but this simple message of interest to my model call would be the start of a beautiful friendship and journey.
Destiny informed me that she was expecting, and was interested in being one of my maternity models. I was so excited because despite me having done photos of families and children in the past, I had never done any maternity portraits before. She informed me that the babygirl’s adopting mommy would be attending the session as well! That’s when my coffee-deficient behind’s lightbulb went off and went,”OH! It’s an adoption-maternity session!” I was even more, “YAY!” happy clapping than I was before. I had about 5 or 6 sessions the day of theirs and so I was already running around making sure that I scoped out my location to ensure that I could take pretty shots. So by the time they arrived, I knew exactly where I wanted them and wouldn’t waste time on having them walk around too much.
They arrived and I already knew instantly that I liked Destiny and adopting mommy Ashtynn. You could immediately tell that they were two peas in a pod with how they spoke and joked around. What made me laugh instantly though was when Destiny arrived in her casual and comfy clothes, and decided to change into her maternity gown. She was about to change clothes without my changing tent in front of everybody! She didn’t care who saw! lol Something about this just tickled me but I also found her mentality incredibly admirable. This day and age, we tend to judge others greatly for how they dress, what they eat, etc. So it was nice to see that I met two mothers who were more relaxed and laid-back. In the end, we stood in front of her to try and give her space as she changed.
Both moms looked cute and great in their outfits! Hair was perfect, makeup perfect, everything! Ashtynn’s husband Justin and Destiny’s adorable son Carter looked great too! I like capturing my subjects when they are not aware of it. So at times I just wanted them to just talk to each other while I ran and hopped around like a maniac. I had them do poses to flatter the CUTEST baby belly ever and ones of just the mothers. Most importantly I just wanted to showcase what I saw when meeting them. Two mothers who were the best of friends and that this little baby was beyond loved.
By the time I sat down in front of my Macbook and reviewed the images, I just knew I had pure treasure from this session. Every shot was pure gold! Absolutely stunning! Everyone looked great! I truly had fun editing the images. I was practically biting my nails posting a sneak peek because I am my own worst critic and was afraid that maybe they’d dislike the images I posted. Nope! They loved them!
It received such an amazing response! I was honestly brought to tears. Then, when things couldn’t get any better, Ashtynn told me that Destiny and her would like me to be their birth photographer! My jaw dropped! I felt so honored! So once the time came for the scheduled c-section date, I was pacing back and forth and anxious! I triple-checked my bags to make sure that I had all of the gear that I needed. I cleaned my lenses, checked on my settings, etc! I wanted to be as perfect as I could be for their special day!
It took about two hours of driving to arrive there from where I live, but I was awake and excited the entire way! My friend and I left my home at about 2:30 that morning to ensure that we’d arrive at the hospital in time! The surgery wasn’t until about 7 but I wanted to snap shots of everyone getting ready and just the overall atmosphere. It was honestly a fun and highly rewarding experience. I got to witness ALL of the grandmothers, mothers, and loved ones gather around this beautiful baby girl! She came in at a whopping NINE POUNDS! Healthy and with a great amount of hair on her head! She was beyond loved and you could feel it in the room.
The one thing that I truly want to add here, is that Ashtynn and Destiny were so beautiful that day. Ashtynn helped Destiny with everything that she could. Destiny applied makeup before her C-section and Ashtynn was there every step of the way to hold her mirror and help her with anything that she needed. They truly defined the word sisterhood. I was able to witness selfless and unconditional love between these families and honestly going through the galleries had me tearing up! I got to exchange and swap stories with their relatives and this child truly will have an amazing life. I can’t wait to see how they all are doing soon!
Ooh! I forgot to add this! Because of my experiences and sessions with them, I WON AN AWARD! There is a photography company called Summerana that hosts weekly top photographer contests with certain themes. The theme I applied for was motherhood. I shared my story of both ladies and was listed! It brought tears to my eyes and MANY other adoptive mommies and adopted women! They loved it! That listing can be viewed here: https://www.summerana.com/top-photographers-of-the-week-motherhood/ This shot may in fact be featured in their magazine next month! I’ll know more about that in the near future. But wow! I just loved every moment of meeting them and then being able to greet them as old friends during the birth. Destiny and Ashtynn, Thank you! Thank you for everything. You both have truly changed my life and warmed my heart! I can’t wait to finish up your gallery! <3