Warning: I am over sharing this session because I took an insane amount of photos. I can’t adequately put into words how much this lifestyle session meant to me and how much I fell in love with this precious family. A few months back a co-worker of Jay’s contacted me and told me that his office was interested in doing a shoot for Jay as a gift to him and his wife as she just finished up chemo fighting leukemia. Well if you don’t know, cancer fighters are near and dear to my heart after losing my sister to breast cancer at the age of 41.
Ann Marie contacted me right away and talked about what a perfect gift this was for their family. We chatted about locations and they had a brilliant idea. They had been through so much in that house that it was important to capture their story such a meaningful place.
Ann Marie’s life was flipped upside down when she found out about her leukemia diagnosis. The months that followed were full of chemo and most painstakingly Ann Marie wasn’t able to see her precious daughter, Hayden because of her immune system for TWO months. That’s grueling for any mother but now that I’ve seen firsthand how absolutely crazy she is for this sweet girl, I know it was more like agonizing. Thankfully, she has an AMAZING support system full of love, encouragement, and help.
I can’t say enough wonderful things about her husband, Jay – what an amazing guy. My favorite photos of him are when I was just able to capture him sitting back just adoring his beautiful wife and daughter…which happened to be a lot. When Ann Marie was able to come home from the hospital he had an awesome deck built on their back porch to enjoy and savor life.
So it happened again, here I am thinking that I’m giving a gift for others and in return God blesses me with so much more. God is so sneaky like that. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bigger high from a session. It was so touching to me. In so many ways, I felt my sister throughout out time together. This session was no accident. It was a divine moment for me -not a God whisper – more like a God slap in the face. It’s almost as if God was saying, “If you ever forget your purpose or your “WHY”, here’s a reminder for you.”
I’ve done lifestyle sessions for newborns before but this was different. This session was so amazing for so many reasons but mostly because I was a spectator. I was hardly prompting anything – jumping on the bed, reading stories, playing, hugging, kissing…this is 100% genuinely them. The camera can’t lie. Yep, they’re pretty much the poster family for being rooted in love.
Herbst family, you are such a treasure to me. I pray that you will treasure these images and our time together as much as I did. Thank you for reminding me of my “why”.