There are many reasons why I love my job: I get to be creative every day, I am able to play with my kids when they get home from school, I can help provide for my family. But, maybe the reason I love most of all is I get to meet crazy, fantastic people that I probably wouldn't know otherwise. I am able to watch their kids grow from the moment that they are born until they start Kindergarden and hopefully through graduation (haven't been a photographer that long yet!). I am able to build relationships so that when they loose their mother to cancer, I mourn with them. And when they celebrate with the birth of a new baby, I am truly happy for them and am thankful for a new child to delight me and make me smile. I am so very blessed and lucky.
It is the stories behind the photographs I take that I love. The people behind the matching outfits and smiles. The daddies who just don't want to be photographed but warm up as we talk about football. The brothers who aren't too sure about their new baby sister, but delight in the first time they are able to hold her and I am there. The moms who haven't slept all night because her 7 day old baby has her days and nights mixed up and I am able to cuddle and swaddle and soothe her baby during our session so she doesn't have to. And when she comes back a week later to look at the pictures her baby has already changed entirely and she can't believe that they were once so teeny and slept so much! So, I want to start sharing these stories with you - these people with you. I am excited for you to meet my friends.
I couldn't think of a more perfect story to tell you first. I have been about to burst to share this news with you all.
On a crazy day in the beginning of October I received this text:
Hi Susan it's Sara! I'm wondering if you can do a very special photo shoot for me. As you may recall C. and I went through ivf ten years ago unsuccessfully so we adopted beautiful K. and A. Well apparently all I had to do was turn 40 because I'm pregnant!! Total surprise/ shock. We are not telling many people because we thought it would be fun to announce it in our Christmas cards. I found a couple of cute ideas online I can show you but was wondering if you could take pics in mid/late Nov so my belly can show more and you could do our cards? What do you think? I'm 11 weeks but am showing since they have me on progesterone to decrease chance of miscarriage.
To say I was shocked is an understatement! I had the joy of photographing Sara's second child when he was first adopted as a newborn and then have photographed both of her children since. I knew that they were not able to have children on their own so when I read this text I reread it many times until it finally sunk in.
So, we started planning for the session. She warned me that she and her husband really didn't like to be photographed - but the designs we chose for the card included everyone. We worked out our schedules so that her husband could be there and then we waited for the session. I was a little nervous for him to get there. Dads are always a little hard because they really, really don't want their picture taken. But he was so sweet and kind and actually so excited to be there. He even talked Sara into taking a family picture. He was such a proud daddy - of all three of his kids. And Sara and I talked about maternity clothes, pains of a growing belly and other fun pregnancy stuff.
I might have been as excited as she was - but really I couldn't ever be. She had dreamed of this moment since she was ready to have children. Not really of the photography session or Christmas cards, but the chance that she would be able to carry a child of her own. Now don't get me wrong - she loves her older children more than life itself. These children were born to be adopted by Sara. They have been since the moment they were conceived. So, even though I know that Sara won't love her three children any differently, she is now able to experience something that she wasn't able to before. The "annoyance" of maternity clothes, heart burn, sleepless nights, and hunger pains are all joy to her.
And I got to be a very small part of it all. Me! I love Sara because she loves photographs and uses many photographers to get them - Santa pictures, Easter pictures, etc. But she chose me to photograph the biggest surprise she has ever been able to reveal. They chose me to help them announce to their friends that their family will be adding one more child to love. It was kind of unreal and so exciting.
So, here is her Christmas card. I have been waiting to share it with you all and am about to burst. SARA IS HAVING A BABY!!!!