I was so pleased to receive Heidi's inquiry to get maternity pictures done of her first pregnancy. She was so obviously so happy to be pregnant, loving the experience and she wanted to capture the amazing changes in her body.
I was more than happy to oblige... actually I was honoured.
Heidi opted to get Hair and Make up done by my make up artist, which is a service I am adding to the studio. Her name is Cynthia and you can find her on Instagram. Cynthia stayed behind during the session to make sure Heidi looked fresh and her hair looked lovely, and it was so much easier for me to focus on her posing and the ambiance of the image.
But I have to be honest, this session was extremely hard for me. It had nothing to do with beautiful Heidi, or wonderful Cynthia. It was hard for me because a friend, a colleague, an inspiration to me in my work, Jamie Anderson of JME Portraits out in Houston Texas died suddenly of a brain aneurysm that day and I found out about her death in the middle of my session.
It devastated me because this woman was such an inspiration, heck there have been buzzfeed articles featuring her work, Popsugar did an article on her and even George Takei shared her images on his page. But above all else she was the same age as me, a mama to 5 young little ones, and a personal friend of mine. She was always so supportive of me, and even though she was busy as heck she always tried to make time to chat with me once in a while. So her death was absolutely devastating, and here was poor Heidi, glowing with the new life that is growing inside of her, and me with my sad sad news.
I took it as a sign that I found out about her death while capturing a moment that only validates the constancy of new life. A sign that through me and anyone who has been inspired by Jamie, we can keep shinning her light as well as our light into the lives of our clients through the images we give them.
Our images end up on your walls, and you walk by them day by day and it brings a smile to your face. That is an incredible gift. And I work every day to get better and better at what I do so that I can keep giving this incredible gift.
So instead of letting her death distract and depress me, I used the inspiration she gave me, and I said to Heidi, "I will give you images of your pregnancy that would make Jamie proud."
And I did.