Four months ago an email popped up in my inbox from my long-time internet friend and fellow photographer Brooke. In it, she told me about her battle with PCOS, and her years long struggle to conceive. Her heartbreak. Her persistent optimism that was always, without fail, followed by a negative pregnancy test and an empty, hollow yearning. Tears poured from her body, aching and relentless, as infertility took her to the edge of a deep depression. Until finally, on the eve of her + her husband Mitch’s foray into the often unpredictable and trying realm of fertility treatments, she took one last test – it was positive. Tears of sadness quickly turned to ones of immense joy and shock and disbelief and gratitude and holy-shit-this-is-real-and-it’s-finally-our-time-and-OH-MY-GOD!!! At the tail end of her email Brooke asked if I was available to document this chapter in her and Mitch’s story. If I would be willing to make images of them on the precipice of parenthood. So last week, on a un-characteristically warm March day, Brooke, Mitch, and I ventured into the woods to revel in the beauty of Brooke’s growing belly and to celebrate and commemorate the life growing inside her. We laughed. We cried. We made memories of battles fought and won, of love unending, of joy and loss and hope and yearning.
Here are a few of my favorites from our evening together:
It’s that time of year again — time for me to reflect on all that’s happened over the past twelve months. I’ve been dreading this post, actually. Which probably seems odd. But it means that this year is over. That it’s gone, folded into the pages of memory, and I’m not quite ready to let it go just yet. It was incredibly perfect. Everything I’ve been dreaming of since I launched this humble endeavor, and decided, once and for all to chase headlong into the chasm of dreaming-so-big-it’s-scary. This year has been – has meant – everything.
But much to my chagrin, and despite my resistance, the year is coming to a close. So it’s time to savor each and every moment I was able to spend with all of you. A walk down the aisle. A new baby. Friendship. Family. Joy. Your stories are my why, and every single time you step in front of my camera, with your heart full of trust and your eyes wide, I am thankful. I am humbled. I am amazed and awed and filled with overused adjectives that spill forth in a effort to express how I am so incessantly and constantly overwhelmed by how wonderful it is that I get to do this every day. That I get to stand alongside you as you etch your names onto the pages of your stories, your laugh lines and tears punctuating each paragraph, my photographs stuck in chapters, creased, but not worn. Steady. Timeless.
Thank you. Forever and always and more than these tiny words on a screen will ever be able to express. For your trust, and love, and kindness, and friendship. Most of all, thank you for extending the invitation to witness your stories unfold, and allowing me the opportunity to capture them – to document the beauty and imperfection and laughter and minutia – as authentically and honestly and beautifully as I can.
Meredith and Kevin were married in their backyard last September, on a rainy and perfect Saint Paul day. I was blessed to share their day with them, and have been doubly blessed by their continued friendship. When Meredith emailed to announce her pregnancy, and her and Kevin’s desire to have me document the first few days in Linus’ life, I was overjoyed. I can’t think of anything better than watching my couples grow from engaged, to married, and onward as they start a family. So on a snowy November afternoon, I spent a few hours with this new family of three in their home, as they meandered the lazy and busy and hectic and perfect and calm days of early parenthood. Here are a few of my favorites: