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:
There is something about the 2nd photo in the sitting-on-a-log sequence. It sort-of made my eyes sting. Don’t know why, but i love it when photos move me, unawares. Lovely session, Athena. Thanks sharing their story.
Thank you so much, Anna. It was such a beautiful session – and a beautiful story. I’m lucky to have been chosen to capture it. xo
Beautiful pictures of a beautiful couple. Thank you and them for sharing.
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading their story, Merrilees. And for your kind words. xo
Athena, I have no words to describe how special these photographs are for Mitch and I (and Baby Michaelson). You captured everything so perfectly. Thank you for everything!
Oh darling, brooke. Thank YOU for trusting me with this part of your story. It was such an honor and joy to photograph you and Mitch together and I cannot wait to meet your sweet baby. xoxo
I recently worked with Brooke on her rebrand … It was one of the “easiest” I’ve ever done. I say that with confidence, because her heart just poured throughout the project. I was immediately drawn towards her kind spirit. You’ve captured it so beautifully here!! I am so happy for them & their family. Beautiful work, Athena!
Thank you so much Ravyn! I agree completely with everything you said, Brooke is such a gem. xo
MaryBeth | The Thrive Blog
Beautifully titled, worded & captured. Best wishes for the mama & papa to be!
Thank you so much MaryBeth!
Thanks, momma! I can’t wait to meet your sweet babe, too. SOO SOON!! (And actually, you and Brooke are due on the same day! Exciting!!)
Beauuuutiful shoot, Athena. I loved meeting you at the CWC meet-up when you spoke :) You held my little baby girl, Ruby. SO precious! This made me teary-eyed as I thought about how we struggled to have our daughter. It’s soo beautiful to see this darling mama and the joy in her eyes. Priceless!!
Oh Ria, thank you. THANK YOU! For visiting the website and for your words. Your sweet girl is darling and I’m so thankful to know her – and her momma. So much love to you! xo
the location is perfect and this is exactly how a maternity session should be captured. so lovely.
Gorgeous Athena <3 Can't imagine the joy and excitement their hearts are bursting with.