I had the honor of being in my hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia — the place where most of my immediate family lives now — while my sister, Ashley, gave birth to her fourth child, her second daughter. I went to bed last Wednesday night with a text from Ashley’s husband, David, saying that Ashley was officially in labor and I woke up the next morning at 8am with a text saying that Heidi Annajoy was born at 7:45am. I think I might have squealed out loud when I read it! It had been a long time coming. Ashley was a week overdue and couldn’t have been more ready to meet this beautiful baby. I was so happy for her in that moment because I realized that she finally had baby Heidi in her arms.
A few hours later, it was time to go meet my new niece. For all of my other nieces and nephews, I had to wait a few weeks/months to meet them because of the distance and work, etc.. This time around, I got to meet my new niece when she was just 7 hours old. It was amazing.
I arrived at David and Ashley’s house right as my sister and mom and dad were pulling up. A few minutes later, David’s parents arrived too. We all crammed into David and Ashley’s bedroom, all 8 of us, without much space to move around, but no one really cared. That wasn’t what mattered. All we wanted was to see sweet Heidi. I got to meet my new niece, then I got to witness her other aunt and her grandparents seeing, meeting, and holding her for the first time. It was beautiful. I don’t think that I have ever witnessed something like that before. The realness of those moments was something that I love and hope to experience with every single photoshoot and wedding that I do. The emotions, tears, smiles, laughs, sighs…. they were all real. Nothing was staged or posed. For the most part, I didn’t even try to move people around for different angles or lighting. I just wanted to capture the moments as they were happening without any distractions.
Although I don’t market myself as a family or lifestyle photographer, experiences like this make me crave more. I am truly in love with these photos not because the lighting was perfect, because it wasn’t, and not because there was room to get all of the most ideal angles, because there wasn’t. I am in love with these photos because they are real life moments and emotions and I got to capture them right as they were happening in the location and with the lighting that they were happening in. I kind of liked being crammed in there with everyone. I was right in the middle of everything and I like it like that.
I am so excited for you to meet Heidi Annajoy as you look at the photos of us meeting her. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to capture these precious moments.
Heidi’s big sister and big brother were smitten with their little sister
David’s mom, Heidi’s Nana, holding her for the first time
David’s dad holding her for the first time….
My dad’s reaction was amazing….
My mom and Heidi
My turn!! :)
My sister, Lauren, Heidi’s other Aunt…
4 year old Ezra, Heidi’s older brother, was so amazed by this little girl. He kept gently touching her little head. It was precious…
My beautiful sister, Ashley. It is still so hard to believe that she had given birth just 7 hours earlier. She looks AMAZING!