A while ago, I blogged a very special session about these sweet friends (Mary & Nick) and their journey towards adoption...
In that post, I mentioned that they're raising funds to help offset the expense of bringing Baby Brezinski home. If you've never looked into adoptions and don't know much about them - they can be extremely expensive, often ranging from $25,000-$35,000 for children in the US. Yep, if you're thinking that's a lot of money, then we're on the same page!
So many AMAZING people have already begun donating to help Mary & Nick on their journey toward adoption. The outpouring has been tremendous! In order to help them get the rest of the funding they need, Mary & Nick have a few super-fun fundraisers in the works. These fundraisers will range from a cool golf tourney (that my husband will be stoked about) to some pretty amazing sets of custom cornhole boards for sale! One of their other major pushes will be a raffle...that's where I come in!
To help with their fundraising, I will be donating THREE FULL portrait sessions for some "very lucky" ;) folks to win!
That's right - 3!!
Two of these sessions will be prizes for the raffle they're starting RIGHT NOW!
These portrait sessions can be used for family photos, couples, maternity, kids, etc. They're worth a minimum of $200 each and the best part about it is that EVERY CENT (yes, every cent!!) will go straight to Mary & Nick's adoption fund. That means whatever they make off the raffle goes straight toward bringing Baby B home <3 <3
Portrait sessions will include: phone or email consultation, our time together shooting your beautiful self/selves (1-2 hours), 40-50 edited images in an online gallery that you can share with your friends & family (I tend to get picture happy, hence the astronomical amount of photos), a copyright free customized CD of the high-res images from your gallery as well as web sized files you can use for social media, etc. And, because you've so generously given your money to help with this adoption, I'll throw in a customized FB timeline cover as well :)
Donations start at $5. That means for every $5 you donate, you're entered to win over $200 worth of photography services!! If you donate $50 that's 10 chances! And don't forget, these photography services are from an extremely talented photographer... ::wink wink:: Just kidding. Really though, it's a great deal, a great way to help, and a great way to spend your money!
Head on over to Mary & Nick's blog to get those tickets. Can't wait to meet the winners!!
I am so, so excited to finally post these newborn pictures of baby Titus! Before I go any further, I MUST shout a huge "Thank You" to little Titus' parents, Chris & Anna, who have been beyond patient and gracious as they've waited for me to finish these. You see, I took these photos at the very beginning of March. Right after I took them (the day after to be exact), I found out that I'd be having major surgery that would put me out of commission for a minimum of 6 weeks. Me being the naive/stubborn person that I am thought for sure that I'd be able to edit during that time. While I knew the turn around would be longer than normal, I thought for sure I'd have them back to Chris & Anna after I'd been home a week or so. Well...not so. In the midst of those long weeks of recovery, I battled a lot of fatigue. Chris & Anna were so understanding. They patiently waited for me to make a full recovery and I cannot thank them enough for being so willing to let me simply rest & heal. Truly, I get to photograph some of the kindest people. With that being said...let me introduce you to Chris, Anna, and Titus Garduce:
Besides being adorable on the outside...these folks are pretty amazing on the inside as well.
We decided to do their photos at the historic home where they're living right now. In between clouds and a bit of grey, we were able to catch a few glimpses of sun for a few quick shots outside.
This is one of my favorites from the day:
It really was a bit chilly, so we decided to head back inside. The house had some really amazing light coming in through the windows and doors. We tried to take advantage of as much of it as we could. Here are a few shots from little Titus' nursery. The only word I can use to describe it - precious.
This child made some pretty adorable faces. Moments like that remind me of why I love doing this!
Daddy had to go to work, so we snagged what we could with him before he left.
Now, before we get to this next set, let me warn you: Chris works at Crossfit. No more explanation needed.
And all of the sudden.....BAM!!
"Why yes, Titus. You're father is a very ripped man." I just had to say it!
We snagged a few more with Dad...
...and then it was all Mommy & Titus time after that.
A few more of my favorites:
They were all so good that I had a hard time deciding. In fact...I just edited lots & lots of them.
We finally moved on to some shots of little Titus all by himself. I can honestly say...he was a dream. By far the easiest newborn I've ever photographed!
I loved this set up with the suitcases:
Melts my heart!! Then we took a few more partially sleepy shots. There's just something about naked baby bums. They're just so sweet!!
A very special thank you goes out to my friend Pam and Cinnamon the dog for keeping us company all day. What great pals you are :)
Chris & Anna, you guys are such a blessing to me & I'm so thankful that someone recommended we get together last fall. Every time I see you two, I leave feeling encouraged. I truly believe the Lord has gifted you both with that amazing ability. Grateful for you & for your graciousness with me through all of this!
I am just not sure that I have adequate words to describe how very excited I am to share this session. I think I feel this way for several reasons:
1. Mary & I have known each other since we were little girls...like literally the second grade I think...so I'm truly photographing a milestone in an old friend's life.
2. Mary and Nick's story is one that simply inspires me. I am so very proud of what the Lord has done in their lives and feel so blessed to get to watch as He works to continue their story.
3. What they are embarking on is something that is so very dear to my heart. My family has seen the effects of this true ministry and I pray that we continue to live out it's example alongside people like Mary & Nick.
Let me give you a little understanding into what I'm talking about. You see, some of us live with the dreaded diagnosis of "infertility." It's something that we never dream of as little girls. We plan our whole lives to mother babies and when we get older and the babies don't come, sometimes it feels like our longest living dreams fall to the ground and shatter. For those of us who have been dealt this blow, it can be pretty hard to overcome. But let me tell you how good our God is...in the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, God himself demonstrates a beautiful practice called adoption. Adoption according to his example is the taking in of one who did not previously belong to you, bringing them into your family, and giving them the full rights and treatment that you would give one of your own...it's literally making them one of your own children. God does this to us when we confess our separation from him (because of sin) and our trust in his own son, Jesus. And he gives us the ability to do the same. My father is a product of the beauty and love found in adoption...and very soon, another baby in need will be brought into a family who wants, no, longs to make it one of their own! This is the journey of Mary & Nick!
When Mary first told me of their plans to adopt, I almost jumped out of my seat with excitement!! And because the adoption process tends to be so extremely expensive, they were already planning ways in which to help raise the funds. Of course I hopped right on board with donating a few sessions, but I also told them that I wanted to do photos for their blog. Thankfully, she must like my work b/c she let me do them ;) May I introduce to you my pals, Mary & Nick:
We chose to take their pictures on a FREEZING COLD day in March...and truthfully...it really was FREEZING! They were great sports..she even took off her warm leather jacket & braved the cold.
We took their photos near my office in Wake Forest. Wake Forest has the prettiest little nooks & crannies!
We found an adorable garden...
...this amazing brick wall...
...and of course the walkway down the row of historic houses made for beautiful framing...
These two were just a dream...I mean, look at them!
I think that I really love this next set...not just because the chapel is in the background, but for the truth that the pictures represent. I cannot think of two people who will try harder than these two to instill truth and God's love in the hearts of their children. I am so grateful for that.
We migrated to the train tracks for a few minutes:
And then we shot the cover for their next CD...just kidding :)
A few individuals for their adoption book:
And then my favorites...photos showing the spot they're waiting to fill with just the right baby in need of love!
I could not be more proud to call these two my friends. And I could not be more proud and confident of the loving home they'll offer a little one. With Mother's Day, just this past Sunday, I couldn't think of a better way to honor my friend who has a true mother's heart!
If you'd like to keep up with Mary & Nick's journey click here. If you'd like to bid on a photo session with me as a way to help Mary & Nick, keep checking their blog. There will be three sessions offered on silent auction soon!
To Mary & Nick - May the Lord truly give you the desires of your hearts!!
When this sweet family contacted me about shooting their fall portraits, I was really excited! You see, I often shoot people that I have met before...but I'd never met Meghan & Eric. We had a few mutual acquaintances, but we were virtually strangers. Through email, phone calls & texts, I could quickly see that Meghan was going to be one of those girls who would become a pal! She is always, always full of encouraging words & excitement. In fact, I really love the fact that she seems to see even the simplest things as wonderful blessings from God. It's a contagious love for life & for her family that really made an impression on me. I am so glad they ask me to do their portraits!!
Meet Eric, Meghan, Savannah, & Somerlynn:
Now, I will have to say...it took a little bit for these two little girlies to warm up to me...but once they did, we were on a roll!
Eric & Meghan:
(Does anyone else thing that Savannah looks like her daddy??)
One of the best things about fall pictures: leaves! Beautiful Laurel Mill
Of course we had to get a few of Dad with the girls...
...and then Mom with the girls...
I just love, love, love this picture :)
A few of Savannah ~
I love that her eyes almost disappear when she smiles!
A few of Somerlynn ~
Cute as a button!
Sisters Together ~
It was about this point in time that the girls really started wanting to climb on the rocks, so with camera in hand...we scurried our way up the hillside. That's when it happened...the tree hugging, I mean. I think it started with Savannah giving a skinny little tree a hug. I tried to take a picture of it so I told her to hug the tree again. Then Somerlynn wanted to hug a tree...then Savannah wanted to hug another tree. Within a few moments, we were all hugging trees. I'm pretty sure that people driving by thought we were straight out of the loony bin. I say, "Hey...this is what we do to get cute pictures!!"
So to my sweet, tree-huggin' friends - I'm so glad we got to do these portraits and that I got to meet your family. I cannot wait until we get to do our 2013 sessions. You guys are a true joy. And to my new pal, Meghan - I love your attitude, girl! I benefit from it every time we talk :)
I would like to thank Facebook for these session! Let me explain:
It started out with some general comments from these momma's on my wall. Both were interested in having family pictures done, so we started talking over the basics of getting them scheduled. One offered her farm as a location that they could both use, so I decided to message them together. From that initial message, came over two months of back & forth conversations between us all. There were conversations that included all three of us, convos that were just between Sarah & Cathy, a few between me & Cathy or me & Sarah...it ran the gambit. I must say, I rather enjoyed it though...it was like having our own little communication world, lol! I was a little sad to see it end!!
We ended up coming up with the game plan to shoot both families on the same day, in the same location. We came up with a list of props (baskets & quilts & chairs, etc) and divided them between the families and then off we went. Chad & Sarah helped with parts of Jesse & Cathy's session...and Cathy helped with parts of Chad & Sarah's session. It was quite the adventure...kind of like one big happy family sharing the day together. I had so much fun with these guys!! The kids were just picture perfect & both families were easy to work with. Here's what our afternoon looked like:
Meet Jesse, Cathy, little Charity, & big brother Jess.
(I cannot lie...I had so much fun going through these images when I was done. Little Jess had the cutest smile...his mouth was open all the time!)
He even tried to beat up his dad...he's just not quite big enough yet ;)
And then there's Miss Charity (and Dad):
Can you get much cuter?
Mom & Dad:
Really, they're the sweetest family!
Then we took a few of Miss Charity by herself because her first birthday was coming up. Cathy had the cutest tutu EVER for her...add some balloons & a few props...we had ourselves a sweet little birthday set up!
The b/w because I thought it was pretty:
The Birthday Girl!!
The next part of the day was all about the Smiths!
Introducing Chad, Sarah, Shayna, & Cody
Now, I know I said that Jess had the cutest smile...and it might be a close tie with both Charity & Cody, but Shayna most def. had the funniest faces. She was Miss Personality...which makes my job all the more fun!!
Seriously...can you get much better than that? Keep on scrolling ;)
Wait for it, wait for it...
Boom. Oh yes she did!! I was rolling over this cheerleader pose! She clearly gets her personality from her father, haha!! (Just kidding...I've known Chad since I was 8 & I have never seen him do a cheerleader pose)
Seriously...I am so lucky!
A few of Mom & Dad together that I thought were absolutely gorgeous!
(Told you she made the best faces ever!!)
What a cutie pie...
And a few more of the family together...
When we started planning this day, I had no idea how it would actually work out. I gotta say...it was one of the most fun sessions of my year! To the Burnettes & the Smiths, you guys are wonderful. What a treasure your families are! So grateful you let me photograph you. You blessed my heart!