I have no idea what any of you might have imagined when I mentioned the "secret" project.
My time shooting, editing and then delivering the finished product has passed, and as I had hoped, I was given full permission to share.
I won't be sharing all the photo sessions, because that would be a gargantuan task, AND I've decided to not tell the full story, even though I think it's beautiful. It's not my tale to tell.
Here's what I feel confident in sharing:
I knew Lindsey through mutual friends, but didn't really know her. I received a text asking to meet her at Starbucks to discuss a photo project she had in mind. I was a little surprised but excited. I assumed it had something to do with a family shoot ... I wasn't too far off.
This next part might be a bit vague - I met Lindsey there a few days later, she sat there with her big smile as usual. I did remember her always seeming fun.
She took a breath, and started telling me her story and then the idea. To help catch you up, she was pregnant and the situation surrounding it was, well, complicated. Something that should be positive and exciting was accompanied by sadness.
Tears made an appearance, but hope for the future never seemed beyond the scope of the conversation. I immediately accepted the task of capturing the last four months of her pregnancy and in turn helping make this huge, life-changing thing the happy event it should be.
(It occured to me that one or two of you might think this pregnancy came out of an affair. This is 100% not the case. Again, this isn't my story, so those details will be left out)
I just knew I wanted to help her, and I was beyond honored being asked to take part in Lindsey's life in a very intimate way. For me, I felt like I had lost a lot of enthusiasm for photography. I didn't look forward to shoots in the way I did before, and I knew it showed up in the work. I was embarrassed by many of the sessions I had done in the late fall, so I had taken a self-induced break. However, speaking with Lindsey ignited a new-found excitement about capturing LIFE. The photojournalistic aspects really appealed to me, the notion that this is your life right. now.
Are your eyes bleeding? I tried to make this project back story as concise as possible. I met with Lindsey, her family, friends and Casey around 10 times from session #1 to labor & delivery. Here are a few moments I captured.
I learned a great deal about how family and friends come together when someone needs love. Plus, there was a lot of excitement about the baby. It's a life-affirming, heart- filling full type of experience. It worries me that I cannot adequately describe this experience in a way that I find satisfactory, but hey I'm trying.
Lindsey is a very lucky lady, because her family was absolutely wonderful and very accommodating to me! They always insisted I ate when there was food around and were overall extremely kind to the girl with a camera attached to her face. Crazy enough, Lindsey had a lot of friends who were also pregnant, including the friend I spent the most time with, Lauren (she's the lovely lady who brought her beautiful daughter along for the photos at the froyo place). I thought it was neat that Lindsey and Lauren were able to experience pregnancy together. I can imagine you need someone to talk to about all the wacky things that happen ... And yes, I learned so much about pregnancy. I thought I already knew a great deal. Yep, I was wrong!
I must take a moment to mention Casey. He and Lindsey are the two folks who brought Rainbow into the world (Rainbow is the nickname they gave the baby before they knew the sex, and it really stuck. Everyone called the baby Rainbow, and that symbol of hope became the theme of the whole pregnancy really). I didn't know what to expect from Casey, but I can genuinely say he is one of the best humans I have ever met. He is never without a smile, hug, joke, and it's absolutely impossible to not want to be his friend. I am so impressed by him and the friendship between Casey and Lindsey. I know, without any fear of doubt creeping in, that he is going to be a wonderful father AND Lindsey a wonderful mother. Can you two be my parents? haha
It's embarrassing how long I could go on about my time with Lindsey. She's taught me so much, I don't know if she realizes it. I'm very happy to just know her, let alone be privy to such a beautiful change.
The next time I plan on sharing a few moments from the labor & delivery, and hopefully I will contain any need to wax poetically. I've met that quota with this post, I believe.
I hope you all have a wonderful week. I plan on attempting one. Happy Monday, everyone!