Meet Miss Emily “Emmy” Jane. Sweet Emmy has a genetic condition called Trisomy 18 (similar to Avonlea’s condition of Trisomy 13. Both Avie and Emmy have an extra chromosome; Avie has an extra 13th while Emmy has an extra 18th. Trisomy 21, where a child has an extra 21st chromosome, is also known as Down Syndrome, just to give you some genetics context). We met Jason and Kristen when they were referred to us back in June by Be Not Afraid, a support organization that served us tremendously after we received Avonlea’s prenatal T13 diagnosis, and has now been serving Jason and Kristen ever since they received Emmy’s prenatal diagnosis. We took maternity photos for this family back in June, and were honored when we received a text after Emm’y birth, asking if we would come to the hospital and photograph her hospital baptism.
Jason and Kristen discovered after Emmy’s birth that her heart condition is more complicated than the ultrasounds had originally predicted. Emmy has a malformation of the heart, referred to as a PDA (<- click to read more about this condition from the America Heart Association). When this PDA closes in time, Emmy will die. Jason and Kristen were told what to expect when the PDA begins to close, and doctors anticipated this would happen shortly after birth. Well, Emmy was born July 26th, and here we are: she is 3 months old, is growing and gaining weight, and has proven that she is a fighter! Knowing how strong she is, Jason and Kristen are fervently searching for a pediatric heart surgeon who will operate on Emmy’s heart, to repair the PDA in a way that will prolong her life! They have been turned away by many surgeons already, simply because of Emmy’s Trisomy. Unfortunately, as Brian and I have come to know all too well on a personal level with Avonlea, there is very little research being done on Trisomy children. There is not enough recent or accurate data out there showing how many kids like ours are living long, full lives into their teens and twenties with the right medical interventions and family support. Many doctors are still using data from the 60’s and 70’s to guide their medical recommendations for children born today, which is heart-breaking!
Jason and Kristen feel the clock ticking to find a surgeon who will see past Emmy’s Trisomy diagnosis, look at her specific case, see how strong she is to have made it this far, and agree to perform the surgery! A child born with a PDA but without a Trisomy diagnosis would be eligible for this surgery, and Emmy deserves the same chance at a life with her mommy and daddy, who love her so fiercely. Please share this blog-post on social media if you’re able, to raise awareness for sweet Emmy’s predicament, and join us and her parents in an effort to save her sweet life.
When we were brainstorming a name for our photography business almost 7 years ago now, we chose Project:Life because it truly encompassed what we wanted this business to be. We knew even then that we didn’t want to limit ourselves by naming our business something that would not fit if we ever decided to transition from focusing solely on weddings. And when we really started this business, weddings were definitely our only passion. We have always done other things: families, commercial work etc…, but our bread and butter was mainly weddings. As a young-married couple ourselves, we identified well with weddings as our niche.
Until we had kids, I honestly doubted that we would ever be vehemently passionate about other types of photography. But the moment our first daughter was placed in my arms, a clock (that I didn’t even know existed) began to tick backwards. Now that we have a family of our own, Brian and I now realize how incredibly fleeting and precious time truly is. Every day is a new gift, because the moments of the day-to-day fly by too fast for us to truly grasp. They are gone faster than we can soak them in. And this realization has brought about a passion for family and lifestyle photography that we really want to take to the next level with Project:Life Photo!
We are currently designing family and lifestyle photography sessions and packages, and we’re excited to announce more details towards the end of the summer! We can’t wait to capture more moments like these, that we were blessed enough to have been able to capture for the wonderful Graham family! Jonathan and Brittney’s wedding was one of our absolute favorites of 2014, and reconnecting with them and their sweet addition (Theo) for this session was such a pleasure. Their home was lovely, and their love for one another as a family of three was so genuine… which made for some gorgeous images!
Enjoy a few of our favorites from our lifestyle session with the Graham Family!
Oh what a blessing it is to have the privilege of documenting all kinds of precious milestones in a couple’s life. I recall my very first meeting with Chris and Kelsey, at a Starbucks in the University area of Charlotte! Chris had driven all the way from work in Greensboro to meet Kelsey and I for coffee to discuss the possibility of me and Brian capturing their wedding day. Needless to say, we did (and you can view their engagements, bridal portraits and wedding images all on our blog). And we were blushing with expectancy of our first baby Avonlea as we shot their wedding!
And now here we are, just over two years later, capturing the next major milestone in Chris and Kelsey’s journey together! Their first child, sweet Baby Aubrey Denise. She is the spitting image of her Daddy, and shares her father’s adoration of her mother.
When Kelsey contacted me soon after Aubrey’s birth, it was actually to ask if I knew of any newborn photographers in the Greensboro, NC area! When I mentioned that we offer lifestyle newborn/ family sessions, she quickly responded asking to set a date! As we wrapped up their session, Chris gave us an incredible compliment: he said that as soon as Kelsey had informed him that we offered a newborn session and could capture their sweet new family of three, his response was, “Let’s do it! We already know the photos will be great.”
What an honor it was to be invited into their home… into the sweet, precious little moments of snuggles, coos, face-making and hand-holding. And what an honor it was to see their walls covered end to end with our previous work! Frames of every size held engagement, bridal and wedding photos on every wall, and it was such a sweet reminder of how much we love what we do!
Enjoy some of our favorites from Chris and Kelsey’s lifestyle newborn session with their precious Aubrey. There is nothing quite like the newness of parenthood, and getting to know the soul that brought it about in your life.