boise family photographer // the washington family

This interconnectedness - sometimes it’s messy and feels like elbows and knobby knees and endlessly meeting others’ needs first and a desperate longing for an hour of quiet. But even then, it is beautiful in the most profound sense. This instinct to create love and multiply through it - the way we are filled by pouring ourselves out to empty - the way we are stronger when we’re knit so closely together… well hey, if that’s not the epitome of beauty, I don’t even know what is.

images are a mix of digital and film (Portra 400, dev + scan by TheFINDLab)

meridian idaho family photographer // the woolley family

This post comes with a story, one that will possibly leave you in awe when you see the first photo and also know what’s behind it.

This is Kate and her family. Kate is a loss mama - she miscarried her first baby, and her second (the darling and feisty redhead in these photos) almost didn’t make it earthside either. After many, many days in the hospital during her pregnancy, many moments when it looked as though she wouldn’t be able to carry her baby enough weeks that he’d survive, and then an early birth and a long stint in the NICU, Kate decided to use her experiences for good and created The Noble Paperie. It’s through her company that she has not simply created beautiful cards for mothers and families who are experiencing loss or trauma around pregnancy and birth, but she’s also created a library full of resources and a community of support for hurting parents, including interviews with women who have experienced loss.

So because I knew all of this, and had photographed both Kate’s family and her product line before, you can imagine how excited I was for them when I showed up for this session and she was showing off her second healthy baby bump. But it got better.

A child born after loss is commonly referred to as a rainbow baby - a symbol of hope after a terrible storm. And when I got the film scans back from this session, I was shocked by the image of a rainbow shining like a bright banner over this family. Yes, it’s lens flare (when light shines directly at the lens), not magic - but I have never in my life seen lens flare that looked like this, and I never, ever could have planned it or known that the images would come back looking like this. From my view, I hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary at all.

Seeing this image in my inbox was an overwhelmingly exciting moment, as I knew that Kate would feel its meaning even much more deeply than I did. It’s one of my favorite images I’ve ever taken, simply for the fact that it means so, so much.

If you are struggling after a loss, my prayer for you is that you would find the support you need, and that hope would break through in the midst of the pain. You are not alone.

And if you know someone who has experienced a loss or is struggling to conceive, check out Kate’s line of cards for the perfect message to encourage a loved one in a difficult time.

 
 

meridian family photographer // the costa family

A message that’s been on my mind lately is this: You are enough. You are enough. You are enough.

And it might feel strange, but I honestly want you to speak that aloud to yourself, using your own name: as in, “Hannah is enough.” I have been listening to Brooke Schultz’s Heartful podcast lately and her episode on creative meditation gets into the power of speaking to yourself in third person as a method of encouragement and confidence building. It’s not her own claim - it’s backed by studies that show its power.

And yeah, it feels really weird. But it also feels really good. And I hope you can try it - just take a few moments and tell yourself, in the third person, that you’re enough. Or that you’re creative, or talented, or intelligent, or whatever it is that might be nagging at you as lacking, or all of those things.

Pride, in the form of arrogance, selfishness, putting yourself above others, or tearing others down, will never get any of us anywhere.

But actually building yourself up and believing good things about yourself allows you freedom to take risks and create and succeed, and in turn help others do the same.

This feels like possibly the most random post I’ve ever written, but it felt right today. Now go take a few minutes and try this (ever single day), and also go listen to Brooke’s podcasts - I can guarantee both are worth your time! ;)

Photos are a mix of film and digital.