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.