sweet *dyl* pickle.
one-year-old dylan has a scar that symbolizes strength & love, amidst struggle.
just one day after his birth, newborn dylan was diagnosed with congenital heart defect. unable to breathe on his own, he was placed on a ventilator, transferred to another hospital, and underwent angioplasty for his pulmonary valve. for the next three months dylan’s health steadily declined as he faced serious issues, ultimately leading up to open heart surgery. just days following the surgery on his pulmonary artery dylan was doing something he had never done before — smiling. since then, dylan has grown into a happy, healthy, and strong little boy who just celebrated his first birthday — everything his family could ever want for him!
i was honored to be chosen by dylan’s family for a portrait session in collaboration with inspiration through art (formerly the littlest heroes project) — and i absolutely loved meeting all of them! dylan has two amazingly wonderful parents (who are *so* in love and *so* great!) as well as an older sister and brother who simply adore him. dylan was simply delightful — all too happy to oblige for the photo session as long as we let him rub his little feet in the grass! he was super inquisitive and perfectly adorable and i feel very lucky to know him and his story. dylan will need at least one more open heart surgery to replace the deformed pulmonary valve, but hopefully that is many years away! in the meantime, i know this family will be living and loving to the fullest, never taking anything for granted.
the littlest heroes project!
a few weeks ago, i had the opportunity to document another session for the littlest heroes project – an outstanding organization that matches photographers with families of children who suffer from a serious illness or life altering disability. you can read more about their mission and the families on their website :: www.littlestheroesproject.org :: the program became so popular this year that they were fielding thousands of requests a week, and as a result stopped accepting applications earlier this fall. they are currently working through their growing pains, and will resume in february 2010.
bella’s mom had contacted me this spring about setting up a session, however between our hectic schedules and my crazy travel plans, we were just able to get together this fall. i was very excited to meet them after the last few months of emails, and decided to honor their session regardless of the organization’s hiatus. and i’m so glad i did! bella is an amazing + energetic 2-year-old little girl with a fantastic, loving family. i feel so lucky to have spent the morning watching them have fun together!
bella’s inquisitive nature + sassy little personality made her a joy to photograph – and i especially loved watching her squeal with delight and laugh with her brother + parents! her down syndrome poses certain challenges, but from what i saw, doesn’t limit her ability to enjoy every moment and have fun with her family. she’s as sweet as can be and super smart and she totally brightened my day!
a little hero + his family!
last weekend i had the opportunity to document another session for the littlest heroes project! i’m honored to be a part of this amazing organization and was so excited to meet troy + his family! i spent the morning at their home watching troy + his big sister mya playing all their favorite games – mr potatoe head, bubbles, swinging, reading books, and more!
troy is a happy, loving little 2 year old boy who was recently diagnosed with autism. his family is working to learn everything they can about this terrible disease and are making sure that troy gets all the attention he needs to grow, learn and thrive. he is very lucky to have such amazing parents who love him so much, and a big sister who loves helping take care of him :)
my favorite photo is the one of troy laughing with his dad – his parents know exactly what makes him the happiest and his smile is so gorgeous. i’m very thankful to have met this amazing little boy and his inspiring family – enjoy!
itsy bitsy spider :)
from the littlest heroes project website.
i was thrilled and honored to learn that the littlest heroes project chose to highlight mateo’s photo session and his story on their features page! it was amazing to meet mateo and his family and i am so humbled by their amazingly kind words. this is such a fantastic organization and i am so proud to be part of the littlest heroes project!
i was so excited to meet mateo + his family last weekend for my very first littlest heroes project session! the session was exactly the same as any of my lifestyle sessions – i spent the morning playing with mateo, letting him show me his favorite toys, his star wars bedroom, his awesome swing set, and of course, his amazing spiderman moves! talk about a superhero! although mateo is struggling with developmental disabilities, his shining personality, capacity for laughter + love, and ability to make everyone around him smile are far advanced! he is a very sweet 4 years old who loves to color, loves trucks, has a wild and active imagination, and is very loved by his incredible parents.
mateo was officially the first person to use the new MKII!
mateo’s self portrait!
mateo showing off his spiderman moves!
teaming up with a very worthy cause.
i’m very excited to announce that i have just been accepted as one of the photographers for the littlest heroes project! i am proud to join forces with an amazing team of photographers who donate their time + talents to this worthy organization. the littlest heroes project is a non-profit organization that matches photographers with families of children suffering from serious illnesses and/or life altering disabilities. through complimentary photo sessions, the project aims to capture the happiness + love of the children and their families – showing the children that they are true heroes to so many people! the project honors their bravery and their struggle by sharing their inspirational stories + photos with the world.
a huge thanks to natalie franke (an amazing young woman and very passionate photographer!) for sharing this organization with me and inspiring me to join!