Before Surgery: A Valentine Session

This sweet girl is set to have surgery (and have a whole new smile) soon, so her parents wanted to capture her in this stage. I know from experience that those photos before surgery are so important, as our daughter Ellie has some fairly significant scars missing from her baby photos!

We met in-home on this chilly day and laughed a lot at sibling antics, cheerful babies, and children who just love fluffy heart pillows.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Month: CHD Warrior

Ellie is my almost-eight year old daughter. She was born with a congenital heart defect, which required heart surgery when she was just a baby.

Her heart defect was detected prenatally. She had a fetal echo due to her Down syndrome diagnosis. For children who do not have a reason to have a fetal echo, a simple pulse ox reading can help doctors discover heart defects early.

My big girl and I made this photos at Union Market in 25 degree weather to celebrate her happy heart.

Snow Days: A College Senior Session

I first photographed Houghton College early graduate Katy when she was a high school senior. She’s been a family friend since she was in middle school, when she first babysat for our oldest child when Ellie was just a baby. Since then, my family has gotten to know her family. My kids adore her dog to the point we got ours from the same breeder. My kids think her parents are the coolest. And they idolize Katy and her sister.

Since Katy just completed her senior year (a semester early, but she’ll walk in May) and she lives walking distance from my house, we had the fun idea to take snowy senior photos. This idea was a total pipe dream, as the last two winters have featured very little by way of snow.

Until Sunday.

So yesterday morning, Katy, her labradoodle, and dad hiked over to my neighborhood for photos and then we had brunch, because that’s what you do on a snow day!

Oh, and Katy is currently picking a grad school for physical therapy. As the parent of a child with Down syndrome who has attended PT her whole life, I am so excited for the kids who will work with Katy in the future!

My youngest child served as my photo assistant.