One of the great things about being a photographer is the people that you meet. I certainly am blessed to have some pretty incredible people come into my lives. Lauren has brought her ridiculously cute twins to me for photo sessions. You may remember Will and Natalie from their two year session. Lauren messaged me with a special request. Her 5 year old niece, Jocelyn, was recently diagnosed with leukemia and was beginning treatment at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. Lauren and Jocelyn’s grandmother, Marilyn, wanted to give Jocelyn and her family the special gift of a photo session before her treatment began. I knew this was going to be a challenging session, but I also knew it was going to be one I would hold in my heart for a long time.
The girls and I wanted to do something fun for her to help kill time while she was up there. I knew just the thing. My Harley is OBSESSED with watching videos of people opening surprise eggs. It’s the weirdest thing. So I got some plastic eggs from a friend and we filled them with fun things like stickers and little toys and of course some star confetti 🙂 I’m sure she is leaving a trail of sparkles where ever she walks.
When planning this session in my head, I knew from my visits last year to Children’s Hospital for the specialized MRI’s I had to have that they had several courtyards. So my plan was to take advantage of those. The morning of her session I woke up to grey skies and my heart sank. I knew this was a session that couldn’t be postponed so had to make it happen. So I packed up my girls and off we went. It was STORMING on the causeway. But when we got to New Orleans, I could see a break in the rain. We met Jocelyn and her parents and grandmother upstairs in her room. Harley gave her her surprise eggs and off course they had to open one 🙂 Harley could have opened the whole box. Jocelyn was quiet at first. Probably wondering about this 2 year old tornado touching everything in her room.
I wanted to start outside first to try to beat the rain….well it was coming down regardless of our session. So I needed to improvise. They had an overhang by the front entrance so that’s where we went. We stood under it and I tried to find catchlights with the little light we had and blur out the chaos of a hospital surrounding us. I quickly get in my “zone” and totally blocked out everything. It was just Jocelyn and I in my mind at a park and she laughed and posed and was PERFECT. She opened up like the most beautiful butterfly we started. The smiles came naturally. She was beyond amazing. Considering everything this sweet girl had been through up to this point. She was perfect. And so so beautiful.
We went back to the room and their was a nice big window with a little bench in front perfect for snuggling. I didn’t want to leave without getting some shots with mom and dad. Like most parents, they didn’t want to be in the photos but I’m so glad I was able to convince them. I knew if I could just do some silhouettes it would just show emotion and nothing else. No bad hair or unmatching outfits or machines and tubes and craziness of a hospital room. Just love. And it did exactly that. She took turns sitting with mom and dad with her tiny hands in theirs sharing kisses and snuggles and laughs. And it was perfect.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to have met Jocelyn and her sweet family. She has courage and strength well beyond her years. Friends and family have set up a go fund me account for this sweet family. In addition to the overwhelming medical cost associated with her care, you have to think of the additional costs associated with having a child at Children’s hospital far away from their home such as the gas and toll to cross the causeway so her brothers can come visit her. Please, please consider donating here: https://www.gofundme.com/2gj4hvks
Take that $5 you were going to spend at Starbucks tomorrow and do something good with it. It all adds up and every little bit helps. I know that my sweet friends and clients will do so just out of the goodness of their hearts. But to help encourage you, I’m giving away a gift certificate for $100 that can be used towards any session this year. I will draw the winner Friday August 5th.
Here is how to enter:
- Donate any amount to Jocelyn’s Go fund me account here: https://www.gofundme.com/2gj4hvks
- Like Annie Whitaker Photography on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/AnnieWhitakerPhotography
- Share this post on your Facebook page.
- When you have done all that, come back and comment on this post that you did and that will be your entry.
Thank you my friends!
I am a natural light and studio photographer out of Covington Louisiana. I specialize in newborns, baby and child portraiture. I have clients that travel from all over the Northshore (Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, Abita Springs and Slidell) as well as the New Orleans area (Metairie, Kenner). Clients also travel from Denham Springs, LA and Picayune, MS. Louisiana Newborn Photographer, Mississippi Newborn Photographer, Mandeville Newborn Photographer, Louisiana Baby Photographer, Covington, LA Baby Photographer, Mandeville, LA Baby Photographer, Custom Portrait Photographer, Custom newborn photography in Mandeville, Louisiana by Annie Whitaker Photography