Category Archives: Her Muse

Baby Bird, IMAGe syndrome, Beauty Revived, Before her story {Midlothian VA Photographer}

Last spring I was introduced to Beauty Revived by a friend. I loved their mission, but I hadn’t been shooting professionally so I counted myself out, until I was asked to prayerfully consider applying. And so I did.  When nominations were announced for a special child to gift this wonderful opportunity, I  patiently waited to hear about the one I would know was “my child.”  With each story my heart was touched and I started to question if I’d really know when I heard from “the one” I was looking for.  A little face kept peering into my heart and I couldn’t deny her presence there.  However, I knew there were many challenges facing her family at the time, and not only that-they live almost 4 hours from me. Therefore, all the cards were stacked against what my heart was feeling. So, I kept reading incoming nominations. Finally I HAD to approach this sweet girl’s mom and tell her I couldn’t get her off my heart. They’d been through so much with much more poise and resolve than anything negative thrown their way, BUT her mom is a great photographer; they didn’t need pictures OR anything ‘extra’ to fit into their very busy medical oriented schedules.  BUT, they DID, they DO need their story told. AND so it was.

 

Dates were set around pending surgery and all else two families have to juggle. After canceling once or twice due to wet or cold weather, as time was crunching down on my deadline, we made the early July trip.  I was so excited to finally meet these wonderful girls!   Mostly.  Anytime a photographer has the opportunity to shoot another photographer’s family, it’s both a privilege and a bit nerve-wracking. Maybe that’s just me.  In my mind I had designed a plan that wasn’t at all like the one which would unfold. And that was perfectly fine!  One thing’s for certain, I have learned to be flexible in life’s plans-a hard but worthy lesson.

My husband and I celebrated our 29th anniversary with a long weekend right before our trip to do this Baby Bird’s session. When we came home, after a power outage at the resort and the backup generator cooled our room with bacteria filled air, we ended up knocked on our butts with Legionella pneumophila pneumonia. I hope you’ve never heard of it, and I hope you never experience it because it was relentless to two people who are rarely ever sick!   Four days later and still we barely were able to stand up the day we drove to meet Baby Bird and family, but we were not contagious-which was my concern- and time was of the essence.  Momma Bird chose a beautiful farm location for the session and we met them there just after 7:00 on a gorgeous summer evening full of bright sunshine!  As soon as we arrived, the girls got dressed and looked stunning in their little dresses donated by Angora Boutique . We had about 45 mins to shoot as the sun would soon start to set.  Each photographer has a method to their madness, typically, but, for me, this session had special pressures of its own:  1. Daddy was  there (and I was glad he was…usually dads are underwhelmed with family sessions and I typically use my “Dad’s here rhythm”), 2. I was shooting another awesome photographer’s children/family, 3. A magazine spread was waiting for its photos, 4. A wonderful campaign’s reputation was on the line, and  5. The star of the show is a sweet little girl who happens to be a toddler…at bedtime.  Aside from a lens malfunction, the night went too quickly but well.  I got the photos I wanted and needed of Baby Bird though I do wish the family shots  were much better for this sweet family.

 

Be sure to go HERE to read my previous blog all about Baby Bird’s Story with IMAGe Syndrome; she’s the most precious little girl who has an incredible sister to grow up with. After meeting their parents, it’s easy to see where they get their awesomeness from.

You don’t want to miss it, and  you may be able to help someone else with the new information you’ll learn in the process.   Now enjoy the photos from that evening!   Isn’t her family lovely?

 

 

 

Little Girl, Beauty Revived, Amazing Story {Midlothian VA Photographer}

Maybe you’ve seen her on my page, if not, here is her story!

I believe the first flutters an expectant mom feels are not those of her baby

but rather of her own heart falling completely into Mommy love.

In the beginning she was yet to be born. Her mom and dad followed great hope into their gender scan with anxious anticipation. Moments turned into a blur as the sonographer, and eventually the doctor, clicked again and again noting measurements that looked awry to Mom. Tracing every moment since her positive pregnancy test, desperately trying to ease her mind, this nurse mommy came up with a thousand valid reasons why this could be, dismissing each one back to a healthy baby boy or girl. She even told her husband they’d likely say something was wrong, but it would be fine, “Don’t let them scare you.” In that veneer of truth in denial, off they went determined to carry on with their family gender reveal party. More concerned with their older daughter and the family’s outlook, this sweet couple played games, stuffed a piñata and let the party start while secretly their hearts were torn. POP! PINK candy everywhere, giggles and applause; it’s a GIRL!

On the eve of their follow-up scan, Momma Bird told her husband to head to work; her mom would accompany her. There was nothing to worry about. Anything suspected would certainly be dismissed at the appointment. She was sure.

“What cannot be said will be wept.” Sappho

Whatever the weather outside, inside the small, sterile room, a storm raged. Each wave crashed, crushing every part of this Mommy’s heart. Her very soul was dying with every word the specialist uttered. Too much information and too few answers laced with the now undeniable knowledge her Baby Bird would not “be normal” fearfully invaded her everything. Muddled thoughts found unending questions and abandon. Eerie, unfamiliar and unwelcome hollowness of heart echoed the words “lethal” and “terminate.” There, grief grew. No. No, this little girl, no matter how small, would be born; she was already loved more than life itself.

“You were unsure which pain is worse- the shock of what
happened or the ache for what never will.” ~ Booy

Suddenly,

life

was

their

greatest

hope.

Still, there was a darker place where winds whipped and waves crumbled whispering hope- Mommy’s Womb. Unaware of life’s threatening turmoil, yet full of determination and the purest love, Baby Bird was already a fighter. And so, she fought. Could she have heard the prayers pled on her behalf? Maybe she felt those flutters from her mommy’s heart! Somehow she must have known.

Mommy’s tests and the search for answers, world wide, continued. Each fleeting answer brought a sense of fortitude where hopes and prayers were founded, but also eventual dismay. No one could determine what was going on with my scans and why my measurements were amiss. They prayed for my chest to grow enough to hold my heart and lungs, and for more-much more. Mommy and Daddy just wanted me to live. Soon, my birth day came along prematurely as expected, and the NICU became my home. I really was a tiny baby: very short and only a breath heavier than 2 pounds, but I was, I am, larger than life in resolve. From the minute I was born, long before I could talk, my big brown eyes would tell my heart’s story.

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most
room in your heart” ~Pooh

Answered prayers came with my grandma’s researching help, and finally, IMAGe syndrome with Adrenal insufficiency was confirmed. Although there are many people with dwarfism, I have this rare and complicated condition with less than 30 (documented) little people like me in the world. A few defining characteristics: intrauterine growth restriction, metaphyseal dysplasia and congenital adrenal hypoplasia. Scariest to us is adrenal insufficiency: physically super sneaky and subtle but life-threatening if not treated urgently. My diagnosis brought us as much hope as it did fear. It still can. My mom, dad and sister are my heroes. Without their love and care, I would die. I need a lot of medicine every day and Mommy’s intuition has already saved my life. They regularly have to teach others, medical professionals too, about my condition so they can help take good care of me.

I just turned three years old, and I’m still tiny. I’m too little to realize how big this world is. I love exploring and being outdoors. Horses, farms, swimming holes, bugs, worms and flowers are exciting. Ice cream and chocolate are yummy, and I just might be a ballerina. I think I’m heading in the right direction. Big world, be kind to me and I’ll light up your life! I am Beauty Revived!

Such a big miracle in such a little girl.

 

Vendor Information:

Gorgeous dresses donated by Angora Boutique

Back to my roots {Midlothian VA photographer}

In the beginning, when I first picked up my camera and before “industry professionals” decided what I was worth, or how I should run a business, I just wanted to help others, to tell their stories, and to give them beautiful photos of the ones they most treasure in life.

I’m going back to my roots.

I’d spent the better part of the previous 4 years exhaustingly building my new photography business.  Suddenly, all that came to a halt  to take care of my amazing mother, (goodness how I miss her– more every day), and I resigned from professionally shooting weddings and everything else. That was an easy decision and one I’d do again and again, because you see, my mom was a big piece the deepest parts of my roots. She still is and I thank the Lord for that!

Yet  I dearly miss the times where I stayed true to my heart’s passions when it came to business. There I  met incredibly beautiful people who allowed me to share their lives just as beautifully. Those photographs make my heart swell every time I see them again, and each experience renews sweet memories and a fresh smile on my face.  The best thing I’ve discovered in my retrospectives?  Each of those sweet people have solid roots, too.

 

 

It’s no secret that one of the most massive and strongest hurricanes to hit our country ever happened just 2 days ago making landfall in Naples, FL.What you may not know is that two of my brothers live and were taking shelter right in IRMA’s path as if they were holding targets for the eye of the storm, targets well hit.  Again, my heart’s passions burst from my own body and there’s no holding it back. I can’t wait to see them again!  They have a lot of re-doing all things to take care of, but they’re alive, praise God, and they have a pillow to place their heads tonight albeit still without power, water, food and all the comforts I am-as probably you are too-enjoying this moment.

Family: That’s where you find my roots, and that’s where I’ll meet you soon.

 

If you, like me, wish you could help, I have a plan that will make us all winners.

I’m raising money to get down there to help by getting back to my roots: telling your story with my camera! AND now I can do it without the constraints of everything business.

I am booking Fall  (not minis!)  FULL one hour SESSIONS complete with ALL DIGITAL FILES (15-25) for a price everyone can afford. REALLY!   If you want to help me get to FL again, and if you have always wanted professional photos of your children and/or family, this is an AMAZING opportunity for you. 

Contact me to reserve your space. I’ll be shooting weekends starting September 22nd so check your calendars and reserve your spot ASAP.  Start times vary from 4PM-6PM and I will schedule  some earlier mornings as I am available.   Now is the prefect time for the most gorgeous landscapes and beautiful fall lighting for photos. I’ll help you with wardrobe selections, too!  Email me for the details:  info@atTamara.com or use my contact form.   Please share and help me reach my goals; now is the time for your friends to get professional pictures and you know I love you for it.

BONUS:   Past clients  I have something extra special for you because you’re special to ME!

 

 

 

The ABC’s of Homeschooling {A Girl in the Middle}

THE ABC’s of HOMESCHOOLING

Whether you’re new to this idea of teaching your own children or you have been homeschooling for years, do you ever wonder if you’re doing ok? Has your mind been gully-washed with the idea that the government standards for education are God’s standards and that real teachers have a degree to prove their worth? View full post »