Family Portraits

Tonight I want to take the spot light off of me as a photographer and shine it on the amazing photographer that I’ve used for the past 2 years. I also want to take this time to get a little more personal on who I am as a person; not just a photographer.

I’m starting with my husband’s favorite picture of us. This one is what I call our “model faces”. I feel like it looks like a picture out of a magazine thanks to our incredible photographer. Her name is Lindsey Cassidy (Lindsey Cassidy Photography) and she is based out of Bartow, FL; so if you’re in that area I 100% recommend her!

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One of my favorite things about our photographer is that she captures genuine moments, when we are truly laughing and joking, even if we’re making fun of ourselves. She captures who we really are as a family and that is such an inspiration to me. I absolutely love her work!

You see that picture right above here? The one of my husband and I smiling? That’s his favorite one of us and I knew it would be. I’m genuinely smiling/laughing and that is not something I usually like pictures of. I’ve been insecure about my smile my whole entire life. Even now, at 31 years old, I find myself covering up my mouth when I laugh too hard. Why? Because I’ve always felt that I show too much gum or that my teeth were too small…one of the two. But my husband of 10 years loves it. He loves it because it’s the real me, my real smile; not my posed smile. It’s taken me a long time but for the most part (because like I said I still catch myself covering my mouth) I’ve accepted that this is who I am; gummy smile and all.

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My husband and I are actually celebrating our 10 year anniversary this November. I don’t think a lot of people know just how out of the ordinary this feat is for us. It’s a long story really so I’ll use bullets to try to keep it simple:

  • We met through our ex’s sister (blood sister to my ex, sister-in-law to his) Not just any exes either…our first loves.
  • We started talking while he was in Iraq; he was 19 and I was 20.
  • We became a “couple” after 4 months of talking, even though we didn’t physically meet each other until 1 month after that when he came back from his deployment
  • 2 weeks after he was back in the US I moved to NC to live with him. 1 week after that he proposed to me. 2 weeks after the proposal we eloped at a juvenile court. (He was 20 and I was 21).
  • We had our “wedding ceremony” a year later but the only ones who knew we were already married were our moms.

So there’s a little background on our marriage. It hasn’t always been easy, of course. That first year honestly was the hardest on us but we made it. We’ve been lucky to grow with each other instead of apart. I pray that it continues that way for the rest of our life.

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I’ve already shared my husband’s favorite photo of us so now I’m going to share my two; because of course I can’t just have one!

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I absolutely LOVE these. My reasoning is simple: look how HAPPY we are! Just looking at these two pictures make me smile and feel that happiness. I’m so happy and grateful to have these moments captured forever. THIS is why family photography is so extremely important for me.

There are a few other aspects of my life that make me cherish family photography even more. There was a time that I wasn’t sure if I would ever have a family other than my husband. I had 2 miscarriages, 6 months apart, when we were trying to conceive. My doctor recommended I have testing done to see if I could even sustain a pregnancy. With the second miscarriage I had to have a D&C; 2 days after that I was in the hospital in excruciating pain. It turns out it had nothing to do with the procedure but instead it was my appendix. My appendix had ruptured and due to the location of the infection from it the doctors were not sure if I would be able to get pregnant again on my own. I was told this as I was recovering in the hospital; I’m laying in the hospital bed when one of my OBGYNS informed me of this and I can’t even express how broken I felt in that moment. I felt like an absolute failure as a woman. All I could DO was GET pregnant, but now I might not even be able to do THAT. My doctors advised me to wait 6 months to check my tubes and see if they were blocked from the infection. Give my body time to rest and recover. Well, if anyone knows me they know I’m a planner. I plan ahead…way ahead all the time. So to me there was no way I could wait. I had to know so I could start planning how I was going to handle this if I could not carry my own child.  If you want to read more on that I actually have a blog called Boots and Baby Bottles that I started 2 years ago (I haven’t kept up with it at all really). 

So I went in 2 months after I got home from the hospital; only my right tube near my appendix was slightly blocked and they pushed the dye through to clear it. 1 month later I was pregnant. And then 1 year to the exact date that I was hospitalized for my appendix…my son was born. I survived my ruptured appendix, I survived gangrene that had settled in my abdomen from it; I truly believe that God was giving me a second chance on life and 1 year later he showed me why.

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So when I see our family portraits and we all look so unbelievably happy…it just makes my heart overwhelmingly full. I am beyond aware of how lucky and blessed I am. I know how common miscarriages are, I know how common infertility is, so I KNOW that there are so many other mamas out there who feel what I feel when they look at their family. That is what inspires me and pushes me as a photographer…giving families those overwhelmingly happy moments captured forever. Having those constant reminders that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.

If you’ve made it this far into my post thank you; I hope it wasn’t too much information and hopefully at the very least you were able to enjoy Lindsey Cassidy’s amazing photography skills! 🙂

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