Meet Berkley Sharon. Taking her photos was really special to me. (Read the story below to find out why.)
As a photographer, I get to be a part of really special, sacred things, and this mid-December newborn photo shoot was one of them.
I've been friends with Berkley's dad Cole since we were in elementary school, second grade if my memory serves me right. We lived in the same neighborhood, a couple streets over from each other.
Through high school and college, Cole and I lost touch but became facebook friends sometime after we both joined. I remember bumping into him in the grocery store once during college, but otherwise I don't think we talked much.
Likewise, I met Berkley's mom Lynsey in high school, where we served on the Junior Class Board together, but we also lost touch after high school, save for minimal facebook interaction.
About two years ago, Lynsey starting chronicling her journey through a scary pregnancy. Cole and Lynsey had their adorable daughter Halle, but they had also lost three babies in miscarriage. Having known that pain through the two miscarriages Lindsey (my wife) and I suffered, my heart went out to them. I read her blog regularly to know how I could pray for these friends.
Just 11 weeks into that pregnancy, the Sharons knew there was trouble. Genetic tests started coming back with concerning results, and ultrasounds confirmed that something was amiss.
Their precious daughter Graycen had Smith Lemli Opitz syndrome.
She was born into this world on June 4, 2013, changed Lynsey and Cole's lives for 22 days, and then went home to heaven.
I reached out to Lynsey when Graycen was born, but when she passed, I felt too paralyzed to say anything to either of them. My younger daughter was born within a month of Graycen's passing, and I couldn't figure out how to navigate the intersection of our joy and their grief.
Because Lindsey (my wife) and I have known grief in our time of being married, I knew that it was better to reach out late to someone who was hurting than not at all. In April of last year, Cole and I had lunch and we talked about work, family, life, and Graycen.
It was an honor to photograph Baby Graycen's one-year memorial in June 2014.
In October, Cole told me that Lynsey was expecting again and that everything was looking good this time.
A few weeks ago, I got the chance to meet beautiful Berkley Lyn Sharon. It's always amazing to see things that you've prayed for in real life. It's humbling when you're asked to photograph them.
When I became a photographer, I expected a lot of posed smiles and planned to capture as many candid moments between brides and fathers as I could. I knew I would see happy tears through my lens. What I never could have imagined was the deeply personal and painful moments I would be invited into, the deep bittersweetness of weddings where a family member is missing or newborn photos following tragedy or years of infertility. Wherever there are people, there are stories with profound joys and sorrows. Today, I am honored to help people like Cole and Lynsey capture the important parts of their stories and find great beauty in them.
It was a joy to hear that Raj's long time friend, Karalynn, was engaged to a great guy named Caleb. Shooting their engagement photos was more than a photo session, it was catching up with an old friend and meeting the love of her life. The way these two met is a story that needs to be shared, so if you ever see these guys around Omaha be sure to stop them and ask! Congratulations Karalynn and Caleb! We are thrilled for you both!
We were honored to shoot our first solo wedding for Diego and Hannah. It was a beautiful day, not just for the pleasantly unusual warm temperatures for December, but because Diego and Hannah's love for each other was so evident before and during the ceremony and reception.