When I decided to focus on women’s portraits three years ago, my goal was to photograph women in every stage of their life. However, I did not get a lot of inquiries for maternity sessions or family sessions because I am not per se a “maternity photographer” and people don’t see me as a traditional “family photographer”.
But I have always been fascinated by portraiture, and by women, and maternity and motherhood is part of some women’s lives. And I am happy to document it!
So I was delighted when Paige (who won my silent auction for a Truth in You session at the Stollery Women’s brunch on January 27th) asked me if we could take some portraits of her 9-month-old baby and her. Absolutely yes!
This session was a dream. Paige’s makeup was done by Elizabeth Segura from Blushed Beaute. We shot at Paige’s house and she asked me to bring my flowers backdrop. And baby Lainey was absolutely adorable!
This is a quick edit in black and white because Paige and I both love black and white (our inspiration for the shoot was mainly black and white images from Vogue editorials!). But I had to share something today!
These are Lazina’s words because she is the only one who can tell her stor. I just showed up to take her photos. What a beautiful experience. Thank you, Lazina.
“July 28, 2017- I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s an autoimmune disease. A disease where my immune system is attacking the joints in my body. It can cripple and disable those who have it. It can leave people wheelchair bound. Yes, July 28, 2017 was a horrific day in my life. It was the beginning of not being able to squeeze toothpaste onto my toothbrush, open a bottle of water, do up my buttons, tie up my own shoelaces, pour water from the tea kettle, hold a glass full of liquid, write with a pen, walk without pain, wear high heels, open a packet of ketchup or bag of chips, properly cut with a knife and fork, and more.
Can you imagine not being able to do the most basic of tasks?
It was also the beginning of a new, uphill, gritty, life-altering, “dig to the depths of who you are” kind of journey for me.
That was the beginning of my journey to heal myself.
First, and most importantly, I sought medical intervention. Modern medicine is something that I now don’t take for granted. If I have to have his disease, I’m sure lucky it was 2017 and not 1917. Pharmaceuticals enable me to move my joints and my body everyday. Second, I changed my lifestyle. I upped my activity level, I moved towards an anti-inflammatory diet, I minimized (wow!) my alcohol intake, I minimized stress in my life, and so much more. Third, I gathered my support network. When s**t happens in life, you need your people. All of them. The close ones, the far ones, the ones I casually know and the ones I just met. Also, my family is far from me but not once has it felt that way- I’m a lucky daughter and sister. Last, I just happen to have the best husband in the world. His love, time and effort has brought me back to life- physically, emotionally and mentally.
I wanted to visually document this milestone in my life so I could always remember that within one year of hearing pretty awful news, I overcame this obstacle.
I’m not going to be crippled. I won’t be deformed. I’m not going to suffer & wither away like RA sufferers did 40, 50, 60 years ago. I’m strong. I’m healthy. I’m happy. I’m in remission. Thank you beautiful @emilieiggiottiphotos for capturing me.“
Stories like Lazina’s story are why I do what I do.
I have been holding these black and white photos of Jennie for a while now.
Sometimes I like to keep images for me because I am protective of them. I love them so much, I want to keep them for myself.
It’s always a stress to photograph a fellow photographer, but it can also be a lot of fun. To see a woman you personally know express herself in front of your camera, and blossom like the gorgeous and sensual person that she is in front of your eyes is such a gift.
I will share the colour version of this session in a second post.
I met Zviko through Tuesday Together, the Edmonton chapter of Rising Tide Society. I immediately noticed her incredible beauty and her kindness. She is also a boss lady as she is one of the owners of Casa La Deesse. It was such a pleasure to photograph her.
We did the photo session in my apartment, where I have a good amount of decent light and a huge window. It was easy to capture the beauty of Zviko as she is a natural in front of the camera. I also love to keep my sessions minimalist and simple.