Louie

June 26, 2013

Lou1

Actually, this special Post is not about Louie – it’s about Sadi and Emme. But it’s also about a bird named Louie and his incredible power to heal a hurting heart.

You see, Emme was diagnosed late last year with the rarest form of Childhood Arthritis, called Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). She has endured painful treatments and a regimen of medications that are too numerous for anyone, much less that of a five year old little sunshine of a child.

Emme is beautiful – and I have had the pleasure of photographing since she was six months old:

Lou16

At two we hauled a huge bed into a field and she had fun jumping to her heart’s content:

Lou17

Lou18

At three we did our Session in downtown Atlanta among some really cool old train tracks:

Lou23

lou22

Lou21

Lou20

Lou19

Throughout last year, it became increasingly evident that something was wrong. She was in pain more and more often, gradually getting to the point where it was too painful for her to walk, or even simply hold an eating utensil to feed herself. It took many series of testing to determine her condition, and then the painful daily injections began.

Which brings me to Louie.

Emme and her sister Sadi loved to visit the local Petstore any chance they could. They are both animal lovers, and Emme found a strong connection to a quirky little bird she named Louie. Louie has been the healer of her heart, while the injections and endless medications have begun to heal her little body. I have never seen anything like it. Louie is the most patient and loving little creature I have perhaps ever met. He goes everywhere with Emme, and he’s so comfortable perching on her shoulder, her head, hanging on to her shirt, her shoes. He just hangs on while Emme runs and plays, just happy to be along for the ride.

Lou2
Lou3
Lou4
Lou10
Lou11

You can’t love a sister as much as Sadi does and not feel her pain. Sadi wonders, even at the tender age of six, why she is healthy while Emme has to struggle with pain every day. Larry has been her heart-healer.
Lou7

Lou8
Lou5
Lou12
Lou13
Lou14
Lou15

Emme’s beautiful family paricipated in the Atlanta Arthritis Walk in May, and will be participating in the Louisville Arthritis Walk in September, when they will be setting up a donation site for little Emme. All money raised will go to the Arthritis Foundation, which develops treatments for children like Emme so that they can run and play, and enjoy life and their childhood the way everyone should. It’s already made a world of difference to Emme. I will do another posting once that is established, so that if you would like to make a donation, you can do so and make sweet Emme the honoree.
Lou6

Eddie and Steph are close friends of ours. Their daughter Kendall and son Blake are two of Cole’s very best friends, so when they told us there was a new baby on the way, our whole family was incredibly thrilled. And I immediately knew what I wanted to give them as my Baby Gift: images that will always help them remember how beautiful life is with three little Gifts from God.

kbk1

kbk2

Here he is – Baby Kellen. He is just… delicious. Congratulations, guys – we love you!

kbk3

kbk4

kbk5

kbk6

kbk7

kbk8

kbk9

kbk10

Ro1Ro2Ro3Ro4Ro5Ro6

Rosalie’s Newborn Session was the first I had after my mom was diagnosed. And she helped fill my soul back up. She is the most precious, sweet gift from Heaven. I remember when I was little I had a red birthmark on my hip. My mom always told me that this was where the angels kissed me right before I was born, and left their lipstick mark. Rosalie was kissed on the side of her tummy – one day it will fade away, but I’m happy I was able to capture her special birthmark so she always remembers how much God and all the angels love her.

I am happy to finally share some of her Newborn imagery with you, as well as images I just shot of her a few weeks ago. Among other things, her mom and dad raise Thoroughbreds, and I can’t wait until our next Session when she’ll be big enough to sit on one. Here she is, just 9 months after our first Session and simply beautiful:

Ro7Ro8Ro9Ro11Ro12Ro13Ro14Ro16.1Ro16Ro17Ro18

From my Heart

October 17, 2012

Mom
I don’t even know how to start this Post. This has been the most difficult year of my life, and my heart and everything creative within it was shattered in January, when my sweet mom was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. I had to take a huge step back from photography, because honestly I felt like I had nothing left to give.

This is why I’ve been absent so long.

She’s been healthy her entire life and never once smoked a cigarette, and so the news came as a complete shock and was utterly devastating to me. The first symptom was a little tickle in the back of her throat, something that was so insignificant that she almost didn’t even mention it during her annual physical. The doctor decided to do a chest xray and there was the shadow. So testing was ordered. We waited. After many sleepless nights the results were in and we learned what we were up against: Stage 4 Lung Cancer. It was not only in her lung, it was in her liver. Her vertebrae. Her hip. And now my soul.

How can that something so destructive creep so silently?? How can take such a hold without you even knowing it?? It is so unbelievable. And so unfair.

She is a strong woman. She continues to be my inspiration, and I am so proud of her fight and honored to stand beside her throughout her battle. She didn’t hesitate one moment to begin chemo and radiation. She endured so many treatments, and my entire family read and learned so much about cancer – more than we ever wanted to know. She has begun juicing. We have begun blending. We’re learning how to eat scary looking things like Kale and Swiss Chard. And something even more important – not to take those we love for granted.

Her love and strength endures. Her spirit is strong. Her attitude is positive. And the fight is working.

Her tumors have diminished. So much so that her doctors have given her body a break from all treatment. She had a 6 week reprieve. Tests at the end revealed that even without treatment, her tumors continued to diminish during those 6 weeks!!! So they gave her another 6 week reprieve. And miraculously her cancer was still stabilized. She is now in her third consecutive 6 week break, and she’s feeling strong and fabulous!!! And with her strength returning, so has my spirit and creative passion.

Stay with me. I have so much to share with you, and I am excited to be back and continue capturing the loves in peoples lives. Capturing those who complete their hearts. Because throughout this journey, I have been given a Gift from God. I know on a deeper and more profound level how precious life is and how important it is to capture all the little moments along the way.

In love and faith,
Kristin.

Antonia

October 3, 2011

The Bella Blog is slowly catching up to current Sessions – soon I’ll be posting this beautiful child’s six month photos, which I just captured last week. But before I do, I have to show you what she looked like when she first met her big sister and felt the loving embraces of her mommy and daddy.

Pi1Pi2Pi3Pi4Pi5Pi6Pi7Pi8

Thank You, Anthony

October 3, 2011

I can’t believe the difference a coat of paint makes. We needed to update the colors in our home, to compliment our fabulous new kitchen! Neighbor after neighbor recommended Anthony Heath – a painter who doesn’t even need to advertise. All of his business comes from word of mouth, so you know he’s awesome! He and his team were SO professional, competitively priced, and their attention to detail is phenomenal. Moreover, they’re great people that you can trust in your home, whether you’re there or not. Keep his phone # handy: 678-933-1135.

His wife also works on the team, and I LOVED seeing her on the days that she worked, because she would bring their sweet baby girl, Nazara. She was so quiet and entertained herself so wonderfully while her mommy and daddy worked. I fell in love with her eyes and sweet gentle spirit, and so I couldn’t help but steal her away to grab a few shots. Anthony, these are for you. Thank you so much for doing such a wonderful job. I’ll recommend you to everyone I know!

Naz2Naz1Naz3Naz4

Sean at One Year

September 7, 2011

I always love seeing how much the sweet babies that I photograph change and grow during their first amazing year. Remember this little angel?
Sean2

Here he is, a year later – growing up big and strong, just like his big brothers!! Happy Birthday, Sean!
Sim6Sim5Sim4Sim3Sim9Sim7Sim2Sim1

Wyatt at 18 months

September 2, 2011

Julie, thank you for the honor of capturing Wyatt since the moment you welcomed him into your loving family. He has become very special to me, a little boy with a tremendous heart and a smile that is bigger than life. I have loved watching him grow, documenting him at 4 months, 6, 9, 12, and now 18. I have loved witnessing how he adds a special warmth and light to your family, and how Roman has become more than Wyatt’s brother; he’s his friend and protector.

We had a blast during this Session, ending in Duluth’s downtown fountain. It was the perfect way to wrap up the hot, steamy morning with a cold blast of happiness.

Jam8Jam6Jam5Jam7Jam12Jam10Jam4Jam2Jam3Jam14Jam13

Jack Owen & Lucia

August 22, 2011

Photographing babies is always so touching to me, and having the opportunity to work with twins makes it that much more amazing and special. Jack Owen and his sweet sister Lucia were so precious to work with. When one got fussy, we would just snuggle them together, and they would settle right in, happy and comforted by one another’s presence. Their connection is so strong and beautiful. The last image shown just wipes me out.
Wor1Wor2Wor3Wor4Wor5Wor6

Blue Dots.

August 20, 2011

Now that all three boys are back in school and the renovation project is settling in (still not done but getting there!), I’m finally able to focus on catching up on the Bella Blog, and I’m so happy to finally share so many of the Sessions that have touched my heart over these past several months!!
The first posting will answer what is now the age old question of which color the dots in the nursery would be (Pink or Blue?). Meet sweet Gavin.KanG1KanG2KanG3KanG4KanG5KanG6