Monday, April 28, 2008

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep...

I wanted to talk a little bit about a new charity that I have recently become a part of. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is a very unique organization that helps families deal with the loss of their newborns by providing images of their babies. Unfortunately this is something that is more common than most of us realize. This is what the website has to say about what we do:
"... there is another aspect of pregnancy and birth. There is an unexpected place in this journey where some families may find themselves. When a baby dies, a world is turned upside down. There is confusion, sadness, fear, and uncertainty that cannot be explained. There is sorrow where there should have been joy. During this time, it might be impossible for families to know what they might need in order to heal in the future.
This is the place where the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation gently provides a helping hand and a healing heart. For families overcome by grief and pain, the idea of photographing their baby may not immediately occur to them. Offering gentle and beautiful photography services in a compassionate and sensitive manner is the heart of this organization. The soft, gentle heirloom photographs of these beautiful babies are an important part of the healing process. They allow families to honor and cherish their babies, and share the spirits of their lives."

I also met the wonderful & talented Julia MacInnis through this charity. Julia has been training me to eventually work on my own and we did my first session at a local hospital on Saturday afternoon. I wanted to wait until I had actually been on a call and experienced it first hand before I spoke about this. Being a mother to a perfect and beautiful daughter and also having experienced my own loss this charity is very close to my heart. But, I also wondered if these experiences would also make this too hard to go through. Having now experienced it I can truly say that I feel so honored to be apart of the brief moments these precious babies have on earth with us. It breaks my heart that the world will not know this children and that their parents will never get to see them smile, laugh, roll over, crawl or run. But I am so blessed to be able to document their little hands & feet, to help their parents remember that he had his dad's nose or her mom's mouth. Memories quickly fade, especially when these encounters are so brief, but this images will help their brief moments on earth last a lifetime.

Julie has an amazing blog post about a mother she met when she photographed their baby. The mother wrote Julia a letter that really shows how much this means to the parents and how much it helps in the grieving process. Below is the letter from this mother to Julia.

"Dear Julia,

First I would like to apologize for taking so long to write this note to you. My little boy was stillborn on November 7, 2007. You came up to Fairfax Hospital to take pictures of us. Thank you so much! I can't put into words the deep gratitude I feel for what you did for me. Of all the people who helped me through that horrible ordeal, what you did helped me the most. I really can't thank you enough. You gave me a gift that I will always treasure. It must have been difficult to start your day by going on an unexpected trip to the hospital that morning. Thank you so much for saying YES and coming. I know it isn't easy to be with people who are feeling so much pain. I'm sure it takes a toll on you too. I want you to know that what you did for me and what you gave me is priceless. The pictures and the slideshow have helped my grieving process so much. There is so much I feel that I can't explain or put into words. Just know that you did so much more than just take a few pictures. Those pictures are the only physical things I have left of Christian. I can't imagine trying to get through this without them. My husband and I and the nurses took pictures of him, but they aren't anything like the ones you took. I used one of the pictures you took of Christian's hands to make a remembrance card, which I sent to my family and friends. Making that card helped my grieving process and I couldn't have done it without that beautiful picture you took. I've included one of those cards as I thought you might like to see it.

My family and I are doing well. I hope someday we will have another precious little baby. If we do, it would be an honor if you would take a family picture of us. Thank you so much for all that you did.



NILMDS was recently featured on the Today Show on NBC and they did such a great job, if you can please take a moment to watch it:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tag, I'm it! (DARN!)

I've seen many people get tagged by this blog and I was hoping I could somehow avoid it but thanks to Julia MacInnis I've be HIT! So, here goes!

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 songs you are embarrassed to admit to others you like and tell why.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My 5 most favorite songs that I am embarrassed to admit I like are.... drumroll...
1. "Sexyback" Justin Timberlake - Because I feel like a 16 year old girl just admitting it! Plus, it dates me (but in the opposite way that it "dates" Julia :-)
2. "Thriller" Michael Jackson - Some of you will know why without me even having to say anything, but lets just say it brings back some good college memories...
3. "On Bended Knee" Boyz 2 Men - It brings back the sweet, innocent feelings of Jr. high "love". I still love this song so much I just looked it up and am belting it out right now! Haven't forgotten a word!
(Couldn't post it on my blog so to see the video click HERE to go to youtube)
4. "I Think We're Alone Now" Tiffany (or as Armin refers to her, "The Mall tour girl!") And THAT is why I am embarrassed to like her. One Hit Wonder!

Or more recently:

5. Return of the Mack - Mark Morrison There is also something about this song that just takes me back to the good 'ol days of high school! Good times...

Something even more embarrassing, I just spent my entire Friday night doing this! How lame is that?! Someone, please get me a life!

Now, for the next poor 7 people who now have to wrack their brains to come up with 5 MORE songs!
Stevie Trischmann (who is even younger than I am so I can't wait to see what she comes up with), Jan Graves, Dawn Shields, David Schwartz, Susan Stripling, Jamie Nato, Shelby Leigh

If you want to see a really hilarious posting about this visit my friend Armin's blog. Now THAT GUY should be embarrassed! :-) Just kidding Armin... or am I? But also because he has great music videos attached to them.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What a cute idea...

One of my more crafty friends (seen below in the "Cold day on the beach" post) Julie had been painting these really adorable accessories for her kids rooms and her friends saw them and starting wanting them for their kids. Thus, Lil Lovebugs were born! I got to see some of what she is doing while visiting them in CA. and as soon as I find some space for them I'm going to order some myself! Take a look at some of her samples below and visit her website by clicking HERE!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A special day....

Today I was able to document a special day in this little one's life, her whole family was gathered together for her Baptism. So, we took this opportunity to get some pictures while everyone was together. She was so happy and laid back and such fun to shoot! Thanks for including me in your special day!

I love how the dynamic between siblings never changes, no matter how old you get...

Isn't this beautiful, seeing so many generations together?

Thanks guys! I had a lot of fun with you all today!

A great article for my fellow photographers and others who are self employed...

Click HERE for a great article from about being self employed and working from home. It's both funny and a has some good reminders for us all!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The fight against breast cancer...

I wanted to let you all know about a great cause to raise money for 2008 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The wonderful Trish Thackston has put together several events to raise money for this event, one being the Dolce Mamas Wine Tasting & Silent Auction. I have donated a photography session to this event in honor of a wonderful woman, Laura Moutray, who passed away last year after a brave fight against this awful disease. I encourage you all to check out the website to the event with all of the info by clicking HERE! 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Avon Foundation's Crusade Against Breast Cancer.
This event will take place on April 19, 2008, 7-10 pm
Janet's Java
5735 Telegraph Rd
Alexandria, VA 22303

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Thompson Family

Yesterday I was able to meet up with some of my favorite people, the Thompson family! Our dear friends recently moved from D.C. to Tennesse and we miss them a ton! But, I was so glad to be able to spend some time with them and take some classic D.C. pictures at the Tidal Basin so they could have them to remember their time in D.C.
P.S. Sorry about the crazy watermarks! For some reason they came out in the middle of the pictures...

Sweet Sarah Blake, turning one in just a few days!

Nothing more sweet than a baby and her mama!

Grey, just turning 4 years old!

I call this one, "A sister's revenge!" How funny is that? She looks like she's about to assault her brother!

I love seeing dads with their kids! Blake (the dad) is as big a kid as Grey is...

Thanks Thompson family! It was so good to see you!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Do you know where you've come from?

I follow a lot of other photographer's blogs and came across a post today that reminded me that I've been wanting to write a similar post! Davina Fear wrote about her grandmother passing away (click HERE to read her post) and looking at all of the pictures and wondering what the stories behind them were and wondering about her grandmothers life and realizing she will never know the answers. About 2 years ago, soon after I had Haley, I decided I wanted to document where we came from. Our families, as far back as I could find, and what they looked like when they were babies, toddlers and teenagers. Where did we get our nose & eyes? And what were our grandparents and great grandparents like as children? Once these people are gone from our lives we will never again have the opportunity to hear their stories first hand. So, I challenge you all to look back and ask questions of the people who have paved the way for you. What are their favorite childhood memories, etc. You won't be disappointed.
Here's a little peak into what I found
~ Erin

Left- my side of the family: the top is my dad's side and the bottom half is my mom's
Right- Top Left: My dad's mother as a child Top Right: Me at 2yrs old
Bottom Left: My mom's Dad Bottom Right: My mom at 2 yrs old

Top: My mom & grandpa, My grandpa before he went to serve in WWII, My mom
Bottom: Me, My grandmother and great grandparents

Top Left: my dad's dad at 3 or 4 yrs old Top Right and bottom left: My dad as a baby
Bottom Right: My grandparents (dad's parents) when they were either dating or just married

My mother's mom with her parents. I LOVE this image. She was the first born of 6 or 7 kids and has an amazing story! I think she was a pioneer for women today, going to college and making her own way in that time period.

Top Left: my husbands mother Left: My husbands grandmother (his dad's mother). One of my favorite pictures!

Left (top & bottom): my husbands mom
Middle: My husbands mom and her family when they were teenagers
Left: My chubby little husband when he was a baby and 2 yrs old. He's thinned out a bit since then. :-)

Top: My husband, his great grandparents on his dad's side
Bottom: My husband's Dad, his grandpa & his grandma (on his dad's side)

Top: My husbands dad, his grandma
Bottom: His grandpa (on his mom's side), and his mom

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Little's slideshow...

If you'd like to see all of the the Little's pictures watch the slideshow.
Keep in mind that the slideshow quality is not as high quality as the printed images.

A cold day at the beach...

Another reason we were in CA. was to see our longtime friends, the Littles! Jonathan and Julie were our very first friends in D.C.! We met through my college roommate and were they became one of our closest friends immediately! I call their first baby, Jeremy, my first baby because I got to be there just hours after he came into the world and spent so much time with him until they (sadly) moved back to CA. a 2 years ago. :-( I was also able to be there when Kaitlyn was born, so we feel like they are a big part of our family! It was so good to get to spend a few days with them and get to know the kids now that they are so grown up and meet the newest addition to the family, Anthony. Anthony is sweet, adorable and VERY laid back! I think that comes in part with being the 3rd child. Anyway, on to the pictures! It was a very cold day at the beach so we had to work quickly, but we ended up with some good stuff!

They still look as young as they do in their wedding pictures! Aren't they a gorgeous couple!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Addison is One!

You might remember Addison from her 6 month pictures. Well, she is already going to be one! They grow up so fast! And she very well might be the happiest baby on the planet, see for yourself!
Also, click HERE to see Addy's slideshow.