If you ask me what my favorite part of being a wedding photographer is, hands down, it’s all about the relationships I form with my couples. When clients turn into friends, it’s the most rewarding and treasured part of what I do! I photographed Ashley & Kyle’s wedding back in 2017 (how was that three years ago already!?!?!), and have been lucky enough to call them friends ever since! When Ashley reached out about taking some family photos with their son Maverick around the time of his first birthday, I was so excited! We decided on Spring Lake for their session, so we could capture some photos in the park before heading to the beach for Maverick’s very first beach experience! 🙂 This session was memorable in many ways (including when we got chased away from the lake by an angry swan LOL), but mostly for capturing such important milestones for my friends.
Maverick’s story is a special one, and I’m so grateful that Ashley & Kyle shared it. Ashley wrote, “At 29 weeks pregnant, our family received news that our baby boy would be born with Bladder Exstrophy, a rare birth defect that occurs in 1 in 50,000 live births. Our family chose to consult with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, because they are a Center of Excellence (1 of 8 hospitals in the US) that treat Bladder Exstrophy. Maverick was born on September 20, 2019 at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Special Delivery Unit. At 8 weeks old, he had a 12-hour complex reconstructive surgery and recovered inpatient for 4 weeks before returning home a few days before his 1st Christmas. Today he is growing and thriving just like any other 1 year old and we continue to return to CHOP for follow up appointments.
Beads of Courage is a non-profit organization we reached out to memorialize the journey Maverick has and will continue to endure throughout his childhood. To date he has received 200 beads, which represent hospital stays, pokes, IVs, scans, surgeries , clinic visits and more. We hope as Maverick grows up he can feel proud of all he has overcome and realize how strong he is when times may get challenging.”
Their story is so inspiring and encouraging, and I thought it was extra special that Ashley brought Maverick’s Beads of Courage along for our shoot! Maverick’s come so far over the past year, and it’s such an honor to document part of the journey!
I also asked Ashley & Kyle what they love most about being parents so far, and they said “We have loved watching Maverick discover the world around him. One day they can barely lift their head up and before you know it they are walking across the living room.” I also asked these two to share the biggest parenting lesson that they’ve learned! Ashley said, “Take each day with a positive attitude, even if the day before didn’t go as planned.” And Kyle’s advice was, “Never wake a sleeping baby.”
Ashley & Kyle, I’m so grateful to have been able to capture another milestone in your love story! From your engagement session at Mohonk, to your incredible wedding day, and now your sweet son turning one year old, it’s such an honor to be a part of your story and capture these memories! I’m so grateful for your friendship, and can’t wait for all the milestones still to come for your family! I love you guys! (P.S. Happy belated birthday, sweet Maverick!!!) xoxo