Dani & Renato | Libertyville Maternity Photographer

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Last Fall, I had a truly humbling and inspiring privilege to be the photographer of a maternity shoot for a lovely mama-to-be who I have come to know, respect and befriend.

Originally, she had reached out to me after seeing either my brother post about my daughter Anysia’s brief life on his Facebook page or see his comments on my posts about her on my own page. She did not yet know me, but she felt compassion for us in our loss as she and her husband had come to know their own multiple losses as they tried for so long to become parents and suffered many miscarriages.

She was first a friend of my brother’s wife, and through that connection, she and her husband became close with my sister-in-law and brother throughout their first years of marriage.

In turn, I too have come to know Dani and her husband, and as we corresponded about our losses and grief, we discovered we each had a blog where we wrote about and processed our grief through writing about those losses.

As she began to follow along with what I was writing, she also followed my photography. So I was very honored when she contacted me last Fall to not only let me know she was pregnant and rather far along in her pregnancy (a good sign given the many times she had not come quite so far in the past), but that she wanted me to be the one to do a maternity shoot of her and her husband and the baby growing so well within her.

To say I was honored is an understatement, but more than honored, I was touched to know they’d been given this gift of life in addition to all the other lives they’d created, but lost… and that that life was continuing and becoming, or seeming to become, a promise… the one they’d finally get to meet and hold.

When I met up with them, it was the first time I had met either in person. It was all I could do to hold back the tears when I saw her beautiful belly. I knew the pain she’d expressed in her writing all those months before. And I had wondered why she sort of went silent for a bit on her blog, so seeing her for the first time, everything made sense all at once.

She wrote better about it in her own words here.

All this to say, I couldn’t be more excited and honored to finally share the photos here. I had to wait until after the holidays, as they wanted to use one of the photos for their Christmas card, and I couldn’t spoil that first revealed photo on their card by posting prematurely. So my post had to wait, and what better day than Valentine’s to finally publish the maternity shoot.

So, here it is.

I feel blessed to know their story and to have shared in one small part of it, and I can’t wait to meet their little one very, very soon.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Dani, Renato and baby-M. 💙

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