The hospital session I’m sharing today isn’t quite like others I’ve shared in the past. A few years ago I signed up as a volunteer for The Tiny Footprints Project. TTFP is a non-profit organization designed to match families with newborns living in the NICU with professional photographers willing and able to donate a hospital lifestyle session. The session I’m sharing today is one I photographed as a TTFP volunteer. This beautiful little girl may indeed have had some tiny footprints, yet they made a big impression on me.
It was a rather cold, though beautiful sunny day when I met “Little Bit” and her family at USA Women’s and Children’s for her photo session – such a strong little one, with the spirit of a fighter. And her family was simply amazing. There was no denying the head over heals kind of love her mommy and daddy have for her. I could see their emotions bubbling up, and overflowing — so much joy and happiness looking down at her. And the exciting thing — they got to hold her for the first time while I was there! It was simply a privilege to be there. In the words of her family, “She is beautiful, and the strongest little girl we have ever met. Her bones will always be brittle, but she will grow up with a spirit to never give up and to never give in.”
I think it’s safe to say most parents-to-be don’t daydream of spending days, weeks, or even months in the NICU with their newborn. While it isn’t the beginning most dream of, it’s the reality so many face. And having a little one in the NICU isn’t easy. It’s stressful. It’s complicated. It can be scary. However, it’s important to realize it’s also beautiful. A family’s love is beautiful. Life is beautiful – miraculous even. No matter the circumstances… no matter the location… little ones are this small only once. Photographs capture that forever. As I’m fond of saying, “Pictures are moments. Moments are memories. And memories are life.”