I truly believe that NOTHING happens by accident or coincidence, simply because I've been taught to believe that the LORD has complete sovereignty over our lives. With that being said, He laid this family on my heart ever since I'd heard Kyal's aunt testify about his sickness. As a photographer, it's my duty to always learn to become better at my craft so I tend to read a lot. Earlier this year, I'd come across Love Not Lost, which is a non-profit organization who photographs people facing a terminal diagnosis. Although I'm not affiliated with the organization yet, my heart led me to do something where I am. You know the saying, Start where you are. I guess it's the Social Worker in me (my previous career) combined with a heart to help people and make a difference. All I know is I asked Kyal's aunt to find out if he'd be willing to allow me to photograph his family and he said yes.
When he'd initially agreed, he had gotten so sick from his tumor that the doctors had given up on him. Yet, Kyal continued to trust in God for a miracle and refused chemotherapy treatment. At one point and time, he'd gotten to the point where he could barely eat or even leave his home. His body was so weak and fragile. If you don't believe in miracles, I hope you do by the time you get done reading about this family.
A few weeks before the session, I'd learned that Kyal's tumor was completely gone and his physical strength had come back. Mind you, just a few months earlier to this session, the tumor had swollen on his neck so large that it was difficult to swallow and talk. You'd better believe I was ecstatic! I was so happy for his praise report because I knew that meant his family was OVERJOYED for his healing! He stayed strong in his faith that the LORD would heal him and Kyal got his miracle!
His wife Deedra is the sweetest and we talked over the phone prior to the session. When we met at Sharon Woods Park, the weather was perfect and that golden light was every natural light photographer's dream! Here are a few of my favorites:
Kyal and Deedra have the most adorable kids, and I was so glad they warmed up to me so quickly. I must say that I never force anyone to pose or say cheese to get a fake smile because I want to capture genuine emotions. It's my job to build a CONNECTION with my families even before the portrait session so that they'll trust me when we begin. Usually, I scout locations prior to portrait sessions, but since I'm familiar with Sharon Woods, I knew it would be the perfect spot for this family.
At first, we were worried that little Kyal II wouldn't want to participate because he fell asleep on the drive to the park. To our amazement, he woke up and seemed easy to coach into getting a fun piggy-back ride on his Daddy's shoulders. And little Kya was such a delight with her playful self and cute facial expressions! Just look at all those SMILES!
See those precious kisses and snuggles? That's not me. That's all the GENUINE love for each other that Kyal and Deedra share. You can tell Deedra and Kyal's kids love them and that they just adore their littles! Moments like these make me appreciate my own family even more because children are so precious. They grow up so fast and have so much curiosity that you can't help but love and learn from them.
I guess that's why the LORD blessed me to become a photographer. Not only to learn the technical aspects of using professional equipment to capture moments and create art from the vision He gives me each time I pick up a camera. Mostly to touch hearts, lives, share beautiful testimonies and be a blessing to all those who choose to share their life story with me. If you had asked me ten years ago where I'd be in my life, I never would've guessed this. All I know is that my youngest son kept getting sick at daycare and it was pointless to keep taking off work. It was a blessing for my husband to have a great job at General Electric and I made the decision that any mother would if given the opportunity - to stay at home. My husband's dream of being a professional photographer fueled my curiosity and I started taking online classes. Not knowing that I would become enthralled with the idea of creating beautiful portraits for families.
Our lives become books. The struggles, disappointments, joys, miracles and testimonies become the chapters of our life story. I'd love the opportunity to share in this chapter of your life - whether you're getting ready to welcome a newborn or getting ready to celebrate your wedding anniversary. My specialty is creating HEIRLOOMS for families that will last generations. Every family and couple receive something tangible after I've taken their portraits. Not only do you receive a custom portrait gallery app to download and share photos, but an opportunity to purchase fine art quality albums or custom wall art (canvas or framed prints).
Thank you so much Deedra and Kyal for sharing your miracle with me and allowing me to capture your story. It was a blessing to me and an honor.
I think this one might just be MY favorite! It was a hard decision though!
Until next time, prayers and blessings.
From my heart to yours,
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