A few months ago TLC contacted me to ask about Jinger Duggar coming to shadow me on a session. She loves photography and takes a lot of pictures of her family and one of the main things she wanted advice about was posing. She (and the tv crew) came for several hours and part of that time was spent filming a studio session with the beautiful Morgan family. The original plan was for it to be part of an episode on the show. However, they contacted me a couple of months later and said they’d decided to do a “webisode” of it instead. I assumed a webisode would be most of an episode, but just online, but it’s actually a 2:02 minute clip.
When I was originally approached with this idea, I was hesitant to agree for a variety of reasons. However, after talking it through with the show, we agreed to go in a slightly different direction than was initially proposed. The new direction would also include a story about a family that is very special to me.
I’ve photographed the Morgan family quite a few times over the last several years and they are not just clients, they are friends. They have both a sad and amazing story, one that many people could benefit from hearing. We talked to Brandi and she was absolutely overwhelmed at the opportunity to share the story of their son Jonas, who was only with them for five short hours. We hoped that sharing their story could bring awareness about infant/child loss. As she said, “there are parents all over this world screaming on the inside to have the opportunity to share their story, even just simply mention their baby’s name. But they can’t, they don’t know how to. They’re afraid their community won’t accept them or know how to respond to them, so they say nothing. They’re made to feel like they CAN’T talk about their precious child. Because it’s too sad. Too difficult. Too awkward. Yes, it’s sad. But you know, it causes me more grief to not talk about my Jonas, than what it does to include him in conversations and gently teach people that it’s okay. It’s okay to mention his name. I speak of him with joy and love, and it’s apparent that he is just as much a part of our family as our other two children are. We have never felt more isolated and alone than what we did in the weeks after losing Jonas. It was when we made the choice to begin openly talking about him and incorporating him into our daily conversations that we realized the number of parents carrying the same grief, living the same reality as us, but having no idea how to talk about it or be okay.” We hoped by sharing their story, we could help people understand that most families that have lost a child want nothing more than to be able to talk about them.
I agreed to the episode because the Morgans and I felt that this could be an amazing platform to impact lives and be an incredible opportunity to reach parents that are waiting in the wings for someone to step out and say “your story matters”. However, on the day of filming, we learned that that part of the storyline was completely cut from the episode.
Needless to say, we were all very disappointed and because of that I wanted to do a little extra for the Morgan family. We have created a special page on my website for them. Here is the link to to their story as written by Brandi. JONAS IS WHY
Below are a few of my favorites from the session.
Brandi’s mom (“Nana” to the kids!”) came so we could do a few generation pictures. They brought a blanket to sit on that Brandi’s grandmother made to represent a fourth generation in the pictures. Little Miss Aubrey loooooooves her Nana.
Garrett was done with staying still! Here’s an outtake with a camera man in the background…