Just FYI…this is a sad blog post, but one I want to share.
I did a non-traditional session for a precious family…the Rowes..a little over six months ago at Willow Creek Hospital. Their baby girl only lived two days, and I photographed her both on life support and then again as they took her off it. The Rowes are amazing people and I am blessed to know them.
I am a member of a group of professional photographers in Northwest Arkansas involved with a non-profit organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. NILMDTS is an organization made up of volunteer photographers who provide photography services to families experiencing an infant loss. Our mission is to give parents suffering the loss of a baby the gift of professional remembrance photography. We believe these images serve as an important step in the family’s healing process by honoring their child’s legacy. We are part of a network of more than 7,000 volunteer photographers in the United States and 25 countries.
In Northwest Arkansas, the four hospitals are being covered by Deborah Billingsley, Kate Cox, Stephanie LeBouff, Emily Moore, Melinda Worthington and me. We provided over 30 sessions last year alone. At a family’s request, one of us will come to any of the area hospitals and conduct a portrait session. Afterwards, the portraits are professionally retouched and a set of prints donated by Bedford Camera and Video, as well as an archival CD of the images, are given to the families. We donate our time and talents, so there is no cost to families.
It is a truly heartbreaking experience to be with families in such a personal, horrible, raw, sad and overwhelming time. However, the photographs we take are many times the only ones they will have of their child for the rest of their lives. Remembering this helps us keep it together during such an emotional session.
Peekaboo Magazine’s March issue focused on non-profits in our area. Katie Rowe and I both contributed to an article about NILMDTS. Katie has an amazing gift for writing which she uses on a weekly basis on her blog. She posted what she wrote for the article on her blog, which can be read HERE.
The organization I am a part of is one I hope no one reading this will ever need to use. However, if any of you or someone you know did have to go through something like the Rowe family went through it would be SO great for you to know about NILMDTS.
Here is a You Tube link to the pictures I did of baby Reese to give you an idea of what we do. The Rowes put the pictures together in a slideshow to play at Reeses’s memorial service. Please grab a box of tissues if you decide to watch it. Slide show link: Sweet Baby Reese