I first met Whitney’s family in 2020, except for Ronnie (who was stationed in Florida), when she was pregnant with Reece and stationed at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. I had the distinct pleasure of photographing Whitney’s Lawton maternity session at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge with her kiddos, and it was a glorious Oklahoma sunset shoot.
Fast forward to Reece’s birth three weeks early. She was born with multiple complications and co-morbidities, none of which were known prior to her birth. She was in the NICU and then the PICU over and over, and we just couldn’t get her newborn session done at my Lawton, Oklahoma photography studio. So, we finally did it when Reece was four months old with her oxygen cord, and she even gave me a smile. See her newborn photos here.
I flew back to Virginia and knew she was going to have surgery again. I wasn’t prepared for her to go into cardiac arrest and go to meet her Heavenly Father a month later. So, my dear friend Emiley went to the hospital and took photos of them all together one last time.
Whitney and I have remained friends and kept in contact via text and Facebook; she even used my photo of Reece’s newborn smile on her gravestone. When she had Kaiah, she messaged me about doing a family session again. She relocated to San Antonio now, and this fall when I traveled to Texas for Christmas mini sessions, we met in the middle in Austin. We hiked up the Pennybacker Bridge Overlook, and stayed until it was dark. This Austin, Texas family photography session was gorgeous and full of laughter. It was just the best to meet Kaiah and Ronnie, finally, and I’m in Whitney’s corner for life.