As if my previous two blog posts haven’t shined enough light on the relationships I build with my clients, I think this one will make it exceptionally clear.
I met Brandi many years ago while she was working for a wedding videographer in town. She was in the process of planning her own wedding and hired us to document her wedding. This was back in 2008, a busy year for us where we photographed 33 weddings. Brandi had the unique idea of creating a video that told her love story of how she and Toby met and fell in love. We travelled to the coast for the session where a videographer captured video while I captured stills. It was a joint love story/engagement session that began with a nice casual stroll along the beach and somehow ended with Brandi, Toby, and I running into the ocean for some incredibly playful and fun portraits. The ocean water was unbelievably freezing (you know the kind that totally takes your breath away) and yet in all honestly, it just didn’t really matter. We were having so much fun that day and creating some very fun memories together.
So following the engagement session, and of course their wedding day, we continued to stay in touch. An endless stream of referrals came my way from Brandi over the years. I have lost count on how many weddings, portraits, and various other photo shoots have been made possible because of her extremely kind words about my work. I have photographed her brother’s wedding, various friends’ weddings, portrait sessions, and on and on.
One of the most gratifying referrals came just this past year. Brandi is part of a surrogacy group where surrogates and intended parents share information. As you can imagine, this group is built on a tremendous amount of trust and privacy. A gay couple based out of Luxembourg posted an inquiry to the group seeking a qualified surrogate photographer. Knowing that they might miss the birth of their twins here in the states, they wanted a photographer available to capture the events leading up to and immediately following their birth. Brandi was kind enough to post a glowing recommendation of my services and within hours, I received a very heart felt email from the couple in Luxembourg. Thankfully they were able to arrive in the United States in time to witness the birth of their twins. I received the call from the couple during the middle of the day saying, “Our surrogate mom is in labor and it’s time for you to come to the hospital right away.” I dropped everything I was doing and dashed over to the hospital to capture all the excitement. Nicolas and Tom were kind enough to share their experience working with me in this surrogate photography video.
Part of the reason why Brandi is part of the surrogacy group (and able to share her recommendations), is because she is a surrogate herself. In fact, before she officially became a surrogate, she even shared with me that it was something that she and her husband Toby were investigating. Ever since a little girl, Brandi had always wanted to be a mother. She is blessed with 2 precious daughters (both of whom I have photographed many many times). But Brandi wanted to also make the dream of having children possible for others who may not have the ability to have children of their own. So, it led her and her husband toward the path of surrogacy. Brandi has been sharing the experiences of being a surrogate on her personal blog titled A Beautiful Blessed Mess.
Just a few weeks ago, with the cherry blossoms in bloom, I had the opportunity to capture some maternity photos for Brandi. It was the perfect location for this photo session.
Presuming that our schedules and the stars align, within the next week or so, I will have the distinct honor and privilege of being one of the very few individuals allowed into the hospital room when Brandi gives birth. She and her husband Toby have asked to have the birth documented. When talking about the photo session, Brandi mentioned that the thing she wants captured the most is the expression on the couples’ faces as they hold their newborn for the very first time. Brandi and Toby are so excited to be able to make a very deserving couple parents of a newborn son.