Meeting Shannon and her lovely children brighten my day. They mistakenly went to the wrong location, to only discover that the photo site was just two doors down from their home. She called me, apologizing, and quickly made her way to the photo site.
As we were getting ready for the shoot, I was caught off guard by Shannon's thoughtfulness about this project featuring families with special needs. She brought Hope's feeding tube hoping to highlight the challenges Hope has each day. I wasn't expecting that, and wasn't sure how to react. I politely tell her that it was okay, and we won't be highlighting that in the photo. As a mom of seven children of diverse needs (Jill is her bonus-daughter with Down syndrome and Hope is her miracle baby, surviving multiple complications of complex kidney disease), this petite mom's heart is truly large.
Her story is a reminder of how crucial a community is when raising children. It does take a village!
One trick I created during this shoot was using the game "red light and green light". I had the family go far away and then told them to come to get me, but had to stop when I turned around and said "red light". The kids loved the game. I changed it up and told the family that they had to squeeze and run together when I called out "red light" the second time around. I really enjoyed those unposed, real, and joyful moments.