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Family

An Inspirational NICU Cake Smash Session – From NICU to 1st Birthday

Doing this cake smash session and hearing this family’s birth story was inspirational. This family was hit hard by COVID and it could have resulted in a very tragic end for both mother and baby. Spoiler alert – it didn’t due to a strong mom, amazing doctors, modern technology, a dad that made impossible choices, and prayer.

Here is what happened from the baby’s mom’s point of view:

On May 3, 2021 I was dropped off at the ER in Kokomo to take a COVID test. After that point I do not remember anything. I woke up a few times in the ambulance while they were transferring me to IU North where I was put in ICU after a night there.

I was taken to IU Methodist then on May 5, 2021 my fiancé was made power of attorney over me and had to make the decision in a matter of minutes via phone.

The decision was to give mom and baby a 50/50 chance; to deliver the baby and take him back to IU North Riley, put me in a coma on a vent and ECMO (ECMO was the last resort to keep me alive).

I gave birth in a coma. I didn’t know I had given birth. My fiancé couldn’t be in the operating room with me as he was at home with COVID and being quarantined with our older kids. Baby Calum was born at 29 weeks.

I spent 12 days on the vent and ECMO and when I woke up two days later, I was released from the hospital. Then I had to wait 21 days to see baby Calum. Dad was able to see Calum at 14 days since he also had COVID.

I will forever be grateful for the critical care team at Methodist and the 17 doctors who saved our lives. My OB, Dr. Linton at  IU North, went above and beyond. He had to fight to get me transferred to IU North from Kokomo and his decision to send me to Methodist to get us more help and all that IU North Riley NICU staff were just amazing. No words can describe how thankful we are for all the doctors, nurses and staff.

We faced many struggles during the whole ordeal. For dad, the hardest part was having to make decisions to save two people he loves – mom and baby.

The struggle mom faced and the hardest part for her was not being able to see her baby until 21 days after she was released from the hospital. In the cake smash session you may notice a few images of mom Face Timing baby in the background. This is because this was how she was able to see baby for 21 days.

Watching Calum fight for his life for 66 days was hard for everyone. Something that many don’t talk about when it comes to the NICU is the overwhelming financial hardship we faced, picking and choosing what bills we pay vs keeping food on the table. There were so many hard parts about the whole ordeal, but these were just a few.

While there were struggles, there were also inspirational moments. The most inspirational moment was seeing how strong Calum was and the fact that he fought so hard to be here after being born at 29 weeks. He was a fighter every step of the way!

We chose to do the cake smash session to celebrate Calum’s fight! We see this birth as a good thing and we want to embrace the fact that he was a preemie and spent all that time in the NICU- it gives people hope.

Our family has all mostly recovered. Calum still faces many challenges from being born early but always has a smile on his face. I have long-term effects from Covid but am living a normal life and enjoying time with my son and all our other children. All the other children love him like crazy! Matt is relieved that his fast made decisions were all the right ones and sleepless nights proved to all be worth it since everyone is at home now!

1st birthday pictures of little boyNICU photo backdrop to celebrate baby's 1st birthday after long hospital staybaby eating cake    NIUC themed 1st birthday cake smash session  face plant into birthday cake NICU cake smash session - 1st birthday photography messy baby birthday boybehind the scenes of 1st birthday cake smash

I love when clients choose themes that have meaning to them. These clients couldn’t have chosen anything more meaningful. They were a true inspiration to have in the studio.

If you are looking for a away to remember your little one’s 1st birthday I would love to be your Indianapolis cake smash photographer. Let’s set a date for your little one’s cake smash session.

Indianapolis Family Photography During Spring with Wildflowers

This Spring has been something else – extra wet and extra cold. It was snowing just a few weeks before this session took place. Everything is blooming so much later this year. To have nice weather for this sessions was a real treat!! It so nice shooting outdoors with comfortable temps in Spring clothes. This session took place at sunrise which was great for these two adorable girls. They were extra happy and easy going during their family session.

Spring time brings Spring flowers. Photographing the family in a patch of purple wild flowers was a real treat! This was one of the first sessions of the year with wild flowers in bloom and I couldn’t have been more grateful. The sunlight was glowing and the kids were happy. Look at that beautiful sunrise over the water.

 

Indianapolis family photography - Spring Sunrise Session Mom and baby daughter Dad and daughter The whole family big sister - black and white black and white image of one year oldkid portraits Sisters - Indainapolis photography wild flowers and a cutie big sister in wild flowers during Spring Family pictures in purple wild flowers mom and dada walk in the park

If you live in the Indianapolis area I would love to be your Indianapolis family photographer. I’m currently booking family sessions for September or later. I’ve only got a few Fall dates available for 2022. If you are interested in getting on my calendar please reach out soon to secure your family’s spot. I do also offer family mini sessions. The next minis I’ll be offering is this Fall. Details for those sessions will be released via my email list in August. Make sure you are subscribed if you are interested in those as they book up quickly and they are first come first sever! I hope to see and photograph your family this year.

The Gray Family – Indianapolis Family Photographer

I loved spending time with this beautiful family! We dodged some crazy weather for this session and I’m still not sure how we got so lucky. It ended up being a lovely session with a happy baby girl. I was glad to get to see this family again to celebrate their sweet little girl’s first birthday as well. I remember her newborn session, too!

cuddling familybaby girl Happy little family of three Family pictures Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis, IN

What a wonderful family and a wonderful session!

If you are looking for some Indianapolis family photography, I am booking for 2022! Reach out today and let’s get a session on the calendar.

A year in review – Was 2021 the redeeming year?

2021 was supposed to be the redeeming year after the madness that was 2020. Professionally it was! I didn’t have to shut down at all and instead had one of my best years yet getting to photograph more families then ever (265 to be exact). Personally, it was a bit rough but we will get to that. So was 2021 really the redeeming year? Keep reading ALL the way to the bottom to find out.

But before we get to that, let’s start with the good stuff! In no particular order here are a few highlights from 2021.

23 Milestone Sessions – One of the best parts of my job as an Indianapolis photographer is watching kids/families grow. One way I do that throughout baby’s first year is though milestone sessions. I do 4 month session (baby holding head up), sitter sessions (around 7 months), and 1st birthday cake smash sessions (more on those later). Some clients even do milestone sessions for years 2+ after baby’s 1st year. These sessions are always fun and full of lots of baby personalities.

Indianapolis photographer child milestone sessions

2 Birth Sessions – COVID didn’t completely keep me out of the delivery room this year (although it did severely limit my access). Towards the middle of the year, I was permitted to photograph births as long as I was the couple’s 2nd support person. This means the couple could have no other guest in the hospital besides myself. It was a huge honor and privilege to be this person. For the families that had me in the delivery room, I’m extremely grateful as I adore birth photography. If birth photography life wasn’t so unpredictable I would be at it all the time. But, with two little ones at home and COIVD restrictions at the hospital constantly changing that makes things a little harder. For now, I’ll be grateful for these two Indianapolis birth photography sessions and hope for even more next year!

Indianapolis Birth Photography - 2021

99 Family Sessions – Oh how I love family sessions! We had a beautiful Spring and Summer for family pictures this year. The Fall was a hot mess (so wet and rainy), but what are you going to do about it?! Somehow we still ended up getting everyone in. This year included Spring, Sunflower, Creek Side, Urban, Fall and Tree Farm Minis. There were also lots of full family sessions in that mix too. Thank you to all the amazing families who allowed me to document their family this year as your Indianapolis family photographer.

Indianapolis outdoor family photography creek side sessions in IndianapolisSunflower photography sessions in IndianapolisSpring family photogrpahy in Indianapolis urban photography session downtown Indianapolis fall family photography in Indianapolis, INTree Farm family photography in Indianapolis

52 Cake Smashes – That’s an average of one cake per week. That’s a lot of cake! I adore the whole process of these cake smash sessions. I love creating custom set-ups for each tiny one year old I have in the studio. Most of these one year olds I’ve had in the studio throughout their whole first year which makes these sessions extra sweet.

Indianapolis cake smash photography 1st birthday cake smash photography

14 Maternity Sessions – Look at all those lovely baby bumps! I love capturing pregnancies. I would love to do even more Indianapolis maternity photography. Each and everyone of these bumps were a joy to photograph. There is always so much excitement and love for these new lives during these maternity sessions.

Indianapolis Maternity Photography

Birthday Pictures – I love doing special pictures for my little ones on their birthday. I try to pick something that represents where they are in life of what their passions are. My son turned 5 (and started kindergarten). He is super into science experiments. So he had a science themed birthday shoot and party. Brynn turned two. She loves to make messes, crafts, and painting. There is no doubt that she had fun with her 2nd birthday paint smash.

72 Newborn Session – It’s no secret that newborns are my favorite! So I saved the best for last. This year I got to cuddle lots of adorable newborns. We had lots of baby smiles. Some that were followed by a little bit of baby poop (but that’s a small price to pay). The studio was brimming with all these beautiful babies. However, I like to also remind people that I offer in-home lifestyle newborn photography in Indianapolis along with Indianapolis outdoor newborn photography. I love photographing your little ones outdoor, in your home or in my studio. You can choose one location or more than one. It’s totally up to you! Just let me know if you would like to get your due date on my calendar as I would love to be your Indianapolis newborn photographer for your new little baby.

Indianapolis Newborn Photography by KristeenMarie - 2021In-home lifestyle newborn photography in Indianapolis by KristeenMarie PhotoOutdoor newborn photography in Indianapolis

A Little Extra that Can’t Be Forgotten – While this year was a fantastic year professionally it was also one of the hardest years of my life. At 17.5 weeks pregnant we lost our baby Ellie. I won’t go into too much detail here. However, I think it’s important for so many reasons to talk about pregnancy loss. If you are interested in reading more about this you can do so here.

Pregancy Loss Announcement with Older Siblings

Was 2021 the redeeming year?

In some ways yes, and in others no. Nothing is black and white these days.

Now is the point where I get a little sentimental on you. This year has taught me to be grateful for everything in my life. Life is fleeting and nothing is guaranteed. I’m so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you (my clients, followers and fans). You allow me to capture these amazing milestones in your life. You allow me to support my family in a way that I love. You gave me purpose in life when everything else was madness. I love my job more than words can express, and what I do wouldn’t be possible without each and every one of you. So thank you, thank you, thank you. And I hope to see all of you again next year.

A Little Pop of Blue – Indianapolis Family Photography

I adore photographing this family year after year. They are so sweet, kind, gentle and loving. I hope that shows through the images that I’ve captured. We had a lovely early Fall day for this session – one of the few that weren’t wet or raining. I’m already looking forward to photographing this family again next year!Sisters The girls mom and the girls adorable little family The girls on the bridge the whole familyIndianapolis family photography

Such a fun Indianapolis family photography session! If you are looking for a photographer in the Indianapolis area don’t hesitate to reach out to get a session on the calendar for next year!

Family of Six at Fort Harrison State Park – Indianapolis Family Photographer

I’ve adored photographing this beautiful family over the years. These 4 girls are always such a joy. The two oldest girls are twins. I also enjoy seeing their bond and I maybe have gotten a few extra pictures of the two sisters together because they were too sweet not to capture. My smile was as big as theirs while I was shooting them. They wanted a more rustic setting this year for pictures so they chose Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis. It’s lovely this times of year. While we were out shooting the the tall grass we even saw a little fawn. That’s a first for me while shooting – so fun!

family at creek Fort Harrison State Park family pictures running around mom and dad black and white sibling picture twin sisters - Indianapolis photography family with 4 girls/kids Twin sisters in field

If you are from the Indy area and are looking for an Indianapolis family photographer please reach out and let met know. I would love to get your family on the calendar for my 2022 photography season.

A Lovely Little Lifestyle Family Session – Indianapolis Family Photographer

This adorable little family wanted to do a lifestyle family photography session at their home on their lovely piece of property. I’m so glad they did because their land was picture perfect and it’s very personal to them and holds so many memories. We did a few posed pictures but most of the session was us having fun all around the yard. These guys even added on the family video and it turned out adorable. Check it out at the end of the session.

These guys hope to do family pictures on their land every year or two so that they can see how it changes and how the family changes from year to year. I love that idea!

family on their property lifestyle outdoor family photography picking flowers and playing mama and her boys silly family attention from the little one on the farm playing outside with kids

Such a fun session!

If you are interested in updating your family pictures please let me know. I would love to be your Indianapolis family photographer. You don’t have to have a lovely piece of land to have your pictures taken!

Baby Girl Maven Jo – Indianapolis Newborn Pictures

I’ve adored photographing this family over the years! Their newest addition, Maven, is a doll baby. We did some fun baby boho set-ups for her and her siblings. And she even gave us an adorable little smile at one point. I’m very much looking forward to watching baby Maven grow over the next year along with her siblings.

family pictures with newborn baby

 

newborn baby with siblings boho baby - newborn photography posed newborn photography - newbor girl sleeping newborn girl in purple

So many adorable photos in all the different headbands and swaddles! I would love to be your Indianapolis newborn photographer.

Baby Piper – Zionsville Newborn Photographer

Sweet Piper has arrived and this family has been ready to meet her! I photographed the twin girls, her older sisters,  when they were born in 2016 (1st image). Piper has been long awaited and she is the family’s rainbow baby. As you can tell from the photos, she definitely has some of the same features as her older sisters. Weighing in just a little over 5 pounds, she is a little peanut. She is so so loved already and you can tell by the smiles on everyone’s faces! I am so glad that I was able to meet Piper and see the family again!

2016 vs 2021 - twin girls growing upthe whole family - Zionsville newborn photographer family pictures with twin girls and newborn baby beanbag poses with newborn girl sleeping newborn girl in bowl on rustic wood newborn baby feet

Thanks for visiting me in the studio, Piper! I can’t wait to watch you grow!

I’m an Indianapolis newborn photographer and I would love to capture this beautiful time for your family as well.

Baby Callum’s Outdoor Newborn Pictures – Indianapolis Newborn Photography

I always adore photographing this sweet family. This session was no exception. This family which previously had 3 girls just added their newest addition – a sweet baby boy. Meet little Callum. These guys were troopers waking up at sunrise for a little creek side outdoor newborn session, and it definitely did not disappoint. We had a glowing morning with some perfect summer weather. The most beautiful setting to photograph this growing family!

family with a new additionnewborn baby feet outdoor pictures with newborn baby on bridge outdoor newborn family photography at creek Outdoor newborn photography - baby in a basket

 

If you are expecting a little one during the summer months and would like to do an outdoor newborn photography session in Indianapolis don’t hesitate to let me know! If you are having a baby outside those summer months I would still love to be your Indianapolis newborn photographer as I have a studio as well!