when the stars align

monday, i had a new coach at crossfit because my regular coach was on vacation.  she asked me what i do and i shared with her that i was a child | family portrait photographer.  a bit later, a woman walked in, ready to train, and my coach shared that i was a photographer.  the woman said,

oh, we haven't had photos done in forever.  but i don't like the way i look right now so i keep postponing.

tears instantly flooded my eyes, as i shared about kirsten. and max. and sam.  and my is there a perfect time post (which i now have at the top of my blog, hoping that everyone who visits will click and read). i don't care if she commissions me but i begged her not to wait for the perfect time, which for her was when her hair is more grown out.

there's a few things i feel i'm really meant to do in this life (beyond the obvious of being a great mother and wife) and one of them is sharing the importance of family photos -- not for ourselves but for those who love and cherish us. in this life, we just never know...and there really is no perfect time!


also, this past weekend, i was commissioned by two incredible north carolina photographers and women -- serena boggs and emily corey.  to say that i was a bit flattered would be a huge understatement.

today, i want to share a bit about serena's story (tomorrow...emily). serena commissioned me for photographs of her family. but she commissioned me for another reason too...

serena asked me if i would also photograph her in a special dress and coat -- of her mom's. sadly, serena's mom passed away eight years ago, while waiting for a heart. she was only 49!! needless to say, serena misses her mom deeply and is very passionate about organ donation.

i flew in pretty late friday but we knew we had about 30-45 minutes of light that evening to play with. we had also checked the forecast and were blessed with a weekend of great weather. and...

it. was. absolutely. magical.

i really do believe the stars aligned and it was meant to be. i originally wasn't going to be able to photograph the boggs family because i was going to stop in north carolina, while en route to tampa...and it just so happened that the boggs family were going to be out of town that weekend. then plans changed and i ended up flying to north carolina this past weekend instead. yes, some things are just meant to be.

this morning, while surfing facebook, i came across this from serena...

deb photographed me in my mommy's dress and fur coat. these shoots i have waited for just the right artist. photographer to capture. knowing how important these were to me and my family. i have longed to meet deb for many many years now. she is one of the most beautiful women i have ever met. her art is enchanting and heartfelt. all the stars aligned for these. i am forever grateful. forever changed. and the heirlooms she has given us are irreplaceable. these are gifts for my three daughter's. a part of me & a part of their grandmother. much love to you deb. our hearts are full and thank you's will never suffice. xo

i have to say...having met and been able to hang out with serena and her family, MY heart is full and i am beyond grateful.  i am seriously blessed. thank you serena for letting me into your heart and home and for just simply being you. © deb schwedhelm | tampa family photographer

p.s. i almost burst out of my skin when serena told me that her dream family portrait was one where everyone was wearing masks.  i so love that!

p.s.s. do you see the hearts in two of the above images?  i do.