The Rainbow Baby Project

The Season of Perpetual Hope.

A Couples Holiday Portrait Session | Mechanicsville, Maryland

{A note from Amanda: this blog post was originally posted in January 2018 on the old AWP website. It has been republished here for continuity to the next chapter in their story.}

Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out, something comes along and shifts my entire perspective. It’s humbling, really, and it keeps me growing as a person and as an artist. The Andress holiday portrait session was exactly that.

I received Stacy’s inquiry in November. It sounded like a fairly standard holiday portrait session. I asked why they were having portraits created now, and Stacy shared a secret with me.

“We’re having trouble conceiving,” she told me, with a hesitation in her voice that hadn’t been there a moment ago. “Hopefully I’ll be pregnant by the time of the session, but even if not, we want to celebrate our family as it is now before we embark on the next step in our journey to becoming parents.”

This revelation shook me to my core. As a newborn photographer by specialty, I am not typically privy to the before: the messy, the waiting, and the heartbreak. I usually see the after: the woman turned mother, the dad bursting with pride, sweet little ones made into siblings, and of course, the baby.

For days I agonized over what Stacy must’ve felt when she visited my website and social media, seeing baby after baby, while she was in the midst of likely the greatest struggle she’s ever known. She could’ve bounced right off my page and yet, she chose me to tell their story.

The story of the before NEEDS to be told.

One in eight couples will struggle to conceive. One in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage. It’s a cruel and unfair reality that there is a 100% chance that someone you know is struggling to have a child. Please consider that the next time you tell someone that her biological clock is ticking. She knows.

{I’ve waited several weeks to share this recap, as I didn’t want to share too much of Stacy and Austin’s story before they could. Stacy is an incredibly brave soul and is sharing their journey on her blog. Follow along here to hear all the latest Baby Andress news directly from Stacy herself.}

The session

I met Stacy and Austin on a beautiful December afternoon at Quailfield Farm. The farm was bustling with families cutting down their Christmas trees and bursting with the most delicious golden light I’ve ever seen on a winter day. Stacy has impeccable styling sense and selected the perfect outfits for their session. Even their dog, Cadbury, joined us!

We had a blast exploring the farm and creating some incredible portraits. A passerby must’ve thought we were photographing a pregnancy announcement and yelled over a cheerful “Congratulations!”. I winced internally and saw the pain in Stacy’s eyes for just a moment, and then she smiled and thanked him.

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle that you cannot see.

I could not be more honored that Stacy trusted me to create these portraits. I hope these images remind them that their faith and their love for each other will get them through this journey. Never, ever lose hope. I am cheering you on every step of the way!

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Hi, I'm  Amanda.

As an internationally-lauded wedding photographer with a decade of experience, Amanda brings her signature timeless, editorial style and classic, romantic aesthetic to modern love stories. 

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