I Heart Faces Photo Challenge: Hands

I Heart Faces is having their weekly photo challenge, and this week's theme is hands.  I have been too busy lately to enter, but when I saw this theme, I had just the picture in mind.

The mom of this sweet little newborn was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks after giving birth.  After more extensive tests, the cancer was also found in her bones.

A mutual friend contacted me and asked me if I would take some newborn and family photos.  Of course!  I have to admit, leading up to the session, I was a nervous wreck.  I haven't felt that nervous since my very first newborn shoot almost three years ago.  The mom left two days later for Texas to start chemo treatments.  I knew this session had to be perfect.  There were no re-do's.  I wanted so much to give them beautiful images, and I was on a roller coaster of "you can do it!" to "no, I should try to find another photographer, someone better.  They deserve better than me."

As soon as I got home from the session, I couldn't wait to load the images on the computer.  Anxiously waiting to really see what I had been able to capture.  I was still a nervous wreck!  Then, I saw this picture.  Instantly, a sense of calm washed over me.  Seriously.  In this picture, the mom's hands are on the left and the grandmother's hands are on the right.  In all of the background of what is going on in the lives of this family, I see this picture, and I know this baby is loved.  He is protected.  All is good and safe and warm in his little world, just like it should be.

In the end, the session went like any other newborn session.  He did have quite a long stretch of not wanting to go back to sleep, and it was then that I was able to just capture simple moments like his mom cuddling and rocking him in his nursery.  The love she feels for her baby was undeniable, and easy to capture.  Since then, she has been to Texas, started treatments, returned home, and returned to work!  This woman was a total stranger to me a few weeks ago, and now, is one of my biggest sources of inspiration.  Her attitude would inspire anyone.  And, honestly, puts my attitude most days to shame.

Being October, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I really couldn't think of a better picture to share with the I Heart Faces community.

Now, go hug your moms, people!