hurricane baby, part one {travel portrait photographer}

So many people have been posting their #2017bestnine pics this week and especially yesterday. I would say that it’s got me thinking a lot about my photos throughout the year, but there’s really only one that I can’t get off my mind. This baby boy:

andrea bacle newborn session after the hurricane

I haven’t posted about this session, because it’s so…much. It’s everything. It’s sad, it’s uplifting, it’s heartbreaking, it’s inspiring. For me, it was life changing.

I’ve delayed this because

  1. I needed to make sure I had permission from Courtney, the mom of this precious boy.
  2. I haven’t had the time to give it a proper write up. I couldn’t hurry this.
  3. Every time I started to think about what to write, the blogging narcissist in me would relate it back to my life, and it’s so not about me. But, it is my blog and my life as a photographer and mom and woman, so I’d ask myself if it’s ok to connect it to myself.
  4. It’s sad. I’m a happy girl. Isn’t it easier to turn away from the hard stuff? But isn’t that what’s real? Aren’t we all a little sick of the fakeness of social media? The faux happiness? When is it ok to talk about what makes us sad?

So then I finally realized that I HAVE to write about it. Before this shoot, the emotionally hardest thing I’ve done in my life was to say these words

“On behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Air Force, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.”

as I presented the flag to the crying mother of one of my favorite Airmen who died with his wife en route to their new base and new life while I was his commander.

Life goes on and nothing ever stops, and I was so busy with work that I never made the time to even think about it. I never talked about it with anyone and never properly grieved or processed it. So when did it all come out? At my final farewell speech in front of all the high-ranking dudes when I was separating from the Air Force and my Airman’s uncle came and delivered a beautiful necklace to me from his mother. Yep, I lost it. No military bearing for me.

After, my husband said, “What was that all about? You never cry.”

Fast forward to when I went to see my reflexologist the other day (you know I’m hippie-dippie-baloney with my health stuff), she said, there’s something weighing on your heart on your male side, and I knew exactly what it was. I haven’t really talked about this baby boy, and it’s been rolling around my head (and my heart) since the hurricane.

So, are you in? Want to hear the whole story? Step 1. Listen to this podcast. It’s Courtney’s story about her journey with her son.

(Yeah, yeah, it’s an hour long. But, so what? I know you’re in the car for that long at some point in the day anyway. Listen to the first half in the morning, and then you’ll be excited about your drive home in the evening or the next day in car rider line or wherever.)

Step 2. I’ll post my side next.

Love, Andrea


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