I have been drawn to rainbows since I was a little girl. I always preferred the colorful and vibrant, and as I’ve gotten older my love and connection to them has only deepened. Throughout history the rainbow has been used as a symbol of peace, pride, unity, and hope. For me, it’s all of those and so much more.
One particular symbolism that has stuck with me is the Rainbow Baby. I first learned of the term when I started this business and began taking newborn portraits. If you don’t know, a Rainbow Baby is a child who is welcomed into a family after there has been a loss experienced due to miscarriage or infant loss. A Rainbow Baby is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the damage of the storm. When a rainbow appears it does not mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with it’s aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds.
It’s a term I always found such beauty and power and tragedy in. I have photographed many a rainbow babe and seen both the light and the storm in their parents’ eyes. And then in 2016 we truly understood those opposing emotions as we suffered our own miscarriage. We quickly and confusingly after welcomed our first rainbow baby through foster care, and later adoption, and since have birthed two more rainbow babies. Gabriel, our son we lost, was at the forefront of my mind the moment I met all three of my rainbows. Their presence does not fade his memory, and his memory does not dim their light. They coexist. It did not take away from those experiences, just made them a bit more complex, for he is as much a part of me as they are. For in the same moment I was longing for him, I was also thanking him for helping build me into the woman I was right then. In the same moment I wished to be holding him, I was rejoicing that he is in the arms of our Savior. In the same moment I was wishing my rainbows could meet their big brother, I was grateful knowing he will watch over them always.
The storm and the light. That’s what I felt then, and that’s what I have felt many times since while getting to know my families. I’ve had the privilege of documenting some of the most tender and significant times in your lives, and it’s there. The struggle and the celebration. That’s why the rainbow. That’s what I hope to give you with each session: memories not just of the joyous moments, but reminders of what you have overcome as a family. Tributes to the ever changing seasons of your lives and both the trials and the tribulations that shaped you in each one.