Giving Thanks and Giving Back: The Hatcher Family

It’s so fitting that I can blog today on Thanksgiving my first family session since starting my business. When my daughter, Anna, was three years old, she entered the school district’s Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD). She was so tiny and fragile, and I worried for her. Would the teachers, aides, administration, and other students like her and be careful around her? Would they fall in love with her the way we had? I did not need to worry… everyone was wonderful. There is one person who stood out, though. Her name was Sarah and she was one of Anna’s aides. I can remember visiting the class and seeing Anna riding around on Sarah’s hip. They definitely had a mutual admiration thing going.

As the holiday season approached this year, I wanted to give back by offering a free session to a family that had a special needs child. I know how hard it can be to get good family photos due to time, resources, finances, and the unique challenges photographing a child with special needs presents. Imagine my complete and utter delight to hear from Sarah and her husband, Brent, as they expressed interest in the session. Over the last five years, they have adopted three children, two with special needs. Hudson, age 5, came into their lives at 8 months of age. When his little sister was born, they adopted her too. Addie is now 4 years old. They also opened their home and hearts to Whitaker, now age 2. I met with the family for a pre-session consult so the children could be familiar with me and I could connect with them. Seeing Sarah again warmed my heart tremendously. This young woman has so much love in her soul, it’s an honor to know her. She has given up teaching to devote her time to managing her childrens’ therapies and challenges. It was a gift to me to photograph them.

We met at a local park. Autumn in Austin isn’t as colorful as up north, but we did manage to capture the warmth of the season. Because the children are young and their attention is hard to keep, I went with more of a lifestyle approach and just let the kids play. As I followed them around, we gave them some things to do, we went for a walk and found a bridge, and we ended with lollipops for everyone. Whitaker ended up finding my stash of lollipops in my camera bag and had several! He is so adorable. Thank you, Sarah and Brent, for allowing me to capture your beautiful family. It truly was my honor. <3


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