Family~{Charlottesville, Virginia Family and Child Photographer}

I met Marcee when she taught in our county and she was kind enough to use my services for her daughter’s cake smash. Back then I was just beginning, so I think she may have been my first child session.  I then visited them for her 2nd birthday, but I haven’t seen them since then.

Wow, what a difference a few years makes!  Their daughter is going to Kindergarten and they added a sweet boy to the mix.

What a wonderful, welcoming family, with a beautiful home and yard…thank you guys for making my job super easy:)

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Ellie~ {Gordonsville, Virginia Newborn Photographer}

This is the third time that I have photographed this beautiful family. I did Camden’s newborn session almost 2 years ago and then a family session when he turned one.

I was thrilled to capture the addition of their sweet baby girl Ellie last week. She gave me a bit of a hard time, but I just think she didn’t want to miss anything…lol!  You would never know by all of the gorgeous images I am getting ready to send them.

I also enjoyed doing some lifestyle family images, which I don’t usually get to do in my studio. Thus the over sharing of images on the blog!

Enjoy this new family of 4~

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July 28, 2014 - 7:49 pm

Katie Fisher - Denise, you do such a great job!! And Kyle and Jennifer produce awesome babies for you to photograph!!

Kenley is 1~{ Louisa, Virginia Child and Family Photographer}

Kenley has been a firecracker from the beginning.  She was almost totally awake for her newborn session and then we had to do a retake of her 6 month photos...lol!

Her 1 year photos went much differently.  If we put aside having to change her clothes and the end of the session, she did great! I just can’t resist that gorgeous red hair and spicy attitude:)

I have loved capturing so many moments for this family, I am blessed to have an abundance of  wonderful clients:)

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Myla~ {Charlottesville, Virginia Newborn Photographer}

Myla was the first newborn girl I have had in awhile, so I had fun setting up for her session in my studio:) She was a perfect baby…awake at the beginning for family photos, but after that, she let me do whatever I wanted to with her!

Big brother was not as happy with my camera, but did at least pose for one family shot.

Each newborn session reminds me of how blessed I am to be able to capture memories of such a fleeting moment in time for families~

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Ryan~ {Fredericksburg, Virginia Newborn Photographer}

I was thrilled to meet this little family who was referred to me by a fellow photographer friend…I love when that happens:)

Ryan was a sleepy guy until we decided to do family shots….he was so not having them at all, it was like he was saying, “I am so DONE with this!” I loved how chunky he was and his blond hair…swoon! He also gave us a few smiles:)

Again, I feel blessed to be able to share such sweet moments with brand new families. Enjoy the newborn newness!

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Andre~ {Richmond, Virginia Newborn Photographer}

What an adorable little man Andre was! He showed up to my Louisa studio kind of awake, but I was quickly able to get him to sleep…and sleep he did:)  He was one of those babies that we couldn’t get him awake enough to get some shots with his eyes open.

I was also impressed with the rolls I was able to capture as he was a tiny peanut, having come a few weeks earlier than he was supposed to. I love me some baby rolls!

I just know that Marissa and Vladamir are going to be wonderful parents.  They were so excited about their new son and just seemed so comfortable in their new roles as mom and dad.

Enjoy the sweet newness of this family of 3~

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July 6, 2014 - 5:53 am

Virgie G. Casiño - Cute ! I like it.

July 6, 2014 - 12:27 pm

Kristi Seneca - How adorable!!

Ashlie~ Round 1

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*If you have not read the first post of Ashlie’s story, go here.

Surgery day was here and if I had not slept well and had a pit in my stomach, I knew that Ashlie must be feeling that and more. I know that Ashlie was feeling so much love and support in the days leading up to surgery and that was helping her apprehension, but reality must just slap you in the face. Part of her was getting ready to be taken away…

As I drove to the hospital, I was listening to this song and told Ashlie it should be her theme song. I was trying to get my praying and  crying out of the way then so I could be strong for her when I arrived. Here are some of the words, but follow the link and listen to the whole song when you have a chance. When  I asked her to share some of her thoughts about this day, she called it Round 1…so appropriate!

Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

Everybody’s been down
Hit the bottom, hit the ground
Oh, you’re not alone
Just take a breath, don’t forget
Hang on to His promises
He wants You to know

The same Man, the Great I am
The one who overcame death
Is living inside of You
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life
There’s nothing He can’t do
He’s telling You

When we got to the hospital, I was able to meet her Mom and Step Dad (who are awesome by the way) and then we chatted while Ashlie opened some gifts. We all were emotional, and trying to be positive…but you could tell we were all on the verge of tears.

Then they were called back and watching her say goodbye to her Mom was tough. Very tough. Not as tough as what Ashlie was facing for sure…but tough to see them hug and cry together in the middle of the waiting room. Her Mom said she would take it from her if she could.

I had to wait a bit to go up and I worried that when I finally did it would be uncomfortable, but since I know Ashlie and Andrew, it really wasn’t. I was struck while looking back through the photos how much we laughed over the next hour or so. Ashlie said it was helping to joke around and as Andrew said, “Laughter is the best medicine.”

I was so impressed with all of the doctors, nurses and staff at UVA, I now know why Ashlie feels well take care of.

As the moments neared for them to take her back, all three of us lost it.  Watching Ashlie kiss her husband goodbye and watching him watch her be wheeled down the hallway will always stay with me. Andrew broke down as anyone would as he has been trying hard to be strong for her. I think we forget about the spouses and the burden they carry. I have no doubt that they will be a stronger couple for this and that Andrew will take care of his girl:)

I haven’t posted yet because I wanted Ashlie to share some thoughts about the day.

Three days post surgery and I am doing well. What an emotional morning Tuesday was, and the days that have followed have been exhausting as well. I have surprised myself though – I was expecting the first time I saw my “new” chest to be very difficult, but instead I find that I feel happy that the tumor is gone. A few lessons learned: this pain is no joke. Not being able to cuddle my baby girl is even worse. Laughter is the best medicine. My husband and family are truly angels walking around on earth. I feel very supported and blessed. This morning I read a devotional that described God’s great peace as giving you joy when it doesn’t make sense for you to be happy. I think I’ve got it! Onward . . .

She also just texted me about the findings from her tumor and said that I could share it here.

The verdict is stage 2 infiltrating ductile carcinoma, no lymph node involvement, 4.5 cm tumor, all removed. This means chemo, but no radiation (thank goodness!).

Stage 2 is middle of the road, so not most aggressive but not least aggressive

Here are the photos that made me cry all over again, maybe that is why I didn’t want to post them yet.

Thank you Ashlie and Andrew for allowing me to follow this journey, God will be given the glory in the end I just know it! And we will have the biggest pink party when Ashlie beats this thing!

Round 2…chemo….BRING IT! Cancer, you don’t know who you have chosen to mess with!

TEAM ASHLIE….KEEP THOSE PRAYERS COMING!

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June 28, 2014 - 5:36 pm

Trish Graubart - Ashlie, praying for you every day!

June 28, 2014 - 6:01 pm

Sandra Childs Tucker - Ashlie, with your courage, grace, and determination, you are truly an inspiration to other women!

June 29, 2014 - 4:45 pm

Andrea Tysinger Smith - Ashlie, I know that it has been a very long time. I think of all of you so often and have prayed so hard for you. Love never dies!

Charlie~ (Richmond, Virginia Newborn Photographer}

This is the third time I have photographed Kristen and her family and I just love them!  Previously I had done photos for them as a family of 3, but last week I was able to meet their newest addition, Charlie.

I love having families come to my studio, but on occasion the client would rather I come to their home. This lends itself to more lifestyle family images, which I love to do as well!

Charlie was a doll, and I think I saw his eyes once!  Haha!  What a sweet boy, and his big brother Walker was very into everything I was doing and was cooperative for his photos as well.

Congrats again Kristen and Josh, you are blessed with such a beautiful family. I look forward to capturing more memories for you in the future~

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Ashlie, take 1~Preparing for battle~

Cancer…the C word. All of us know someone who has either had it or been affected by it.  It is an evil, scary disease that strikes whomever it pleases…young, old…no one is immune.

I think it is easy to not think about until it strikes someone close to you.  Someone you love.  Ashlie is that someone to me.

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 I will never forget my first encounter via email with Ashlie.  She was so cheery and positive and I knew we would be friends! She told me that one day she wanted some Denise Feagans Photography for her walls:) After we met, I not only became her photographer, but also her friend.  We have been running partners, breakfast buddy coordinators and a ton of other things together. My daughter loves to show Mrs Woodward what she is wearing when she gets off the bus at school each morning…so we have a short, but full history of memories.

What touched me in the beginning was our shared love of capturing memories through a photograph. Our first session was a couple’s session for she and her husband Andrew. We had  so much fun…not sure Andrew was as excited as we were, but he played along:)

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When she became pregnant with their daughter Carsen, I was able to capture a gender reveal photo for them as well as  a few shots of her beautiful pregnant belly~

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Of course I captured sweet Carsen after she was born.

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So yes, we have a history and I have always loved her support of my business. But mostly I have been appreciative of her sincere friendship.

Fast forward to this past April when she shared with us that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I know that I wasn’t the only one who walked around with a pit in my stomach for days.

The first time I saw her all I could do was hug her and cry.  We didn’t say much, it was new, it was scary…no words really. Just an “I love you” and “I am praying for you.”

Back up to a few months before when I read another photographer’s series on a young mom just like Ashlie who had breast cancer. Emily did a wonderful job of telling Lyndsie’s story and I boo hooed through the posts. I immediately wondered if Ashlie would want to do anything like that, to show her daughter one day how she beat cancer, or maybe to help other women who faced the same diagnosis.

I at least wanted to do a family session for them before her surgery, but I did share Emily’s site with her and told her I would do whatever she wanted…I was available.

Well, she did read Emily’s blog and consequently got in touch with Lyndsie and now they communicate with each other almost daily. She says that her new friend has helped her tremendously during this time and I am so very grateful that she has someone who knows exactly how she feels.

Soooooo, Ashlie and Andrew have decided to document this journey, the good and the bad. And I will be there along for the ride. I hope to capture moments that they can show their kids one day, moments that show them how strong their mom is…and how she kicked cancer’s butt!

I asked Ashlie to tell her story up until now and will continue to do so as the journey continues. Both Ashlie and I hope that this touches other women, that it may make them go get a mammogram, or do monthly self breast exams.  I am sure that she would appreciate your prayers as she goes in tomorrow for a double mastectomy.

Preparing for Battle~

First I was a daughter. Then a sister, a friend, an aunt, a wife, a mom. Now I’m working on my next title: survivor. 

 In April of this year, I noticed a lump in my right breast. Considering I was 31, healthy, a new mom, and had experienced many a hormonal change, I didn’t think much of it. I immediately adopted the “If I don’t think about it it’ll go away” attitude. Within a week or two, some other things happened that kept pushing this lump to the forefront of my brain. One night, while sitting on the floor in my living room playing with my daughter, I blurted out to my husband that I found a lump in my breast. So, my always strong, steady, and practical husband, who I was looking to for a reassuring “that’s nothing,” or “that’s always been there,” said “You need to go to the doctor.” So I did.

 14 days later, I was given a diagnosis of infiltrating ductile carcinoma, and a long list of new terms to learn and appointments to keep. Mastectomy, lymph nodes, chemo, hormonal therapy, genetic testing, plastic surgeon – statistics and questions and emotions kept coming, just like the rain that poured that day.

Fast forward through 7 weeks, about 15 doctor visits, a few tearful days, and a whole lotta laughter, love, and prayer. Now I am 2 days away from surgery and the first round in the fight of my life. My doctor told me on the day I was diagnosed that I seemed like a badass, so I’m hoping to meet that expectation (I really think a lot of my doctor).

I am certain that God put Andrew and I together because He knew that there was nobody better to love me through this. My daughter is pure sunshine. My lymph nodes are cancer free.  I am resting on an incredible support system of family and friends. God is EVERYWHERE and I am closer to Him than I ever have been. I’ve got my toenails painted pink. Let’s do it.

Ashlie, I am so proud of your faith and strength. God has got this…I love you!

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

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June 23, 2014 - 9:33 pm

Jo Dezeeuw - Beautiful pictures! Keep you in my prayers.

June 23, 2014 - 9:39 pm

Jeannine Johnson - Thanks for sharing this journey to encourage! I will be praying for Ashlie!!

June 23, 2014 - 10:41 pm

Linda Wieland - Thanks for being such a blessing in Ashlie’s life!!! The pictures are stunning and capture the love of family!!

June 23, 2014 - 11:12 pm

Joy Brown Stockton - Ashlie, thanks for sharing your heart story and Denise for not only sharing your love for a friend, but your gift with pictures. Cancer doesn’t stand a chance with this doctor-described “badass”. You all will be in my prayers!

June 23, 2014 - 11:34 pm

Cheryl Holland - Absolutely beautiful and what an inspiration to many! Lifting them in prayer

June 23, 2014 - 11:40 pm

Jennifer Cooper Porter - I’m not a crier but wow that got me. Thank you, Denise, for all you are doing for our friend. And Ashlie, you’ve got this and we’ve got you!

June 23, 2014 - 11:56 pm

Kelly Colvin - This is beautiful!! And, though I haven’t been to many family events the past few years, my thoughts & prayers are with you & your whole family!

June 24, 2014 - 12:18 am

Kristina Hartley Parker - Ashlie, thank you for sharing your story with us! You are a strong person and I know you will get through this chapter in your life. My prayers are with you right now for a speedy cancer-free recovery. And, thanks to your photographer, Denise, for capturing these moments in your life! The pictures are just beautiful!

June 24, 2014 - 12:28 am

Abigail Ripley - Denise your work is so beautiful. The pictures you have done for Ashlie have brought me much joy! Thanks for documenting this journey for her. I know she was not sure at first but am very proud of her and thankful to you. She is an amazing young woman even if she is mine! She is truly beautiful inside and out. She and I have always been very close. As a Mom I wish I could do this for her. I would change places in a minute. She is such a great Mom herself and I want her to be here to rock Carsen’s babies. Thanks for all the support, prayers and pictures for her. I am a grateful Mom.

June 24, 2014 - 12:30 am

Andy N Donna Taylor - This was absolutely beautiful. Ashlie has been on my mind since I read about this last night. My kids love her. Praying for Ashlie and her family. Thanks for sharing your journey. Hugs!

June 24, 2014 - 1:12 am

Kristen Brooking - Love you Ashlie! You are so strong and so kind to share your story. Beautiful pictures!

June 24, 2014 - 1:16 am

Katy Wayland Haney - Very Beautiful Ash!!! Love you!!!

June 24, 2014 - 1:46 am

Judi Shoup Woolfolk - Absolutely beautiful Denise. Prayers & prayers for Ashlie

June 24, 2014 - 2:37 am

Garland Nuckols - Only a true friend could put together such a sweet and heart felt story. Denise you have more than just talent, you show love in your pictures and the words are all from the heart.. Ashlie you are and will be in our Prayers… God is Good and will take you through it….

June 24, 2014 - 3:04 am

Deborah Woodward - Wow, this story is great and the pictures tell as much as the words. I hope I can type this, my eyes are misty, I wasn;t sure about this idea, but was I ever wrong. Andrew and Ashlie, you are such brave, strong, wonderful people and great parents, this is a great tribute. Denise, from the bottom of my heart thank you for doing this for them and baby girl Carsen. I love them so much and so proud of the way they have handled this thing we call cancer.

June 24, 2014 - 4:09 am

Faye Snider Deisher - Ashlie, You and your family have been in my prayers . This post is beautiful and comes from the heart! I can tell you are strong and facing what you have been dealt with Faith! From a two time cancer survivor , Faith and your strength will carry you through! My prayers will continue for you. God Bless you and give you the strength as you need it .

June 24, 2014 - 12:21 pm

Kim Hause Swales - Absolutely beautiful Denise Braswell Feagans. You are such a giving and loving friend. I will pray for Ashlie and will add her to our healing rosary. God bless.

June 24, 2014 - 1:05 pm

Robbie Seay Britt - Love you Ashlie

June 24, 2014 - 2:36 pm

Amy Bourne - Truely loving family. You’ve got this Ashlie kick butt and take names! Heartfelt prayers for the 3 of you

June 24, 2014 - 2:44 pm

Sharon Shields Kubat - My love and prayers are with you and your family. May God bless, heal, and carry you through this journey.

June 24, 2014 - 4:26 pm

Carole Weeks - While she has been such a wonderful support system to so many young children at MNES including my son. I only hope she will have that same kind of support through this journey of her life. I am so sorry to hear of this news but please find comfort in knowing that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

June 27, 2014 - 6:23 pm

Ashlie~ Round 1 » Denise Feagans Photography - […] *If you have not read the first post of Ashlie’s story, go here. […]

June 27, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Ronna Smith Barney - I don’t know this sweet mom and wife, but this journey will be shared by this loving community, and no doubt… Help others. Many prayers!

June 28, 2014 - 12:18 am

Amanda Darnell - I remember when Mrs Woodward was pregnant and trying to have a meeting with my husband and I sitting in a small chair made for kids….. Through the experiences my boys have had they say I am fine I talked to Mrs Woodward today and I feel better….my family prays for her and her family through this time

July 5, 2014 - 7:35 pm

Sandra Estes - Beautiful story and pictures. Prayers for this lovely lady and her family.