On a warm October afternoon in 2011, I met Janina and her family in a local park to do a photo shot with them. On October 23rd, 2010, at age 17, Janina was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma. What they first thought to be a muscle contusion in her right thigh has turned out to be a cancerous tumor that had already spread to her lungs. By the time I met them, it was already considered Stage IV-A bone cancer. Yesterday, on the first day of spring, at age 18, Janina lost her battle with cancer. It is with a very heavy heart that I write these words. I only spent a short time with her and her family, but I fell in love with their warmth and love. I feel so honored to have taken their photos.

Janina didn’t want me to post pictures of her without her wig and even though I think those are the most beautiful pictures her, where her soul really shined through, I will honor her wishes and not post them. But trust me when I tell you that her bright pink hair she had dyed recently looked incredible against her skin and when she smiled, it lit up the world.

Janina, thank you for allowing me to photograph you. You were a beautiful and loved young woman. You will be missed.

  • Jasmine E. - March 21, 2012 - 10:02 am

    Cancer is a terrible, terrible disease. My heart goes out to this family. I love the family portraits. I’m sure they will be cherished by so many of her friends and family for a very long time.ReplyCancel

  • feuza - March 21, 2012 - 10:29 am

    as I have younger siblings this breaks my heart but makes these photos so much more special to their family, prayers for her family in this hard time.ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - March 21, 2012 - 11:11 am

    I am SO touched and saddened by such a young loss… You captured beautiful pictures for her family. I can’t imagine what her family is going through 🙁ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - March 21, 2012 - 3:16 pm

    Such a beautiful family! My heart goes out to them.ReplyCancel

I don’t do many newborns, but having just had my second baby and lots of friends on their seconds and third babies, I seem to be surrounded by babies lately! Newborns are not my specialty and I’m certainly not the best at this genre, but how can I resist some squishy babies? Especially when I adore his parents??? Well I can’t!

So I just wanted to share this gorgeous shot of baby Graeme:

When I was pregnant with Zoe, I thought about hiring a photographer to photograph the birth. But I didn’t know any local photographers and my searchers for one that did birth photographer yielded nothing. I assumed it was yet another type of photography, along with senior photography, that just isn’t done here on Long Island. It was always present in my mind but with 2 pretty major home improvement projects to do during the pregnancy, plus all the other regular prep of a pregnancy, it just never came to fruition.

Fast forward to my pregnancy with Piper and once again I thought about it. But the difference this time was I that I was now a professional photographer, but even better, I now knew local photogs! But I also knew I was having another c-section and knew a photographer wouldn’t be allowed in the OR. But when I saw one of my friends post on Facebook that she did birth photography I knew I was going to do it this time! We messaged back and forth a few times but ultimately my c-section got moved up by 2 weeks, due to my high blood pressure and sadly she was already booked that day. So another amazing photographer offered to step in and once again she couldn’t do it in the end due to other personal commitments. But thankfully, the awesome and amazing Alan Abrams stepped in and I was so happy! I had only met Alan once before, but I remembered how friendly he was and how comfortable he made feel within seconds of meeting him. And I knew I’d be comfortable having him with us for such a precious and special occasion. Alan is wedding photographer but was excited to challenge himself with a different type of shoot. We briefly chatted about the look and feel we each were going for and we were on the exact same page!

After confirming with my doctor and the hospital that we could have a photographer with us, we were all set! We had Alan come to our house in the morning before heading to the hospital to document us getting Zoe ready. He followed us to the hospital and came up the maternity ward with us (I didn’t want to worry about any issues with them letting him up since they are very strict about who is allowed in the Labor & Delivery section.) We explained who he was to my nurse and she was told us they never had anyone bring along a birth photographer and she was very excited about the process (I have to say that the entire nursing staff at my hospital in both L & D and Maternity are amazing. And I got to know many of them very well between both pregnancies and the complications that had me in and out of stays prior to each birth.)

While I was being prepped and in the OR, Alan hung out in the waiting room with our families (which has the most amazing natural light! A photographer’s dream!) and documented them, well, waiting. Some of my favorite shots are the ones of our families looking at their iPhones of the picture Rob texted from the OR of me holding Piper right after she was born! Isn’t technology incredible? The main thing I wanted Alan to capture was Zoe meeting her sister for the first time. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Zoe was super tired and fell asleep in one of her grandmother’s arms. She got to see the picture on the phone and see her in the nursery through the glass, but didn’t get to meet her face to face until that night. Had I known the day would have gone that direction, I might have insisted on having Alan back to the hospital that night! But what he did capture is an amazing gift. As Rob and I looked through the pictures for the first time, we had tears in our eyes. These pictures will always be precious to us and we can’t thank Alan enough for the gift he gave us.

  • Wendy King - March 6, 2012 - 11:20 pm

    I am SO happy you posted these! I have been waiting 🙂 With a tear running down my cheek, I am so happy you had these taken and wish I had thought of it. Absolutely precious!!!ReplyCancel


Yes, I know! I’ve been horribly neglecting my blog. But really, adjusting to 2 kids is a big, well, adjustment. I think I’ll have time to devote to doing a blog post or editing pictures and next thing I know its bedtime! And once Zoe is in bed, I’m d-o-n-e! And I veg in front of the tv. Part of the problem is that Piper is super snuggly and loves to be held. She’s also a little colicky (we’re on her third formula!) so we need to hold her a lot. And her nick-name is the “sleeping pill” because once she’s on you and all snuggled in and asleep, chances are you will be asleep shortly too! But she’s almost 2 months old and will smile once in a while (although she did spit up right after smiling the other day, so maybe she wasn’t really smiling at me…) but she will “coo” occasionally and its SO.CUTE!

I wanted to share some photos of Piper. Some are from her newborn session, some are from the hospital and some are from our first few days at home.

This is her “official” picture. Its on her birth announcement and I had a big canvas printed of it for her room:

If you know me, you know I LOVE baby feet. And these are my current favorite feet:

Her lips are so sweet and kissable:

Pretty in purple:

More sweet feet:

Love this little outtake of Zoe checking out Piper:

Speaking of Zoe, the bestest big sister ever, I couldn’t help snap a few pictures of my big girl. Those eyes. They KILL me. Seriously:

My girls:

When I found out the baby was due in January, I wished and hoped for snow. Preferably for us to get a pretty snow storm about a week or two after the baby would be born. I envisioned an image in my head. I was so disappointed with the mild weather we were having and thought my chances of a snow picture were slim to none. I was delighted when we had an itsy-bitsy snow storm and before it turned over to rain, we ran out and got this shot. (Don’t worry, she was bundled up under the scarf and Rob was holding a huge golf umbrella over her. Plus we were out there for 5 minutes tops!):

Rewind to January 5th, the day Piper was born. I was laying my hospital bed, confined from my c-section, so I was very limited in the angles I could capture. As Rob changed her tiny diaper, I caught this shot. I LOVE it sosososo much:

Rob took these (camera in auto mode so not the greatest in terms of technical imagery, but so perfect to me):

Proud daddy, admiring his newest love:

The calm before the storm (the storm being both of our immediate families crammed into my hospital room to meet Piper for the first time):

Zoe meeting and holding her sister for the first time:

The next day, she walked into my room and upon seeing Piper said, “I hold that?”:

Zoe loves her sister:

I just love this shot of Zoe being silly while visiting me on my last full day before going home:

Once we got home, Zoe wanted to hold her all the time. She still does, but not as often. But she is still fascinated by her:

Zoe loves Piper’s little hands and feet:

And Piper seems to really love Zoe:

Zoe loves to help feed her. And will even dab her mouth with the burp cloth if she drools:

Even the dogs are more accepting this time around. Devo seems to love kissing her and having her snuggle with him:


I also wanted to include the video of Zoe holding Piper for the first time. Its so sweet:

vimeo Direkt

We’re still adjusting to life with 2 kids over here, and there is not a dull day to be had. It’s funny, the first night I was home from the hospital, as we sat at the dinner table, an overwhelming feeling came over me. I suddenly felt like we were complete. We were now a complete family. Like Piper was the missing piece of the pie (get it? PIE?) A piece I didn’t even know was missing till she was in her home, right where she belonged.

I’ve been severely neglecting my blog but for one very good reason! Piper Isabel was born on January 5, 2012 at 11:10am. She weighed in at 7.2lbs and was 19 inches long. She is such a sweet girl and I’m so in love with her. Zoe is the best big sister ever and she really loves her little sister and helping to take care of her.

I will post more pictures soon, plus I still have some fall sessions I’m excited to share. Stay tuned!

  • Pam Peter - January 18, 2012 - 9:57 pm

    Oh she is beautiful! Thank you for allowing me to share in your joy. So peaceful; love the fetal position and the pucker lips. Glad she is healthy and big sister is such a helper.ReplyCancel

  • Grace - February 4, 2012 - 6:53 pm

    Oh my goodness Jennifer! She’s lovely, big congrats to you all!ReplyCancel

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