Why I decided to do photography as a business isn’t a story I’ve shared with many because quite honestly, it’s not a short conversation. I usually stick with “I’ve always loved photography” and leave it at that. But for those who really want to know, there’s a much bigger, more personal story to it.
Truth is, I have always loved photography… always had a camera, and smashed many a point & shoot in the bottom of my book bag through my school years. It was rare for me to ever be without a camera and when things went digital it rocked my world.
But on July 10, 2009, my life changed, and it spurred me to be more than just a girl with a camera. I got the call around 5pm that my twin nieces had been born.
“Oh wow! I thought they weren’t due until the end of September?!”
They weren’t– they were 11 weeks early. My mom then went on to tell me that one of my nieces had not lived for more than 30 minutes. The other one was in the NICU.
We were slightly prepared for that– we had been told that something may be wrong– but it was all up in the air until they were born so early. My husband and I were on a business trip with work and were just about to leave for NC to pick up our dogs. I was so thankful that we had to go up there anyway because like any other family member, I felt the need to be there.
That weekend I watched my brother and the mother of those twins go through extremely difficult circumstances. Suddenly they were faced with picking out names for both babies, signing birth certificates, a death certificate, and then the hospital asking what their plans were for Kyah, who had passed.
Thankfully, I had a friend whose family owned a funeral home. I called and asked her what one does in this type of circumstance. She pointed us in the right direction and to the right resources to get through the time.
Things were handled as best they could have been, but in the weeks and months afterwards, we realized we only had 2 pictures of Kyah, both snapped with a cell phone and neither one particularly fabulous. Yet this was all we had to remember her by.
I later learned about an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep that sends professional photographers in to take pictures of the family and baby during times like these. It’s completely free to the family, and they have these pictures to remember forever.
If only… if only… we’d had pictures like that. It helps the healing process. It’s something to show siblings later in life. It’s the only memories, and although it’s a terribly difficult time, to see sweet memories in photos makes all the difference.
And somewhere along then, I decided that I needed to do more than just take some fun pictures whenever I’m around. I need to do something bigger… to help people in my own way.
So I did. I started learning all about the technical side of everything related to a camera. A year later I put a name to it: Fowler Photo. And now, almost another year later, I’m almost to the point where I’m close to submitting to become one of those photographers for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. I’m already a part of a group that takes pictures for babies in the NICU.
I’m also proud to announce that I’ll be doing pictures for the March for Babies Peninsula/Newport News walk! I can’t think of a better organization to partner with– they’re really making a difference by giving hope to babies born too soon.
My husband told me the other day that he’d never seen me so passionate while pursuing something that I loved. It’s true. I love this, and I if I’m able to make a living while helping families in these situations, then all the better.
So so excited for you! I love that you have a passion to help and you’re going after it! And March of Dimes is such a great organization. Way to go Susan!