colorado newborn photographerA JOURNEY OF LOVE

all images © j.mo studio 2015

this beautiful baby girl is very near and dear to my heart. her mama was my very first client, years ago, and strongly encouraged me to take the leap into professional photography. she even started marketing for me before i could say no! not a day goes by that i’m not delighted to have made that leap, and i will always be grateful for her endless support.

DSC_4307-2

i love that this post not only depicts sarah’s journey, but also the gradual development in my own photography. because she was such an early client of mine, you can truly see the progression over time as i learned new techniques, acquired new lenses, new editing software, a new camera! so fun experiencing a journey of my own while i captured hers.

try as i might, there is no one who can recount her birth story better than she, (i can’t even think about it without getting choked up), so it is with much gratitude that i am able to share with you sarah’s story, through her words, and my camera.

– j.mo

My first pregnancy, labor, and delivery were dreamy. I wouldn’t have described them that way at the time, but I didn’t know how blessed I was as a first-time mom. An easy pregnancy, uneventful (albeit, looong) labor, and textbook unmedicated birth. After 41.5 weeks and 22 hard-earned hours, at last I held my precious Kate. And that was it. Around the 37th week of pregnancy, my friend Julia, who happened to be a photographer, had come and taken some maternity pictures for us. They completely captured the phase we were at. A couple in love, just dying to meet the little person that would make them a family.

01 02 03 04

When Kate was about six weeks old, I asked Julia to come back and take some more pictures. Again, she somehow caught the beauty of the new season we were in. Over the next year and a half, I asked her to come again…

05 06 07

 

And again…

 

0810 11 12

 

And again…

 

1416

 

And again…

 

1817

Our little girl was changing every day and every stage was so much fun. Often I would see an older man or woman out in public observing me with Kate. They got a wistful look in their eyes and said, “It goes so fast. Enjoy it!” I believed them and tried to memorize every roll on her wrist as she slept on my lap. Every adorable noise and new word. Every “aha” moment as her mind blossomed before my eyes. But I knew I couldn’t remember it all and I wanted something tangible to look back on what my heart would always treasure. So I kept asking Julia to come back.

19 20 21 22

When Kate was 20 months old, I found out we were going to have another little baby. Right away I knew this pregnancy was going to be different. I had terrible morning sickness for 16 weeks. With Kate I hadn’t been sick at all, so I was sure it was either twins, or a boy, or twin boys, (it was a girl).

26 27

As soon as I told Julia, she began contemplating new ideas for a maternity shoot. I couldn’t wait to see what she had up her sleeve.

23

We started shooting a progressive maternity series, never expecting the outcome that lie ahead…

28

At 19 weeks my husband and I went in for the anatomy scan. The sonographer told us we were having a girl! (?) But then she started doing more measurements and stopped talking. After a couple minutes she left to get the doctor. They both came back, visibly concerned, and told us that I had placenta previa. I vaguely remembered reading about it on my pregnancy app the first time around. The doctor said that it resolves itself most of the time, but in some cases it requires a cesarean section. I was pretty caught off guard, but knew lots of people who had c sections and my doctor seemed somewhat calm about it. Why borrow trouble?

However, once I started educating myself, this diagnosis was very alarming. Placenta previa forums online were full of women who were put on bedrest for months, hospitalized until their delivery, delivered very premature babies, blood transfusions, emergency hysterectomies. There was even a higher chance of maternal death, in spite of very skilled medical intervention.

Not all of my research was discouraging, though. I found out that the occurrence of placenta previa is 1 in every 200 pregnancies. Of that half a percent, 90% of previas resolve themselves before delivery. Therefore, the possibility of my previa being one of the scary stories like the forums I had read was roughly 1 in 10,000. I decided to rest in those favorable stats and wait until my next ultrasound.

24

Meanwhile, several friends were coming out of the woodwork and telling me they had placenta previa and it resolved itself. “Don’t worry,” they assured me. Well, the next ultrasound came and went. It hadn’t resolved and even appeared to have gotten worse. Still, I didn’t have any signs of complications so I was hoping it would move at the last minute.

At 30 weeks I went to labor and delivery one night with contractions. After they determined that the contractions weren’t progressing, the on-call doctor did not mince words about what the remainder of this pregnancy would look like. The risk of spontaneous hemorrhage was very high. She advised me to not go further than a few minutes from a hospital. I put myself on modified bedrest, in spite of my doctor assuring me that bedrest would not prevent hemorrhage.

A vaginal birth is out of the question with placenta previa, so my doctor scheduled a c section for 36.5 weeks (3.5 weeks earlier than a normal 40 week pregnancy). In cases like mine, medical professionals have to toe the careful line between the risk to the baby of premature birth and the mortal risk to the mother of the placenta previa causing hemorrhage. It was a scary time.

The next three and a half weeks were a flurry of trying to nest while on bedrest. I must’ve known somewhere deep down that we would have this baby even earlier than the early c section date.

25

At 33 weeks and 2 days, I woke up my husband in the middle of the night. This was it and it was going to happen in one of those “worst case scenario” ways we had hoped and prayed it wouldn’t. The next hour and a half kind of felt like an out of body experience. Clint carrying me to the car, calling my neighbor to come stay with our sleeping two-year-old, calling ahead to the hospital to try and communicate all vital information in case I lost consciousness from blood loss, and at last kissing the tiny fresh head of our 4lb. 3oz., Brooke, before she was whisked away to the NICU.

Nothing about it seemed real, or fair. I kept telling myself that the only thing that matters is that we both survived. I texted a few friends to tell them the news, but my mind was still in a fog. How could I have been in the tiny percentage of people that this happens to? Why couldn’t I be one of those rare people who wins the lottery or doesn’t get wrinkles?

This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. I was going to “beat” the placenta previa and have another natural birth a week before my due date, so she would be home for Christmas. And I’d have a birth photographer there and then hang one of the beautiful, tasteful pictures above her changing table.

I got to hold Brooke later that day. She had a CPAP mask on, a feeding tube down her throat, and an IV taped in place on her little hand. It took three nurses to put her in my arms with all her wires and tubes. My eyes were swollen and red from the pain medication and tears. This was not the precious moment I had envisioned.

My husband and I were just robots over the next days and weeks. Our families, friends, and colleagues filled in the gaps where we had nothing left to give. There was always someone to watch Kate while we shuttled back and forth to the NICU throughout the day. We had three weeks of meals delivered to us. People sent flowers and notes of encouragement. Most importantly, they let us tell them about Brooke’s scary birth. And they cried with us.

Each time I told it, I felt more affirmed and more ready to accept it as part of our story.

After 24 days in the NICU, Brooke got to come home. I never thought I’d be so relieved to bring a five pound baby on oxygen home from the hospital. The next week Julia came to take our first family photo in front of the Christmas tree. I could see the tears in her eyes while she worked and I knew that this dear friend was thinking the same thing I was, “This is the Christmas that almost wasn’t.”

29 30 31 32

It’s been three months since Brooke’s birth and we are settling into life as a family of four. Like anyone who survives a brush with death, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and thanking God for sparing my life. I’m kissing my babies more and telling my husband how much I love him every chance I get.

After such an ordeal, I’m reminded of the expression, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And I do feel stronger. Stronger just doesn’t look like what I always thought it would. Instead of an impenetrable fortress, for us it turned out to be more like a ship you owned but just discovered is seaworthy. It is not a skill I ever would’ve signed up to learn, but we certainly learned a lot as we navigated through that storm. I also feel more prepared to lend an ear and offer a prayer for those in the midst of their own gale. The strength does not come from being sure that you’ll never be hit with another storm. The strength is in the knowing that this ship floats.

– Sarah

after what seemed like an eternity of waiting, little brooke was given the ok to lose her oxygen tubes, at which point i was given the ok to schedule our “official” newborn shoot. i was relieved, overjoyed, and beyond grateful to finally capture this little miracle, just as precious as the rest of her amazing family. there are so many reasons that i love my job, but i cannot begin to express the overwhelming emotion i feel as i go back through this family’s journey…it is such an awesome feeling to have been a part of so many important moments in their lives, and to have captured these moments for them to treasure, always.

DSC_4412-2DSC_4492DSC_4527DSC_4471-2DSC_4289-2DSC_4324DSC_4336DSC_4613-2





traveling engagement photographerFROM SEATTLE WITH LOVE

“Classic tale of girl hires boy, boy maxes out credit card buying girl tequila and pizza, girl agrees to marry boy, boy already has all their future children named, girl takes a nap because she had to be up early for a thing.”

– Boy & girl

You know those kind of people that just make your heart smile? This is them.  They are fun, witty, spontaneous, original, and so loving. They complement one another with perfection, and I love that they are getting married. I would travel most anywhere to photograph (or just be near) them…especially Seattle.

all images © j.mo studio 2015

0103DSC_4203-205 06 07 08 09 10

colorado wedding photographerPUBLISHED: STYLED WEDDING SHOOT

A little re-cap now that the blog is up and running! Back in September 2014, I had the great pleasure of shooting alongside eleven amazing photographers from the Denver Photo Betties, (whom I adore!) at a styled wedding shoot, hosted at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield. For months we all anxiously awaited the release of this gorgeous shoot, and were SO thrilled to learn that it was indeed published by Rocky Mountain Bride in December 2014! Two of my own images were selected for this publication, amongst dozens of stunning shots from all of the Betties who contributed.

It was such a blast to work with these talented ladies and the oh-so-adorable models at this spectacular event, organized by the awesome Betty board, and made possible by the crazy-talented Ileen Hoekman of Once Upon A Wedding Events.

A very heartfelt thank you to all of these incredible vendors who made this shoot come together:

Coordinator: Once Upon A Wedding Events
Dress: a&bé bridal shop
Cake: Leaf & Crumb
Caterer: DelishNOLA Catering and Private Chef Services
Floral Design: Bella Calla
Hair & Makeup: Danni Salazar
Paper Goods: Anthologie Press
Jewelry: The Roaring Artist
Photo Booth: Photo Love Bus
Venue: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

And an extra special thanks to Mary Lynne from the Photo Love Bus, who delighted me by featuring two of my images on her own website: Photo Love Bus

Check it out!

all images © j.mo studio 2015

001002003004005006008010011012013014015 016017 018019 020 021 022023 024 025 026027 028 029 030 031 032 033 034 035

YES!denver engagement photographer

You gotta love it when the universe sends someone your way that you just adore. This happened for me a year and a half ago when I met Noelle! After years of looking for a new go-to hair stylist, she instantly ended my search, and changed my life. She gave me confidence I didn’t know I had. She fed me wine…lots of wine. And she became a friend.

I love how our friendship has grown, and I’m so happy to have the honor of capturing all of the unbelievably special events in her life!

For some gorgeous shots of this lovely Mama and her two men, see below…

For an amazing haircut (and lots of wine), go see Noelle: Salon Noelle

all images © j.mo studio 2015

02 03 04060507 0810 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

When in doubt, lots of KISSES!!

BOUDOIR BABESdenver boudoir photographer

Have you been meaning to book a boudoir session? Is it on your personal wish list? Don’t put it off! There will never be a more ‘perfect time’ to capture your true beauty, and it is such a wonderful gift to give yourself! You can tell whomever you want that you did it for them…but do it for you! I’ve never met someone who wasn’t thrilled with the results from their session, whatever the occasion. I promise you won’t be sorry.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it seemed an appropriate time to share these beauties with you for some fun inspiration! It’s all about you…have fun, be yourself, and let me capture YOU!

all images © j.mo studio 2015

02 03 04 050706100911 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

10% discount on all boudoir sessions booked before February 5th when you mention this blog post – book yours today!

www.jmostudio.com

error: Content is protected !!