"I may not always be there with you, but I will always be there for you..."
She talked about him the entire time we shot. How she felt he was still there with her. How she is so happy for this gift, baby Jameson. That she was going to be the best mom she could. Let him know how loved he is and how dad will always be there in spirit. We both cried and hugged during the session.
It's both heartbreaking and beautiful: We imagined him being there while we got some of the shots where we were adding him in, and you could see her pain while we shot. Amanda and Jesse were married on March 10th, 2017.
He passed away on May 27th, 2017 around noon. He was cutting down trees on their family property with his parents. The tree fell fine, but hit another tree on the way down, struck a limb and killed him instantly. They had been planning a maternity shoot - and had even chosen the outfits. The blue dress she wore for the shoot, and he ended up being buried in his.
We talked about Jesse a lot, about her loss, and what had happened..
We had to pretend for some of the shots that he was still there. It was heartbreaking while we talked and went through the session. It was really hard to take the picture. We also talked about how they met and fell in love, happy stories of the time they did have together, and how much she can feel him looking down on her and the new baby. No matter what, in spirit he was there with her, and she and Jameson were not alone. We hugged and felt like old friends when she left, and she was smiling.
What I want people to take from it is that even though we are witnessing her loss and hardship that she has faced, you can also see the hope and faith that is there. She is a beautiful, positive person.
She has the strength to move on, but still honors and keeps Jesse right there with her every step of the way. She is a beautiful person, an amazing mom, and will stay strong for Jesse, and raise their son, who he would be so proud of today
For the baby, they had together chosen the name Jameson William Snyder, which was the the same initials as his dad.
The blanket was sent to her in the mail by an unknown sender after he died. It said "God knew my heart needed you."
While we shot she talked about how she felt he was still there with her, there are signs and she can see them. The day after there was a storm, and there was a power outage, in the middle of the night while she was walking down the hall a license plate decoration fell. It said "whatever it takes." She uses that for strength to know, that 'whatever it takes' she is going to make it through this and he is there with her and Jameson everyday.
When the baby smiles, she sees Jesse. He has the same grin as him.
This is an amazing service that we as photographers are able to do for clients going through such pain. I have seen them done before but when you actually do a shoot like this it is absolutely heartbreaking. I am happy to announce that little Jameson William Snyder was born on 8/2/2017.
Jameson is a little miracle, and a gift, and his dad would be so so proud.
I wish the best for you and your little one Amanda!
Amanda and Jesse's story has been shared so many times, and touched the hearts of so many. Messages are being sent to her offering support and love, and other people are telling their own. There are so many people that her story spoke to. So far it has been found on Love what matters, WTAE Channel 4 Pittsburgh, Huffington Post, APlus, Honey9 NBC Today, Ellen's website - and even celebrities Like Ashton Kutcher have shared it on their Facebook pages! Amanda has talked to people as far as Australia. We did a video interview with Channel 4 that aired August 10th on the 11pm news.
She wants to tell everyone how grateful she is. "How thankful I am that there are so many wonderful people left in this world, how blessed and honored I feel for myself and Jameson that his father and my husbands memory will live on forever in so many beautiful ways."
I'm so happy I was able to do this for her, but everyone else coming together for her in her time of need is the true inspiration. Thank you for all the kind words and support send her way!
The video can be viewed here.