Photographing a birth was one thing I hadn't done before. Lara was one of those clients who I couldn't help but become friends with. I was given the honor of photographing her engagement, wedding and maternity portraits. When we finished her maternity portraits, that night I went home and felt the desire to photograph the birth of her daughter. I'd never had the experience of seeing someone give birth, let alone the opportunity to photograph it. I had a lot of questions; would she think I was weird or over stepping, was it something she would be willing to participate in, what happens if my presence there changes the beauty of the moment? I was afraid to ask but I stepped out in faith. I sent Lara a message and after discussing it with her husband, they both agreed they would like to have the birth documented.
To say that day was a pivotal and momentous experience would be an understatement. Everything worked out like a dream. Every single detail fell into perfect place. Little did I know how it would change me and change my heart. See, for nearly ten years I had focused my photography business on weddings. After a very painful divorce my heart was changed. It grew hardened. I built brick walls that I swore would never come down. It was hard to photograph weddings, not the technicality of it but what it all meant for me during that time. I had gone to a place where I questioned if romantic and lasting love was real, if marriage would ever be a part of my life and if anyone would ever love me the way my heart desired them to. I didn't know how to forgive myself for failing at something that had been so important to me. But that night changed EVERYTHING!
I arrived and felt an excitement that superseded my physical being. I didn't feel tired or hungry, all I wanted was to see a miracle and I was willing to wait as long at it would take. As I watched Reese (Lara and Reilly's baby girl) come into the world, something moved in my spirit. It was the most incredible feeling. The emotion took my breath away. I remember leaving the hospital and something stirred within me. It was November 10, 2016, the day Reese was born and the day I believed in true love again. God healed my heart that night through the birth process. Before I even made it to my car, I whispered in my spirit, "I'm ready God. I'm ready to love again." The witnessing of her birth, the love her parents have for each other and for their daughter was a catalyst that night. I let those brick walls that I took four years constructing, come crumpling down. I allowed myself to be vulnerable again. I opened my heart to what God was doing in my life and soon after was married.
I share with you this story as I attend a Revival this week. God says to my spirit, "What are you doing? Wake up! Leap into destiny, the purpose which I designed you for." As I prayed today, I felt other walls crumble. Fears that wedding photography slipped through my hands were broken. I want to photograph weddings with a renewed passion I haven't felt in a long time. The desire to witness and capture the celebration of love is so great in my heart. If you or anyone you know is newly engaged I hope you remember my story and send them to me. I want to give them beautiful portraits and an experience they look back on with joy.
Thank you to Lara, Reilly and Reese Bradshaw for being part of what has been born again within me. For the renewed faith in love which has now lead to the revival of my life's purpose. You truly are a blessing to me.
Heather Kampans Beloved Photography
Wedding Photographer Birth Photographer Mary Washington Hospital Fredericksburg, Virginia