Silently Sadie


Meeting other Special Needs parents truly is a passion of mine. We walk very different journeys, but in all honesty, similar experiences cause our paths to merge here and there. Our children have different diagnoses, but the feelings that instantly bond us together are the same. We talk the same language, and understand the daily struggles with complete compassion and grace.

I met Hilari, Sadie’s Mama, and in that moment of greeting I liked her. She is strong physically and mentally. She is Sadie’s caretaker and biggest fan, and I understand that so well. Sadie is 22 and full of sass and charisma. She showed up in a mint coat with fur on the hood and all of me wanted to embrace her and celebrate her sweet demeanor. She is lovely and non-verbal with her own style of communication.





Dad brought a rustic iron bench to begin their family session and this was my first glimpse into their family dynamic. They are fun people! They followed my prompts with smiles and silly faces and even though it was cold, they snuggled together making the experience natural and inviting.



My favorite part of the session was when Sadie started taking off her Dad’s gloves, so she could feel the warmth of his hands. I had to stop to take in the moment, trying not to cry as I photographed this example of adoration and love.


Then after photographing family hugs, I had the pleasure of working with Sadie one on one. I love how her portraits turned out. Even with a red nose and rosy cheeks, she shines!







Sadie and her parents were my last outdoor session of the year. They were a perfect end to 2019.




At the end of our time together Mom shared with me that Sadie has Valley Fever. I was reminded that life really is a balance. Some days we stay in our pajamas all day and ignore the world. The very next day we get up, run errands, exercise and kick ass at being the best parent imaginable to our children. Our stories share seasons of grief and times of celebrations, always acknowledging what a gift it is to raise up a daughter or son who reflects an extraordinary version of what special really is.


Happy New Years to all of my friends and my clients who are new friends! This year has been full of incredible sessions that I will treasure and think about as we begin to shift into 2020.

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