Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sheila, Wonder Nurse | Lantern Tree Photography | Indianapolis Family Photographer

There are a few times in life when one moment changes the course of everything that's to come ahead. And the people who are present during that short moment in time will forever share a bond, no matter where life takes them. My husband and I can remember just about every detail of by far the scariest moment of our lives together. It is the moment when our son's health took a very serious turn for the worse after his second open heart surgery.

Trenton was still in the pediatric intensive care unit, guarded that day by an angel of a nurse. We'd been around the PICU block once before, and we knew we loved Sheila even back then. She could hold her own with Matt's sarcastic antics (very few people can!), answer the ten million medical questions we fired at her daily, and most importantly, Sheila could handle Trenton's fragile post-operative body, the endless medications, procedures, tubes, labs, numbers, (and so much more!) with amazing confidence and utmost care. 

So in that moment when things turned frightful, doctors were surrounding Trenton's bed, puzzled at what to do. My mom and mother-in-law were in tears, Matt and I were frozen, stunned. All of us knew that his fragile heart was probably giving up. It's hard enough to see the monitors connected to your child's body indicate that things are looking bleak, but what's without a doubt worse is watching so many doctors stand still and do nothing

Discuss, sure. Ponder, of course. Worry, yes. But not one doctor knew what to do. 

Cue Sheila, wonder nurse. We all know the hierarchy that exists between doctors and nurses. This day was different. I distinctly remember Sheila asking permission to work on Trenton, and when there was no solid answer, she took action. Boldly, confidently, carefully. She started the process that would ultimately save Trenton's life. Not only save it, but preserve the quality of life he would have forever. 

I won't go into more medical detail, but Matt and I were sent out of the room by Sheila, after the doctors sprung into action with her. We drug ourselves down the hallway, sank to the floor, and cried together. Family and friends had been called, and started to gather in a private room that had been opened for us. We prayed with a complete stranger (now a dear friend!) in that hallway and then moved into the room with our people. We circled to pray, cried, began to prepare ourselves for the worst.

Cue Sheila, wonder nurse. She found us in that room, and the expression of relief on her face was like finally breathing air after being held underwater for days. Her news was even better. Trenton was stable. Not only stable, but more stable than he'd been all day, maybe longer!

Trenton gradually recovered from surgery, and we've thankfully never had another scare of that caliber to date. We've even returned to the PICU and to Sheila's care for future surgeries, which at that point felt like being in the hands of family. The bonds that form in those moments--amidst the hell, the chaos, the tears--those bonds are there for life. The stranger in the hallway, the wonder nurse. Both are family to us now. Precious relationships that were formed in that single moment will undoubtedly last a lifetime.

Maybe to Sheila, she was just doing her job. My guess is that this sort of thing happens often on Sheila's watch. She's given these fragile post-op children for a reason. I know she's highly respected and counted on by some of the best cardiac surgeons in the nation there in that PICU. But I also now know Sheila well enough that her own heart is there in those moments, too. When her patients' hearts are crashing. She's the rare kind of nurse that truly understands the impact that she's making with every lab she checks, with every bold decision she makes. 

How does this relate to my (usually lighthearted!) photography blog, you ask? As you can probably guess, I had the privilege of taking family photos for Sheila and her family recently. I love that they call her "Chop," a reference to being a helicopter mom. Those helicopter mom qualities are the same ones that saved our son seven years ago. I know her family watches her leave for long shifts at work, and I can guarantee that they know she's amazing, intelligent, and inspiring. But when she comes home, I doubt they realize the impact on countless lives she's had while she was gone. Matt and I need to thank her husband, sons, daughter-in-law, and grandson for sharing her with us--for giving up their time with her as she leaves for her "pump shift" to care and fight for her other children--the post-heart surgery PICU ones who need her. Because even if our story hadn't ended well (and I'm confident many haven't), it means the world to us that Sheila was there in our corner, fighting for our child's life when we certainly weren't qualified to, and those who were didn't know what to do.

She's no ordinary nurse. And her family deserves to know all about it. 

(And maybe see some photos of their beautiful faces, too!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pizza rolls and Mountain Dew | Lantern Tree Photography| Indianapolis Family Photographer

You know those friends you have that are practically family? Meet the friends/family in our lives. Bob and Christina are friends that date back to my husband's days of ole at Anderson University. Bob and his wife Christina have three(!!!) boys (yes, pray for these parents and the poor bathrooms of every family in our world that has more than one boy). Zander, Micah, and Asher have become seasoned buddies to the three little Beavers who live at my home. So get-togethers with our families are pretty perfect--kids play, adults hang. Most of the time with some seriously incredible food Bob whips up. We are so thankful to have them in our lives, and it's amazing to think how much our families and lives have changed over the years!

Yes, Bob and Matt have horrific stories about the conditions of their off-campus living quarters back in the day--things I like to block out, like throwing old meat out the window that had been sitting out for days, maybe weeks (wait. was it meat? can't remember. ahh, thank you, mind block!)--and a room full of mattresses on the floor where all of the roommates just camped out all year. Pizza rolls and Mountain Dew were aplenty (um, still are at my house, I must confess), and somewhere along the way, someone had a remote control hurled at them. All I know is that somehow these men have been perfectly tamed and now function as the fully normal, amazing husbands and fathers (and cooks) that they are today! And for that, Christina and I are so thankful. ;) 

Enjoy the photos!

Interested in booking a session with Lantern Tree? Visit the website at www.lanterntreephotography.com, or contact Shannon via email HERE or call 317.752.9671.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hadley is One! | Lantern Tree Photography | Indianapolis Newborn Photography

How can this little angel already be turning one? Rumor has it that she's now even walking. On her own. All around her house. How can it be?

It feels like yesterday that we were attending baby showers, guessing names, and eagerly rushing to Fort Wayne, waiting to hear that my niece was FINALLY here! 

And now she's ONE, friends. A cute, sweet, wide-blue-eyed, dainty little thing that's wrapped around my brother's finger and surely will be my daughter's BFF once Delaney realizes she's not a doll! My, how time flies. 

So on to Hadley's one-year photo session.

I think all photographers struggle to find the perfect location for special shoots like this one (Downtown Carmel? Coxhall Gardens? Southeastway Park? Somewhere else in Indy? AAH, none seemed right!) In the end, we finally (and ironically) decided to just run down the road a few miles to Beckenholdt Park. And boy, am I thanking the Lord for that decision! It turned out to be the most serene little place for Miss All-Grown-Up-Now Hadley to pose and play for the camera. Let's all just take a peek at how Hadley's Big Girl Session turned out:

My niece is beautiful, no?? 

So next we needed to find the perfect cake smash location. 


So again, we stuck close to home. Well, scratch that. We just stayed home! With a little help from my old friend, Mr. Backdrop Stand, moonlighting as Mr. Frame Hanger, we arranged for some fun frame action right in front of the woods behind my home. Who needs fancy backdrops and locations when you have your own backyard and funky frames?!? Lesson learned.

It goes to show, I suppose, that we all can find beauty in the things we see almost every day! Of course, it certainly helps when your gorgeous niece stops by to visit and smile for the camera. 

Interested in booking your own family or newborn session? Head over to www.lanterntreephotography.com, click "reserve a session" to see available dates. Or contact Shannon at 317.752.9671.

Fall Mini Session Dates | Lantern Tree Photography | Greenfield, IN | Family Photographer

   It's Fall Mini-Session Time!

Mini-Sessions are the perfect way to get those family pictures you've been wanting, or even have your Christmas Photos done ahead of time! These popular Minis only come around a few times each year, and fill very quickly. So reserve your spot now! 


- 12 SPOTS ONLY at specific times and Indy area locations (see website for details).
- 30 minute sessions (just enough time to capture those smiling, laughing faces on camera).
- 15 images to proof (all presented in regular color, black and white, and urban/vintage options). 

- Online password-protected proofing/ordering gallery.
- PLUS, an EXCLUSIVE Smartphone app, with photos featured from your session.

What's even more exciting is that if ALL TWELVE spots are filled, I will donate every. single. session fee to Izzy Mattocks and her family, as a celebration of her completion of her FINAL PHASE (can I get a WOOHOO!?!?!) of cancer treatment! You can read more about 5 year-old Izzy and her amazing journey with Stage IV Neuroblastoma on her mom's blog here or her Facebook page here.

So how do you secure your session? 

Visit www.lanterntreephotography.com and click "reserve a session" to view available dates, times, and locations. You can also pay your session fee there. Or, just call me at 317.752.9671. Sessions are first-come, first-serve, so don't wait! 

Of course, full sessions are still available throughout the fall, too! You can also reserve those on the website. 

Can't wait to see your smiling faces this fall!


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lucas: Six Months!

There are just so many things I adore about newborn photography. Getting to snuggle and pose those brand new creatures, capturing that newborn innocence and sweet, precious moments between the babies and their parents . . . I could go on for a long time you guys. But, alas, this post isn't about newborns. 

Lucas' newborn shoot in January

Instead, we're gonna jump ahead a few months. Cause the flip side of newborns is how unbelievably fast they grow! And I loooove to see the all of the changes that happen that first year of life. My husband can attest--I'm the all-reining queen of the "Who Does This Baby Look Like? Game." It fascinates me how babies can change so much from looking like one parent or side of the family to the other, and then back again. I swear, my college roommate's daughter switched from the spitting image of her dad to her mom's identical twin overnight. How. Does. This. Happen?!?!? I can't be the only one amazed by this, right? Please say you play this game, too. At least so Matt will think I'm a little less crazy. 

So anyway, it's just perfect that my job is to stare at these babies' faces for hours while I edit, quietly contemplating to myself whether those eyes and dimples are mom's or dad's. Handsome Mr. Lucas here was no different! Those eyes--totally mom's, in case you were wondering. 

Three month-old Lucas! 

Jumping ahead a few more months, I recently met Lucas and his parents for a morning session at Fortville's Memorial Park for his six-month(!!!) shoot. There is something magical that happens when babies hit the milestones of sitting up and standing with help, usually right around that sixth month. Eyes brighten, smiles get a little bigger, and you can really see little personalities developing!  Lucas was the perfect example--this little man just lit up for the camera this time around, which you can see below! And feel free to comment, leaving your "he looks like mom/that's dad's smile" votes, too!

Interested in booking a newborn session or first year package with Lantern Tree Photography? Visit www.lanterntreephotography.com for details, email or call Shannon at 317.752.9671.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dylan and Elijah

Oh man, there are some sessions that make it so difficult to decide which photos to preview for you guys! When you take two little handsome studmuffins and put them in a place that somehow feels magical on camera, the pickins are a'plenty in photoland! 

Studmuffin Photoshoot Background: I met Dylan, Elijah and their rad parents at Southeastway Park last week. The rain that beat us there almost ruined our session, and I am so thankful we decided to embrace the wet evening instead (Has there been any evening without rain lately, anyway?)! So although the ground was a little damp, the night was just perfect, along with the stars of the show:

See what I mean? Sooo much magical cuteness. Lucky for these guys' mama and dad, they'll get to see the rest of their session in a couple days! Consider them teased. ;)

Interested in scheduling a session? 

Read more info on summer/fall sessions here
visit Lantern Tree's full website at www.lanterntreephotography.com
or call Shannon at 317.752.9671