Volunteer Photographer for On Angel's Wings [Maternity Photography]

April 27, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I am so honored to announce that I am officially a volunteer photographer for a wonderful non-profit  organization called “On Angel’s Wings”.   As a volunteer for On Angel’s Wings, “We provide free professional photographs and support for children battling a terminal condition from maternity to 18 years. This includes genetic disorders, chromosome defects that put the child at risk, childhood cancer, heart conditions, and birth loss. We strive to help our families celebrate life and encourage hope for the future.”

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Lifestyle Maternity PregnantOn Angel's Wings Non Profit Organization Logo St. Louis Photography St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Lifestyle Maternity PregnantSt. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Pregnant Mom holding belly in Spring On Angel's Wings Session

It is a type of organization I’ve wanted to be a part of for some time now.  Photography is something I hold close to my heart.  Being able to give back to the community with my photography means the world to me.  Since immersing myself in the world of photography and becoming a mom, it is mind blowing to see how many pregnancies aren’t “typical” pregnancies with “typical” outcomes.  Best friends of mine have lost their unborn children, my own sister was in a potential life or death situation whilst pregnant with her son who was diagnosed with Spina Bifida in her first trimester, people whom I’ve come to know through the photography world have lost children, and the list goes on.  In fact, just prior to becoming an On Angel’s Wings volunteer, I did a session for my friend Jess who suffered from Peripartum Cardiomyapthy (you can read all about her journey here) and didn’t officially meet her newborn until a couple weeks after she was born.  I mention these stories not in an effort to get anyone down or to scare people about pregnancy and birth, but rather to show why being a part of this organization has such meaning to me.  I love pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and all things related to babies and usually those are happy, joyous things.  The reality, however, is that sometimes joy turns to sorrow either in a predictable way or in chaotic, spur of the moment turn of events.  Regardless of the situation, sometimes those memories are fleeting like in the case of a child who may have been known only by kicks and movements in utero.  Sometimes those memories have been able to span for 18 years, but in the chaos of a terminal condition it can be difficult to process everything as it happens.  As an OAW volunteer, I am able to give the timeless gift of photos to hold those memories alive forever and to provide a celebration of that child’s life.  

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Lifestyle Maternity PregnantSt. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Pregnant Mom holding belly in Spring Blooming Flowers On Angel's Wings Session

Occasionally, at the discretion of the parents involved, I will be able to blog about my On Angel’s Wings sessions.  To protect the family and their identities, names will be changed.  Such is the case with a recent session I had with a mom (Ms. D) who is pregnant and due in early summer with her rainbow baby.  If you aren’t familiar with the term rainbow baby, it’s a term used to signify a child born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss.  The baby is considered the rainbow, the bright light, and the beauty after the storm.  Her sweet rainbow baby will need to be taken into surgery soon after birth.  St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Lifestyle Maternity PregnantSt. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Pregnant Mom holding belly in Spring at Sunset On Angel's Wings Session

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Lifestyle Maternity PregnantSt. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Pregnant Mom holding belly in Spring at Sunset On Angel's Wings Session

This mom hasn’t been dealt the easiest cards and yet she still holds a beautiful calm and peace about herself. 

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Lifestyle Maternity PregnantSt. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Pregnant Mom holding belly in Spring On Angel's Wings Session

The day of her session, she was even stuck at the hospital because they were trying to stop contractions.  Thankfully, they were successful with their efforts and Ms. D was able to make it to her maternity session.  Ms. D was beautiful inside and out and it was so wonderful spending time with this mom allowing her to just enjoy her changing body and growing baby inside.

St. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Documentary Lifestyle Maternity PregnantSt. Louis Katie Gaeta Photography Pregnant Mom holding belly in Spring at Sunset On Angel's Wings Session

Thank you, Ms. D for allowing me to share a small part of your pregnancy and maternity story!  I’m so thankful for you and On Angel’s Wings for this wonderful opportunity.

If you or someone you know may need or qualify for the services of On Angel’s Wings, please visit http://flyfreelittleone.org

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