(photos courtesy of Jefra Linn)
Thought this was the perfect title to describe one of my best friends and fellow photographer Deb Schwedhelm. Not only has she gifted me with a friendship that is enduring, authentic and precious, she has shared her amazing talent with my family since the day we first met–when she photographed this disheveled new mama with a fussy, two-week-old newborn in arms. She was completely green then. I was her second “client.” Yet, her natural talent far exceeded her days behind a camera. From the moment I saw those precious photographs with tears streaming down my postpartum cheeks, I knew she possessed a rare and special gift. It was only the beginning.
She, beyond most any photographer I know, is gifted — gifted with a natural artistic eye and an innate ability to capture people in ways that are true. She never captures a likeness only, she digs deeper and reveals more–of the people she is photographing, and her own beautiful, generous soul. She is complex and unique. A star in her own sky, that shines brighter than most. Because of our relationship, I am blessed. Few friendships last long-distance — even fewer thrive. When we have chances to see each other, it is a rare and wonderful pleasure. It’s as if we have always been. Right. Where. We Are.
Her family is also part of the military, and recently moved to my hometown in Tampa. Giddy would be an understatement, if I were to describe how excited I am that I will have more of her in my life over the next three years. During my three-week trip home (that I’ve just returned from), she made time for a maternity session to capture my blossoming belly during this wonderful, hectic and sometimes, far-from peaceful time. See her blog entry about the session here. And, enjoy her magical, ethereal work below.
Endless thank yous to you, my sweetest sister + friend. You are truly gifted. And all that you are is a gift to me.
(all maternity portraits above taken by Deb Schwedhelm — a million thank yous!)