Shanna Leigh Images » Blog

I’ve been waiting 4 years for the chance to take these photos of my sweet cousin, Jennifer. That’s how long it took for this little miracle baby girl to happen and I just can’t wait for her to be born next month! We shot these gorgeous maternity photos at one of my favorite locations in Southlake. After stressing for a while on what to wear, it turns out I had a dress already hanging in my closet that wasn’t even a maternity dress that looked perfect! Jennifer has great style so she was able to accessorize it perfectly and we were both so happy with how the look came together. So, ladies, if you’re stressing over what to wear for your maternity photos, think outside the box. You might already have something perfect in your closet or you might be able to find something perfect in the regular ladies section that doesn’t carry the crazy mark up that a lot of nice maternity dresses do. This way you can even wear the dress still after you have your baby!

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Floppy hat, flowy dress, yummy light, and Kendra Scott. What more could a gal need for her maternity photos?pintopinterest

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This is one of my absolute favorite families to document and I was so excited to get to meet the newest member! Sweet Madeline made her debut in a hurry on April Fool’s Day and I got to meet her when she was just 4 days new. I love getting to photograph newborns at home with their families as everyone is getting to know each other and getting used to their new rolls in life. It’s such a magical, messy, wonderful time having a new baby in the house, and being invited into a family’s home during that time is really special to me. I left their house with a serious case of baby fever. Just look at her! How could I not?

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Meghan and I met in a due date group online for moms due with babies in April of 2012. We got to know each other a little bit through out our pregnancies but really bonded once our babies were born. I’ve been part of a few online “mom” groups and they are certainly not created equally (and that’s me putting it nicely)! We totally hit the jackpot with the ladies we ended up with from our April 2012 group. I can’t imagine navigating life as a first time mom without the advice, encouragement, and at times shared misery of the women in that group. I know that the friendships I formed in that group will be life-long. Especially this one! She lives 8 hours away from us but has made several trips to visit and we always have the best time! Her daughter Shain is one of the sweetest, funniest, smartest kids I’ve ever been around and she and my son have so much fun together! I can’t wait to see her as a big sister soon <3

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Meghan, you’re my absolute favorite fire breathing dragon in the entire world 😉 I love you to pieces and I’m so glad I got to document this sweet time with you, Shain, and that sweet belly <3

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Becca and I met through mutual friends and instantly hit it off. I knew that she and her husband had battled infertility for many years and were now on the long bumpy road to adopt and within minutes of sitting down next to each other we were wrapped up in one of the most personal conversations about that journey.  A few weeks later I got to meet her sweet husband, Rodney, and for the whole drive home that night I just kept thinking “these people NEED to be parents!” Fast forward to Sunday when I got a text from Becca asking if I had plans for the next day because she might have some exciting news. I’m pretty sure I squealed out loud when I read that text because I just *knew* it was the happy news I had been waiting to hear. We both got busy with Super Bowl plans that afternoon and agreed to chat on the phone later that night. I wish I could have reached through the phone and hugged her! I could hear the hope in her voice just as loudly as I could hear the fear. You see, when they got “the call” last week saying that they’d been matched with a birth mom, it wasn’t a “congratulations! you’ll be parents in 9 months” kind of phone call. It was a “congratulations! you will be parents by Monday” kind of call. It all happened so quickly that it almost felt too good to be true. In the state of Texas birth parents have to wait 48 hours after the birth of a child before they can sign over their rights to adoptive parents. When Becca and I got off the phone we had a countdown going until that could happen. 14 hours. 14 of the longest, slowest hours ever while we waited for the thumbs up that this was really happening. I was so excited and hopeful! And then that 14 hours turned into 15 hours and then 15 and a half hours. I was sweating so I can’t imagine how Becca and Rodney were feeling waiting for that last phone call. Once we got the good news, I hopped in the car to meet them across town at the hospital. It was quite a drive and the whole way there I was so emotional thinking of what a tremendous and incredible gift that brave birth mother was giving to them. It was definitely bittersweet. Once we met up at the hospital things moved really fast. The caseworkers from Gladney Center For Adoption met us there to help navigate the next steps. Those ladies were amazing! There was a stack of papers to sign and then just like that, they got to meet and bring their beautiful son home. Seeing Becca and Rodney meet their son for the first time was one of the sweetest most moving moments I have ever witnessed. I’m so glad I decided to skip eye makeup that day and I’m so thankful for autofocus because there were definitely times I couldn’t see through my own tears to make sure my shots were in focus! There aren’t words to accurately describe all the feels that were happening so I’ll stop rambling now and let the photos speak for themselves…

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From Becca: “We arrived at the hospital and we had to sign the paper work first. I remember there was one time where we had to write his full name for the first time and I immediately began to cry. It was almost surreal…we had been dreaming and praying about this moment for the longest time, and it was finally here. We could hardly wait.

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From Becca : “I bent down to give him a kiss. All I could say to him was ” I love you soooooo much!!!! So so so so much! ” It was the most amazing moment in our whole life. The baby we have been waiting for, and praying for, is right here. Looking into his face I just knew….we will unconditionally love him so much, forever.”

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From Becca : “I didn’t think it was possible, but he gets more and more handsome by the hour. I look at him and then I swear I think “he is the most handsome baby I have ever seen…” and then I look at him again 30 mins later, and somehow, someway, he is more beautiful than the last time!”

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Becca and Rodney-

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me with such an amazing moment in your lives. It was such an honor to be there!

Love,
Shanna

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  • Patti Neustaedter

    Beautiful all around!!! U captured it all at the right time! So Beautiful reading it n seeing the pictures made me cry n I Am So So Happy For Rodney an Becca!!ReplyCancel

  • Becca

    This was the most amazing gift anyone could have given us! Shanna you are beyond a blessing and there will never be enough words to say thank you enough! We love you!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Gina Baker

    I couldn’t read this very fast due to the happy tears! Congratulations to the sweetest couple EVER! 💙ReplyCancel

  • Liz Austin

    Im so happy for you both! I know how much this means to you both! He is absolutely a blessing! He is gorgeous, handsome, and so sweet! I could so nibble on his feet! Congratulations to you both! You’ll do great!ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin Skinner

    I have been Facebook friends with Becca for a few years but never met her in person. Seeing these photos makes me seriously love her and her new family. How blessed is that little boy to have such awesome parents?!ReplyCancel

August 21, 2015 is a day that will always stand out in my mind. I was at the children’s hospital in Fort Worth to photograph a baby for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. I had just finished up and as I was walking to the elevator to leave I dug out my phone. It was dark outside and when I’m walking through hospital parking garages alone with expensive camera gear I always like to make sure I have my phone in my hand. When I pulled out my phone I noticed that I had a text from my mother in law letting me know that her friend’s daughter just had her baby at 23 weeks gestation and asking if I had any ideas for something she could do to be of help to them. I told her that I would ask my mom who is a NICU nurse if she had any ideas. Then it hit me. I texted her back asking if she knew what hospital they were at. I sat down in a waiting area instead of getting on the elevator because I knew I would have crummy cell service in the elevator and parking garage and I didn’t want to miss her next text. She texted back that they were at the very hospital I was at so I told her I was up there already and had my camera gear with me and would love to come take photos of their sweet new tiny baby if they would like that. They said yes! Sweet Norah was 3 days old when I first met her. She weighed 1lb 4oz the day she was born and was just impossibly tiny. Heather and Clark were so sweet the night we met and when you looked into their eyes you could see nearly every emotion under the sun: shock, amazement, joy, fear, uncertainty, and so much pride and hope for their baby girl. So far baby Norah was doing great but they told me that micro-preemies have what NICU nurses and doctors refer to as a “honeymoon period” where they do great for the first few days, and after those first few days are over, things that will be problematic start to appear and you get a clearer picture of what the long road ahead will look like. When you grow up with a NICU nurse for a mother, you know that two of the biggest struggles a micro preemie is at risk for are head bleeds which can cause brain damage, and gut problems like NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis). Norah beat huge odds and didn’t face either of those problems! We decided that I would come up to the NICU once a month on her monthly anniversary of her birthday to document her growth and progress. Each month I was blown away with how far she had come since the last time I saw her! It was truly the highlight of my month for the past four months and now I’m happy to say that yesterday, at exactly 4 months old, weighing in at over 7lbs, and just a few days after her due date, Norah got to go HOME!

Three Days Old

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To give you an idea of just how tiny Norah was, that’s her daddy’s wedding ring around her wrist.


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Two Months Old

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