The day the world stopped spinning.
The day, that as a mother, I realized how blessed I am to have her in my life.
The day I realized that I need to STOP, look, listen, feel and remember every kiss, every touch every embrace.
This day hit very close to home, that day Alexa was in school, 3 miles from the incident in another Newtown school.
We live less than 3 miles away from S.H.E.S
As Alexa’s school went under lock-down and I received an automated message by phone not to call or come to the school I cracked.
My world shattered, as many mothers and fathers around the world, and my little town’s world shattered as well.
Our children are not invincible, we can’t freeze time, each minute, each second, each breath is a gift never to forget.
For the first time ever I found myself thinking, “its not how long will I be around on the earth for you, but how long do I get to keep you”?
For days I walked around as a zombie, Alexa slept in bed with us and I spent hours holding her hand with my face up close to hers so that I could feel her sweet breathe on my face.
I couldn’t let go of her, I felt numb, angered, saddened and devastated.
For the first time ever, the reality that I can’t guarantee how long I will be on this earth or she will be here hit me.
I don’t want to sound morbid, but for the first time ever I felt these strong emotions, as many others around me were feeling them as well.
We surrounded ourselves with our friends and their children and I slowly found myself trying to connect more with her.
I put down the cell phone and computer and we played games and did puzzles and had bubble baths and I still held onto her at night.
Going back to school after break was tough and each day dropping her off at school with swarms of police and security guards there to keep her safe just fueled that fiery burning pit in my stomach.
I would find myself thinking of those mothers who lost their babies, what were they thinking, how were they feeling, how will they move on.
An during my despair and grief I found myself going to do what fuels and feeds my soul best. I started taking pictures.
But this time, I wasn’t planning the perfect dress or looking for the perfect location. I was trying to capture everyday things that I never wanted to forget.
The messy hair, her sleeping in bed, the bubble baths, how she dressed herself, how she sits on the couch with all her stuffed animals lined up, her mischievous smile, the look on her face when she is concentrating, her tiny hands, the bottoms of her feet,Â and on and on.Â Frantically I was trying to capture it all. Why? Because I didn’t want to ever forget it. I was trying to figure out ways to bottle her smell, her laughter, her spirit.
Then I started going through our file server archived with images from when she was born and when I first started out as a photographer, before props and fancy equipment and fancy lenses and photoshop. When I was trying to find myself as an artist and see where this road would take me.
Its funny, looking back now, I always knew who I was as an artist but I didn’t have theÂ courage, the knowledge or the experience to follow my bliss, or my heart… in this case… My Alexa.
Below are images many have never seen, especially the ones with me in them. They weren’t creative enough, the lighting wasn’t as perfect as I wanted, the editing skills may not have always been there… but if you look closely one thing is consistent with them all.
my beautiful life was there captured and it hit me…………
I couldn’t change the course of events that happened.
I couldn’t take away those parents pain but I could learn from this in my own personal life and slowly I’m making changes.
I learned what I always knew in my heart I loved to do and want to do it for others and..
“La Bella Vita” sessions were born……
Over the next few months while I revamp and change things around here I’ll begin revising my portfolio to include these sessions at a very discounted rate.
“La Bella Vita” meaning the beautiful life will capture just that. YOUR beautiful life, your story because every story is different.
Each client will fill out a questionnaire designed to make you think about your life, your children and the things that are important to you in this time of your life that you don’t want to forget.
Naptime, messy breakfast, finger painting, bath time, shopping at target, going for a haircut the sky is the limit.
These personalized sessions take place in your home, and in your town. 2-3 hours in length they will be shot as a photojournalist would see and record your life.Â But Maria, you say, my house is small, or its messy or its not like I want it. I haven’t lost the baby weight yet, I don’t want to be in the pictures. Its amazing how a photographer can look at someones home so differently and how we see beauty and light in ways you could never imagine. I have worked in 700 SQ ft apartments and 6,000 Sq foot homes and each have been unique and beautiful.Â This is YOUR story, what you don’t want to forget. I wish with all my heart I can go back in time and do this for those parent who lost their children. I pray they all have many pictures because that is all they have left…
I’ll be booking sessions for January, February and March Monday-Thursday 9-5pm with a few select weekends available. In your home or town. Wherever you want to go. What do you want to remember? Is is your home life? Going to grandparents house, shopping in target? you decide. Each session will be approximately 2-3 hours and yield approximately 100-150 full resolution edited images delivered by electronic download. Select travel available with additional travel fee to some locations.
For more information or to capture your “Bella Vita”
please email me : Maria@LexiBellaPhotography.com
with “Bella Vita” in the subject.
I can’t wait to capture your story!