BE INSPIRED Session featuring Sarah Stephens Photography



 Is this personal work or client work ?

This is personal work.  I suffered from permpartum cardiomyopathy, which is a rare heart disorder, when pregnant with my fourth child. I was diagnosed at six months pregnant and was told I had a 50% chance of surviving my pregnancy.  I was also told if I did survive I would be on medication the rest of my life.  I chose to write a blog about the fears and anxiety that took over at the time of my diagnosis and then share how my life has changed since then.  It is my hope that someone reading my story might find a new hope and faith to just believe.


What about this session was most memorable?

This session was taken at dusk when my daughter (who I was pregnant with during my sickness) was outside on the swings. She happened to have on a shirt with hearts on it (which I totally hadn’t planned) and it gave me the idea of using the hearts to portray my story.

I love to make moments last by getting a snapshot of “real life.”  I don’t do a lot of “poses” with my children, and love to take candid shots of clients as well.  During this time, I asked my daughter to slow down from swinging just a little bit.  She slowed down enough for me to catch a few shots of sun beaming in on her.  I asked her to touch the different hearts she had on her shirt and snapped a few shots of her doing this.  When it was time to go in for dinner, she stopped on the steps outside my house and I asked her to make a heart with her hands and then to make “praying hands.”
This was it…short and sweet but enough to use to portray the thoughts I would share on my blog.

Where there any hurdles?

I am still learning what setting to use when capturing sunbeams and light.  I had to change settings a few times while she was swinging because the movement would change the intensity of light shining behind her.  I shot as fast as I could so that I could get many different angles of sun shine at the same time tried to keep my focus on my daughter and her hearts.

 Your best photographer/session advice?
Don’t take your self so serious.  Sometimes you will get the perfect shot and other times you will not.  If your work is personal when you look back 15 years from now, you won’t regret your focus being off, you’ll cherish the meaning behind the picture.  Also, I’ve learned by doing.  I’ve never taken a photography course and have honestly just learned as I’ve gone.  The more you do it, the better you’ll get, so just go for it (and don’t compare…comparison is the thief of all joy!).

What gear was used to achieve these?

I own a NikonD610 and use a prime 1.8 50 mm lens.  I have used this lens for 90% of my work.  I love it!

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About the photographer:
I’m Sarah, married to the love of my life for 15 years this May.  I have four kids and we live just north of Atlanta, Georgia.  I have been taking photos of my kids for as long as they’ve had breath in their lungs (my oldest will be a teen in a few short months…crazy!!).  My love for photography slowly developed into a business a few years ago.  My top three things to photograph are:  1)  My family.  This is my first year to participate in the 365 project.  So far I haven’t missed a day.  I am loving it and luckily my family is supportive.  2) Newborns.  I love to capture this very special time in a family’s life.  There is nothing like a beautiful brand new baby.  3)  Adoptive families.  I love to share the beauty of adoption and hope to use my talents and passions to bring attention to the growing orphan crisis.  In an effort to support and love on those who have answered the call to adopt, I offer one free session for adoptive families.  I have learned when it comes to photography, or really life in general, just go for it!
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