Maternity Session: The Munoz Family

Sometimes life's direction places you on a different path from those you care deeply about. Not by intention. But as collateral damage of a life change. I've had it happen many times, be it a childhood move,  change in direction or a necessary shift. And on occasion, portrait sessions end up being a sort of gift to me, outside of what you'd anticipate the more predictable blessings of photography to be. 

These two truths were about to collide.

So when facebook connected me to a person I dearly love, but hadn't had a real conversation with in nearly 20 years, I jumped at the chance. What started out as a special honor to capture Maria and Andy's maternity session turned into an opportunity for closure that I thought time had taken away. The last time I had spent any quality time with Maria, she was just a girl, maybe 11 or 12 years old. She was like a little sister to me, so to sit in her living room, meet her husband and talk about her upcoming birth was both surreal and amazing. She turned out to be the kind of person I'd hoped for. The kind I'd love to spend time with. She's honest, funny and hospitable. And best of all, she found a match with Andy that was just as real. He matched these qualities in her in every way. I could see instantly that Maria is fully herself with her husband and clearly has the right foundation to build a family on. 

I hope their true friendship and love speak to you in these photos. The smiles in their eyes are genuine and the joy of parenthood was palatable. Their little girl, Ania, is truly going to have two incredible parents on her journey ahead.

Thank you Andy and Maria for reaching out and sharing this part of your story with me. I am so grateful. All the best in the days and years ahead.

 This baby is coming from a long line of swimmers, so when we found the "No Swimming" sign, we had to indulge. 

This baby is coming from a long line of swimmers, so when we found the "No Swimming" sign, we had to indulge. 

 The light was magical at Riverside Park. Right when we were shooting, a little duck paddled into frame....kinda symbolic if you ask me.

The light was magical at Riverside Park. Right when we were shooting, a little duck paddled into frame....kinda symbolic if you ask me.

 There's probably nothing more awkward for someone than having a perfect stranger tell you to kiss and look smitten, but Andy handled it with grace.  

There's probably nothing more awkward for someone than having a perfect stranger tell you to kiss and look smitten, but Andy handled it with grace.  

 The nostalgia of looking back on the first home my husband and I created, where we brought home our first baby....it's something very special to me. I hope these snaps capture this same emotion for Maria and Andy when their child is grown and they look back and remember how tiny Ania was, the many night rocking sessions that took place in her nursery or the thousands of laughs that took place on their front porch.

The nostalgia of looking back on the first home my husband and I created, where we brought home our first baby....it's something very special to me. I hope these snaps capture this same emotion for Maria and Andy when their child is grown and they look back and remember how tiny Ania was, the many night rocking sessions that took place in her nursery or the thousands of laughs that took place on their front porch.

 We also wanted to document Ania's nursery since it was prepared so sweetly. My favorite part of the shoot was recreating a photo that was taken of Maria's mom when she was pregnant....with Maria.

We also wanted to document Ania's nursery since it was prepared so sweetly. My favorite part of the shoot was recreating a photo that was taken of Maria's mom when she was pregnant....with Maria.

 And this is the original photo we were trying to recreate. 

And this is the original photo we were trying to recreate.