I have known Shanda for a very long time. We grew up together in Cheyenne, Wyoming and we both ended up in Utah! Shanda has always been such a gorgeous girl and it is absolutely no surprise that her family has turned out just as beautiful as she is.
The Hafen family has gone through a lot of trials before sweet baby Owen was born. Shanda suffered through several miscarriages between her sweet girl Aria and Owen. It was such a struggle and Shanda was kind enough to share some words with me about her experience with bringing Owen to the world that I would love to share. Her words about her love for her babies here on earth and in heaven are ones of hope. And I loved reading her experience. I hope you will too.
Right after we had Aria, I felt like we needed to add to our family again immediately. Royal convinced me to wait and so we did. Once we were ready, we got pregnant with twins! We were ecstatic, as we had prayed for and wanted twins. I miscarried at home suddenly at 11 weeks on February 4th, 2016. I cannot begin to express the sorrow of our loss.
Quickly after, we became pregnant again. On June 2nd, 2016 we were able to hear the baby's heartbeat and see him or her for the first time in an ultrasound. We were immediately in love and I began to put together a nursery and collect baby items. June 28th, 2016, my water broke and I knew I was miscarrying. Went to the ER and there was nothing they could do. We lost him or her at 13 weeks.
The weeks, months and year to follow were full of sorrow. Our marriage suffered, as we both grieved in our own way. I blamed myself at first and had a really hard time coping with life. Nothing can prepare you to feel the loss of a child and we had lost three precious souls in the span of a short time.
It took time and a lot of effort, but we slowly began to pick up the pieces and find our new normal. I didn't know if we should try again and was terrified to.Eventually, we decided we had room in our home and hearts for one more.
When we found out we were pregnant with Owen, we were nervous and excited all at the same time. I felt like a bad Mom at first, as I felt like I was betraying the three I had lost. As the pregnancy progressed, I felt so much love for him.
Owen was born beautiful and healthy to us February 29th, 2018. As they placed him on me and I held him for the first time, I felt so much peace and a happiness I hadn't felt in a long while. I realized that if I had not lost the first three, I would probably never have met Owen. It is a huge blessing to come from the ashes of such sorrow.
As a Mom, I am sure you feel it as I do, that our children are our life. We love them in a way we never imagined we could love. Somehow that love expands to encompass each and every new child. Oh, how I love my six babies and I look forward to meeting the three that stand by as angels. I miss them dearly and think of them daily.
Paisley certainly loved her new little brother. She was all about kisses and loves. One of my favorite parts of this session was towards the end when Paisley and her dad showed me all of their dance moves! They even had their own routine! I hope that they will continue to dance with each other over the years!
We met up Provo Canyon so early in the morning! But in order to get the best light and have a happy baby, we decided that an early morning session would be best. And it was! It was the BEST!! We got there at 7 am and the grass was still dewy. It was just peaceful! I love this location in Provo Canyon because it looks amazing all year round. That tall grass and beautiful mountain view make the perfect setting for any kind of photo session.
I love photographing in this field. It’s in a really unexpected place in Highland, UT and it is perfect! The golden fields bring such a warmth to the pictures. It is one of my favorite places to go for the family mini sessions I photograph! It's great because it looks the same all year round, so it is great if you want a location that looks great during Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer!
I love babies!!! I love photographing newborn lifestyle sessions. I love capturing sweet moments with brothers and sisters and with mom and dad! I love how comfortable people are in their own home. I love seeing a family in their surroundings. People, especially children, are at ease! They don’t have to worry about making a mess in someone else’s space, or not bringing the right snack for their kiddos, it is seriously a win-win!
Photographing a birth had been on my mind for a long while. It was kind of a bucket list item that I was aching to fulfill. So I asked one of my very pregnant friends if she would be willing to let me photograph the birth of her son! I was incredibly lucky because she said yes! I was so excited to start this adventure as a birth photographer.
If you look at this first picture, you will see four beautiful little girls. I photographed the sweet little girl on the left's newborn photos a few years ago when the twin girls were just a little under 2 years old! They are now almost four and have a brand new baby sister! I loved watching the girls aw and smile at the new baby.
I arrived at the location, and I looked over and saw this beautiful family get out of their car. I saw their outfits and those adorable cheeks on that baby boy and I got so excited for this mini session! Dakota's dress is one of my favorite's of all time! It looks so flattering on her. Seeing her in it, took me all of my control not to go home and buy it myself! If you want the perfect example on how to dress your family for family photos, this family is it!
You realize that it's been a few years since you have done family photos. So you schedule them, and realize OH CRAP! I HAVE TO ACTUALLY GET MY FAMILY DRESSED AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO WEAR!!
Trust me, I feel ya. I have been there and I want to help! So here are some tips to help you dress you and your family to look amazing.
Meet one of the best and newest families around! This is no ordinary family. If you look at that hot looking couple, at this time, they were engaged and getting ready to blend their two families together. Mandy and Brandon are incredible parents! I love that they wanted to include their kids in their engagement photos! And we had an absolute blast!