Longmont Motherhood Session | Beauty Revived

         Longmont Motherhood Session

When Beauty Revived ran it's 2018 50 Beautiful Mother's Campaign I knew it was something I wanted to be involved in. 50 photographers from around the world were chosen to gift a Motherhood session to one deserving mother. This year I was one of the 50. I ran a campaign to find a mother who's beauty grows from the inside, a mother who's strength and kindness makes a person go "wow". This article, along with 49 other Motherhood sessions and their stories were published in the Mother's Day issue of Beauty Revived Magazine. 

MEET KATIE. SHE IS BEAUTY REVIVED.

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Beauty can be defined in many ways. I believe beauty is undeniable love, and a strong sense of self. Beauty is patience and acceptance of who that surround you. It is caring for others. It is the ability to live life with the belief that there is always light in times of darkness.

Katie is a mother, a wife, a support system, and a warrior. Katie is beautiful. I met her through mutual friends years ago, but it wasn’t until this year that I was lucky enough to get to know her on a more personal level. When I began Beauty Revived 50 Beautiful Mother’s Campaign, I was hoping Katie would be nominated and then I received a note from her husband.

“My wife has impacted so many people this year. She battled cancer and won. When most people would have gotten down after losing their hair she took the opportunity to be a shining example of a survivor. Before she lost her hair Katie shaved her head to donate to locks of love so that even if something bad happened to her she would be sure to help someone else. Throughout her treatment she continued to work and still found time to volunteer over 100 hours. She is truly an inspiration and I am proud to nominate her. She shows my daughter what it means to be a brave, strong woman!”
 

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Katie was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer last year. In the conversation where this difficult news was delivered, she was also faced with the decision of having more children. Still shocked on so many levels, Katie decided two things, to have her eggs extracted and frozen and to fight like hell to beat her cancer. As the months passed, Katie continued to portray strength and grace even though she was in chemo every other week. She told me the hardest part for her was not being able to function as she was used to. Instead, she had to respect the disease, know that it was bigger than her, and ultimately she needed to slow down. Even though there were days when she spent all day in bed, she continued to have to high spirits and remain strong for her daughter.

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Throughout her months of chemo treatments, Katie continued to work and volunteer with 3 non-profit companies that help support women and children. She took part in over 100 hours of volunteer service to better her community. She is involved with Junior League of Denver, an organization of women committed to their communities by bringing together, empowering, and educating women through leadership and effective action. She is also an active member in El Sistema and Dolls for Daughters. El Sistema is an organization that instills self-confidence in children through music programs. These intensive programs teach children about the importance of teamwork. Dolls for Daughters supports underprivileged children by providing the donation of toys, school supplies, clothing, and food. They also offer financial planning for families and professional support. Her involvement with these groups still continues today.

Her dedication to motherhood, women, and children also prompted her participation in Locks of Love. Once Katie started to loose her hair from chemo treatments, she had her best friend shave it off and then donated it to Locks of Love. She said she not only wanted a child to benefit from her loss but thought it was the best way to help teach her daughter, Tilly about giving. Since that day, Tilly had been measuring her hair daily, excitedly awaiting the day when she had the 10 inches needed to donate to a child. During our session, Katie cut Tilly’s hair and we prepped it to be given to Locks of Love. It was a touching moment.

 

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Katie said Tilly was her driving force to get well. The day before Thanksgiving, Katie was blessed with the news that she was cancer free.

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I want to talk a bit about motherhood here.  I truly believe that every mother’s desire to nurture and care comes above all else. A child is a mother’s reason to live. Making these images of Katie, alone as a strong and true person, and then together with her daughter still strong but soft and loving, shows me a different kind of love than I have with my own daughter. Each love is unique, each relationship is unique and here, in this, is where you find true beauty.

Through working with Katie, I can attest to not only her strength to keep moving forward, but also her kindness and willingness to be present unconditionally for those who need support.

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I want to thank all those that contributed to this amazing session. Your kindness and willingness to donate your time and talents will never be forgotten! Milston Well Farm donated their gorgeous property, farm and airstream for the afternoon as our session location. Adrienne Ptacek, owner of Beauty Flyer not only styled Katie's hair prior to our session, but drove up north to Longmont to assist and style Tilly's hair after Katie cut it. Just to sweeten the deal, I thought making a gift basket for Katie & Tilly to share would make for a fun little mom & daughter time! Thank you to Mici Handcrafted Italian (their favorite restaurant), Amante Coffee, and Jaime Bruno with  Stapleton Beauty Counter for your generous donations of both gift certificates and products! These are all local businesses everyone should go out of their way to try, I promise you wont be disappointed! 

If you would like to talk to me about a Motherhood session of your own, please don't hold back! I am always here to talk and to create with you! I would love to meet you and your littles!