Grey Schultz - Newborn Session
Whether it is building a business from the ground up, rescuing a suffering animal, or continuing to nurse her babies long after others would have given up - watching my friend Cheyenne rise to achieve her goals has a contagious, motivating effect. She makes my own dreams look a little more attainable. But she also does it all with an air of humility.
Cheyenne and her husband Geoff have a thriving wedding photography business here in Charlotte, NC. They have been there to share in (and document) the most important days of my family's life: our wedding day, maternity sessions, newborn sessions, first birthday parties, and more. What a treasure they have given us. This time around I was on the other side of the camera - what an honor it was to document their family as they welcomed their third child, Baby Grey.
I cherish my friendship with Cheyenne. We've cried tears of loss over miscarriages, celebrated milestones in our careers, and shared deep-in-the-belly-i-can't-breathe kind of laughter. We've exchanged late night prayer requests via text and intimate conversations around the bonfire. She's the friend who shows up with a coffee in hand when she knows I have had a rough day. She's also the friend who drives half an hour across town to say, "Here, use my camera" when my camera malfunctions at a client photo session.
C.S. Lewis writes, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less." What a perfect way to describe Cheyenne's approach to motherhood and to life. Regardless of what her personal agenda or to-do list holds, Cheyenne declares every Wednesday as "Mama Day." These days are spent snuggling, baking and adventuring. Cheyenne protects and cherishes this time, through which her children know they are loved and valued.
I loved capturing these moments with Cheyenne's beautiful children. But I also wanted to document the authentic still life of parenthood that exemplifies Cheyenne. The bedroom dresser - scattered with a baby doll long forgotten by her toddler, a styrofoam water pitcher leftover from her recent hospital stay, half-sipped Starbucks cups, and a hair clip. Cheyenne's home can be described as cozy. Uncluttered. Without Pretense. Genuine. A soft place to land. These same words could also describe her heart. Her ability to simplify, both visually and practically, allows what matters most to flourish: relationships with those she loves. It's what makes her such a great mother, wife, friend and business owner. I wanted my photos to reflect these same values. To accomplish this we used less guided poses, more observation. Less set up, more reality.
Cheyenne gives me hope that motherhood and entrepreneurship can indeed co-exist. Not as some idyllic "balance" only referenced in self-help books, but in a beautiful symbiotic relationship where each benefits from the other. Cheyenne sees her business through the lens of her own motherhood; she sees her photographs not as documentation of a styled day, but as the first glimpse of a new family. In turn, Cheyenne's work makes her a better mother because she is modeling how to use her talents for God's ultimate glory. Though she is beautiful and extremely talented, Cheyenne draws less attention to HER outstanding qualities than to herself as a vessel and instrument of God's love.