**I have been getting a lot of emails today from people visiting here from Nathan's blog asking about what I'm doing to the photos to "make them look like that". I am using: TOTALLY RAD actions and Kevin Kubota actions. The Boutwells ones I use for a lot of the actual processing (antique tone, the grain on the very last "family photo", and the Kubota ones I use for the desaturated photos as well as sharpening. Hope this helps and I'm sorry I can't respond to all of your emails right now!**

I know I'm a bit behind on the blogging, but ya'll seemed to enjoy Luke & Alisha's photos, so I figured I was okay to take a few days off! After NYC, I flew down to North Carolina on Friday morning to visit with my mom & some other family for Mother's Day weekend. While I was there, I had the opportunity to shoot something very very special. It was so special that I didn't want to just throw up a few photos without really explaining the story--please bear with me and read this!!

About six months ago, I came across the blog of Nathan Lawrenson, called the CF Husband Blog. The blog is written entirely by Nathan to chronicle the journey of his wife, Tricia, and also now his daughter, Gwyneth.

The story is amazing because of all that is happening right now, and also because of the faith that Nathan and Tricia have had throughout their journey. Tricia has Cystic Fibrosis, a genetically inherited disease that causes the body to secrete a thick mucus. Because of this, there are a lot of complications that can happen like infections and other things. By clicking either Nathan or Tricia's blog above, you can find out WAY more about the details of that if you are interested.

Anyway, because of this disease, Tricia and Nathan knew that she would probably eventually have a double lung transplant, but Tricia had always secretly prayed to have a baby before this happened. No pregnancy happened though, and as Tricia's health started to decline, they began the initial transplant process. It was at this time that Tricia unexpectedly learned that she was pregnant! Because of their faith, they made the decision to keep their miracle baby, knowing that both Tricia's and the unborn baby's life were at a severe risk. They knew that the decision might be somewhat controversial to some people, but knowing that this was probably their only chance to have a baby, and also knowing that their faith in God played a big part in their lives, that is what they decided to do.

The baby came four months early, when Tricia's body could no longer handle the pregnancy. Their beautiful baby, Gwyneth Rose was born at under two pounds, and Tricia went into a coma and to the top of the transplant list. Over the next several weeks, Gwyneth did very well, eventually reaching her current weight of almost five pounds! During this time, Tricia received donor lungs and is recovering from her surgery AMAZINGLY well. It truly is a miracle that both mother and daughter survived such overwhelmingly negative odds to have the successful recoveries they are having. By the way, wish Tricia a happy birthday--Tuesday was her day!!!

Now where I come in. I realized through reading the blog that Tricia was at Duke Hospital which is actually where my mom works! I also noticed that Nathan has a photography hobby, so he and I communicated a bit about that. I asked him if when I came home for a visit, I might be able to do a shoot with his family, to which he immediately agreed! I was really inspired by their whole story, and figured that after four months of living in the hospital and having a relationship under a magnifying glass, it might be nice for them to have some photos together as a regular couple out having fun! One of the best unexpected benefits of this blog has been that it has given me the credibility and freedom to email or call and meet people that I find interesting and get to know them. That was certainly the case with Tricia and Nathan, who are incredible people that I have been blessed to meet.

If you decide to start reading the Lawrenson's story, you should **READ THIS FIRST**. Its the short version of the story that Nathan posted, so you can get up to speed and find out what he's all about.

It would mean a lot to Tricia and Nathan that if you are touched by their story, please make a donation, however small, to the CF foundation. They want to meet their team goal of $20,000, but I think we should show them what the readers of this blog can REALLY DO!! **CLICK HERE TO DONATE, EVEN $1 HELPS!!** Honestly, I can't believe they haven't met this goal twice over already, and I would love for them to make it due to this blog.

We spent the morning out in Durham, shooting a bit, talking, having breakfast, and visiting with Gwyneth. It was incredible--this couple is so unassuming and genuine. They have a positive attitude about life, faith, and the world in general. I am so excited for them that they will be taking their baby home soon, and that Tricia continues to do so well. She has such a quiet grace, and Nathan has so much strength--it's just beautiful to watch.

Check out the slideshow:

I wanted to pull a few favorites and show them to you also:


I love this moment:


There is SO much love between this couple. The bond they have is really something to witness:



This little series is my favorite:



I wanted to focus on Tricia for a couple:



This might be my favorite shot of the day--love the red nails!




After the shoot in the morning, we went to the hospital to see Gwyneth. She is gorgeous and adorable!! I even got to hold her, which both of us enjoyed :)


Tricia is already such a natural mother:


Look how tiny her hand is! It doesn't fit all the way around his finger:


Gwyneth throwing a peace sign:


Sleeping like a baby:


A family portrait:




Nathan shot this of Tricia and I and I love it,:


Nathan, Tricia, and Gwyneth--thank you for allowing me to share a morning in your lives. It was a privilege to meet you and get to know you, and I hope nothing but the best for you.