springfield Illinois photographer

Where my name came from...

I ask a lot of my clients. I ask them to be open and vulnerable which is never easy. I ask them to tell me about them. Their likes and dislikes. Their strengths and their weaknesses. I want to know their story. I want to be able to produce images that when they look at them, they are brought to tears. For what they are seeing is not just a picture of them but a picture of their soul. 

I realize that telling ones story is not an easy thing to do. We all have doubts and fears. Which is why I'm implementing this *new* little exercise for all of you here on social media. I'm not sure what I'm going to call it... (if you have any ideas let me know 🤣). But every Friday I'm going to reveal little truths about myself. Some will be silly icebreakers, some will be more deep, but all will be 100% honest and true. Because, if I expect you to be vulnerable with me... I realize that I have to do the same! <3

So here is the first one... 

My name. I was, in fact, named after the little mermaid. My parents took my 2 older sisters to the movie theater to see it when my mom was pregnant with me. My dad REALLY loved the name. So he told my mom, "yup! We are naming her Ariel." Before that I was going to be named Alexandria. I am the third girl and all our names start with A's. Ashley, Amber, and Ariel. Did I get made fun growing up because of my name? No... not really. Other than the occasional "mermaid" which didn't really bother me. I've always loved my name. I even considered naming one of my own children after a Disney character just to keep that little thing going. <3 So now its your turn... were you named after anyone special or do you have a special story regarding your name?

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When our children feel pain...

Seeing your kids experience joy is one of the best feelings in the world. Thats why we spend thousands of dollars on vacations, Christmas presents, and experiences that bring smiles to their faces. But nobody can prepare you for the intense feelings that parenthood brings. And one of the worst by far is watching your child experience pain. 

All pain is terrible but not all pain is equal. Watching your child struggle with an ear infection is different than watching your child be bullied. Watching your child struggle with depression and anxiety is different than watching your child experience a terminal illness. But one thing is for certain... pain... pain is inevitable. And whether physical or emotional, it hurts. And it hurts bad. And it just plain sucks that we as moms know that it will play a part in the lives of each and every individual... including our children.

Mom, Rachel Schultz, was told during pregnancy that her son had a "special heart." And while one might think that early diagnosis can help you prepare you mentally and emotionally. We know that the overwhelming love of motherhood is a surprise to all new mommas. So when the doctors first place that baby in your arms and you hear that first cry... the pain hurts so much more. Knowing all the struggles your child is about to endure is enough to make you physically ill.

Living in the hospital for 169 days. Watching your child cry and thrash in pain and knowing that there is NOTHING you can do to take that away and that it is something they HAVE to experience to live their life to the fullest feels impossible. As a parent... watching your child suffering is worse than suffering yourself.

This is why I know that not only is Eli strong but his parents are heroes. It takes a tremendous strength and resolve to watch your kids suffer and to allow them to endure pain to have a better, longer life. It is a strength that I cannot fathom and a strength that these new parents were required to have from day one.
It was such an honor to photograph this family throughout Eli's first year. Watching Rachel and Dustin grow as parents and Eli grow and have multiple procedures and surgeries is humbling and I am not being cliche when I say that it has truly be an honor to tell their story. <3

P.S. That picture of him with the beads…. each bead stands for a different surgery, procedure, or test he has had done.

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Illinois photographer, central Illinois photographer, Lincoln Illinois photographer, Bloomington Illinois photographer, Springfield Illinois photographer, Decatur Illinois photographer, peoria Illinois photographer, family photographer, newborn photographer, baby’s first year photographer, heart hero, family stories, photography stories, photograph a story, unique photographers, photos by Ariel, storyteller, art, heart surgery, one years old, one year old photos, infant heart hero, when our children feel pain, a letter to my child in pain, when our kids are in pain, being a mom
Illinois photographer, central Illinois photographer, Lincoln Illinois photographer, Bloomington Illinois photographer, Springfield Illinois photographer, Decatur Illinois photographer, peoria Illinois photographer, family photographer, newborn photographer, baby’s first year photographer, heart hero, family stories, photography stories, photograph a story, unique photographers, photos by Ariel, storyteller, art, heart surgery, one years old, one year old photos, infant heart hero, when our children feel pain, a letter to my child in pain, when our kids are in pain, being a mom
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