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Meet JP

Meet JP.  He loves superheroes, cars, and Spongebob.  He is fighting a brave battle against Ewing’s sarcoma.  It’s awe-inspiring and downright frightening to hear a child talk about chemo like it’s a trip to the grocery store and talking about getting a new leg like picking out new shoes.  I was amazed at his upbeat attitude, wonderful manners, and just being a great kid.  He’s been dealt a tough hand.  I follow his story and learn all the obstacles he faces then overcomes.  A truly amazing hero in such a small little boy.

I talked to his mom over several phone calls as we had to reschedule due to unforeseen hospital stays and I’ve been amazed by her strength and the cheer in her voice.  I cannot even begin to imagine what she’s going through.  Being able to smile in the face of uncertainity, especially when it involves your child’s health, is the definition of strength and bravery in motherhood.

Soon JP will be undergoing surgery to aputate the leg the cancer is in.  If you’re the praying type, send one up for JP and his family as they start the long journey of healing.

September is childhood cancer awareness month.  Take some time to reach out to the children with cancer and their parents that face hard decisions every day.  Read up on ways you can support funding for researching a cure.  Even one child fighting cancer is too many.

Thank you, JP and family, for giving me the honor of photographing your family.  You’ll be on my mind and in my heart forever.

Katie Smith is an on location photographer serving the Fort Hood-Killeen area, including Temple, Belton, and Lampasas.
She specializes in fun, relaxed photo sessions for families and couples.
If you’re in need of photography services, please send an email to katie@katiesmithphotography.com
You can also find Katie Smith Photography on Facebook.

Kindergarten! Photographer

I can’t believe my oldest is starting Kindergarten this year!  He’ll turn six two days after the first day of school and even though I’ve been calling him “almost six” for the last couple months, it’s still mind-boggling how he has grown up so fast.  We even let him stay home the extra year to be sure he was emotionally ready for the school environment.  In my head and heart, I know he’s ready.  The day we went for Kindergarten testing, he was awestruck by everything and wanted to explore classrooms and hallways.  He said the testing was “super easy.”  He can’t wait to go and asks me how much longer until school starts.  His excitement is contagious but like a lot of mom’s, I’m still teary-eyed and thinking about how bittersweet this all is.  He’s my baby.  I’ve been mostly a stay-at-home-mom all his life and he’s never been gone from me so long unless it was a trip to the grandparent’s or that one week he went to a summer daycamp.  We’ve been fostering his independence but this is the big step, the moment where I let him go into the classroom and can’t coach him on how to make friends or when he should probably play by himself.  The moment where I have to trust him to eat all his lunch, try his best, and behave the way we raised him.  I better bring tissues on the first day of school because I will be that weepy, emotional mom that blots her eyes all the way back to the car.

Is your child starting school soon?  Are you excited, nervous, or just a huge ball of jumbled of emotions like me?

Katie Smith is a family and couple portrait photographer located in Pittsboro, NC.
A mom of two boys, she knows how quickly kids grow and documents their ever-changing looks and personality through meaningful photographs.
You can find Katie Smith Photography on Facebook

In Honor of World Breastfeeding Week

In almost four years, I’ve never had to cancel on the day of a shoot because I was sick.  So you can imagine how badly I was freaking out on Thursday night and Friday when I came down with a tummy bug and spent 30-something hours feeling like I was hit by a train and praying I didn’t have to cancel on not just one family but TWELVE beautiful moms.  Thankfully on Saturday morning I felt mostly human, popped some Tylenol, and headed to these mini sessions.  I’m so grateful that these moms were understanding that I’m not some weirdo germaphobe that keeps everyone out of arm’s reach but that I was trying my hardest not to spread any ickies that managed to stick around.

I approached Jenny, the leader for the local chapter of the LLL, about doing mini nursing sessions for World Breastfeeding Week and as a fundraiser.  We decided for a small donation, I would photograph mothers and their children breastfeeding so all of these moms could have something beautiful to remember this time.  (I have some wonderfully awful cell phone pictures of nursing my children.  I wish I would have tried getting professional-looking ones).  We ended up raising $110 that’s going to update their books on medicines nursing mothers can take without harming their supply or child.

Thank you to all these beautiful mothers and their equally beautiful children for coming out and showing support for the La Leche League and nursing.  I think we even managed to do some “nursing in public” shots since we had a few spectators that were wondering what we were up to.

Please leave these awesome nursing mommies some love on the blog!  And give a shout out to your local LLL if they have ever helped you.

Katie Smith is an on location photographer serving Pittsboro, Chapel Hill, and Apex NC.
She loves working with organizations like La Leche League because they are close to her heart.
She supports breastfeeding 100% and proudly nursed her sons until they were 1.5 years old.
Find Katie Smith Photography on Facebook