Autumn Sweet Autumn: Southern California Child Photographer

**Autumn has an update at the bottom of this blog.

As I sit down to write this blog I have a huge knot in both my throat and my stomach. I dont even know where to begin with such a blog…

Autumn first came in for pictures when she was 1yrs old… she was full of life and ready to take on the world. Shortly after her session Autumn started under going testing… something was going on inside of Autumn and nobody knew quite what it was. During that year they got closer and closer to answers but still there were questions.

At about 1 1/2 Autumn came in with her mommy to show off her soon to be baby brother… she was so excited to become a big sister and it truly showed! It was only a month after this session when they found out just how serious her disease is.

 

A little background, written by Dawn (Autumns Mommy):

I am a mother of 5 beautiful children. My husband & I were told we would never have children so we adopted 3 beautiful siblings over 3 years ago. 5 days later found out I was pregnant with my baby girl Autumn. Never expecting the pregnancy to take b/c I had had 6 miscarriages in the past. Even with a tough pregnancy she was a fighter and made it! Not long after I found out I was pregnant again this time with a boy. We had him Decemeber of 2010 & named him Logan. Shortly after Autumn’s first birthday right after Logan was born she came very ill and ended up in the hospital. We were told that she had what they thought was Leighs disease. After going home and looking it up on the computer I was devistated. How could our miracle baby have such a nasty debilitating disease & to think our son has a 25% chance of having this as well just kills us inside. Right now I have been giving it to God. This is too big for me to fight alone so I have asked the lord for that miracle I  know he can do but I also know has to be his will. At this time we are just taking one day at a time and enjoying all the time we have with out little girl.”

 

Autumn then came in for her 2yr session… goodness this precious little girl was filled with joy from her head to her toes. By this time she was diagnosed with Leighs disease (Jan 7 2010) & along with that she was diagnosed with the complex IV deficiency type surf 1 (July 2010). Leigh’s disease is a mitochondria disease which is a terminal, with no known cure. That didnt stop Autumn one bit… she was a little shakey and couldnt stand for too long but was still full of wonderfulness and was so strong going on about life with a smile on her face! Pure joy in this little angel!

By her 3rd year Autumn found herself in the hospital many times… the disease was starting to progress but Autumn beat all the odds and showed those doctors just how strong she is and how hard she fights!

Autumn is still fighting… her time here… nobody knows… but she is touching MANY MANY lives! She is such an inspiration and she warms my heart completely. At times I find myself asking WHY… I know its not my place to ask why… but its hard not to. Autumns mommy, Dawn, is the strongest woman I know. She doesnt take the time she has with Autumn for granted… and values every moment with her…

 

I will start with the pictures… here is Autumn at her 1 yr session with me…

Autumn at her mommys maternity session… so proud to be a big sister!

Here is Autumn at her 2yr session. She is so very girly and her joy is overwhelming… I couldnt pick just a few favorites… there were so many wonderful ones…

And here is Autumns newest session… since Autumn is so girly and loves foofoo things we decided on doing some fun shots with her… just as she would have loved to do if she could tell us what she wanted.

Once we started with these shots it was very hard to keep it together… Im usually pretty good at holding it together… but I am only human and I am so close to Autumn that these really hit me hard. I wanted to make sure I showed the amazing warmth and love between her and her mommy. Along with her mommy, Autumn has so much support from her family and friends… she has an army behind her of loving people… what a blessing! Autumn you have touched so many hearts and opened so many eyes… you are amazing in every way.

As Dawn spoke soft beautiful words to her daughter I caught connection, real raw emotion… I floated around the room documenting moments not everybody gets to see… this is REAL… next time you think about updating your status to “FML”… think about this! From Dawns page:

“One thing that really irritates me at times is when people see their lives not going well & the quickest thing out of their mouth or on fb is FML….Things could be so much worse & instead of saying FML maybe people should re evaluate why they should LML (Love My Life). I have a child that is terminal & getting worse & it is getting closer to planning a funeral for her… ”    “…LML for my terminal child that has made me such a better person, mother, care giver, closer to GOD & not afraid of death anymore…”    “Just in general LML for me being able to even look at the brighter side rather then the darker & LML that I am still here to experience it all!!!!!”

Dont take your life for granted… love like youve never loved before… dance like nobody is looking… sing out loud because you shouldn’t care what people think… respect people… dont get mad at the person in front of you taking their time because you NEVER know what that person is dealing with in their personal life, they could be savoring every moment they have left… and please please hold your loved ones tightly because tomorrow is never promised.

 

To follow Autumns story and progression you can find her on FB: Autumn’s Facebook Page

And THIS is why I do what I do… giving a gift like this is the most meaningful thing in the entire world…

“I love the pics SO MUCH! I know autumn has touched you in so many ways but you as well have touched us. You have captured some of the most memorable times & personalities with her. Reading your blog & seeing the pix was such a special gift & you mean a so much to us for doing this for us. I cant thank you enough for everything & you have such a special wonderful talent Im so proud of you for becoming & doing all you love & having the great opportunity to really make a difference in peoples lives the way you do.
Thank you so much!” -Dawn

 

**6/11/2012 – An Update on Autumn: Autumn is 4 today … and still giving one heck of an amazing fight! In October 2011 she was given just 2 weeks to live… and here she is today still giving it her all… she has escaped and fought, what could have been the end, numerous times despite what the doctors say. She’s been in 2 comas since October and has had multiple seizures. Autumn is truly the strongest little girl Ive ever met! There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of this amazing little girl… she’s so strong and so inspiring! I love you Autumn… Happy 4th Birthday honey!

 

***5/31/2015 Today Autumn has earned her wings. Today hearts are shattered everywhere. Today a family needs love and prayers… Today we are taught how hard a little girl can fight. I love you Autumn… you have taught me so very much and I am absolutely honored to have been your photographer!

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