I am launching a complimentary NICU photography program, effective 10/4/2019, called Noah's Gifts. This is not a non-profit, it’s not affiliated with any charity, and it’s not an extension of any hospital. It’s an extension of premature baby (Matthias Noah Lewis), my experience as a NICU mom, and my heart to give. This is the most perfect way for me to help preemie newborns and their families get through what I've gone through. To learn more about my personal experience please visit "About Me"
I'm hopeful that the photographs I create and gift to NICU families will help them through their difficult journey with a premature or critically ill baby. Photos may aid NICU parents who have postpartum depression (PPD) and/or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) both of which are increased after spending time in a neonatal intensive care unit. I know that feeling all to well. Portraits can also be therapeutic while encouraging bonding and breastfeeding.
When a baby is born prematurely and will spend months in the NICU, it is only natural for professional portraits to be pushed off to side, often times longer than we want. Many NICU parents miss out on "newborn" photos. I love that I am able to step into a vulnerable place, that I've been in before, to document all of the real life moments for a family who may need encouragement and strength, that I'm able can give now. As a birth photographer, being able to give parents a sense of normalcy in an otherwise chaotic time is really my pleasure. I was lucky enough to walk away from the NICU with a 4lb healthy baby boy, but it's a sad reality that some families leave without their child.
I am thrilled to announce that I will be accepting applications NOW! I will be donating 2-3 complimentary sessions every month to families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit located at Mercy St. Vincent or Promedica Toledo Hospital.
These sessions are for families with newborn babies born before 36 weeks, and will spend or have spent 3 or more weeks at the NICU in Toledo. Families may also qualify if the baby was born after 36 weeks, but is critically ill or approaching end of life.
1. Sessions will be coordinated with the parents only. I will check in at the hospital as a photographer and guest of the family. Please refer all inquiries and referrals to this Basic NICU Application. Applicants must be in the Greater Toledo Area.
2. I will have two Mondays available each month from 10:00-12:00pm to accommodate these sessions. Photo studios can be costly, but there is no cost for the family and their premature baby. Sessions will last for up to 30 minutes and families can expect 5-15 images delivered via online web gallery.
3. I do not bring anything into the NICU with me other than my camera. These sessions are documentary. (cuddling, feeding, changing, tubes, monitors, all of it. Parents are welcome to provide a blanket, hat, or outfit but it’s not required.
4. I do not handle newborn preemie babies. I may move a hand or a foot, but that's about it.
5. I will NOT use flash photography. It could cause eye damage in premature babies. We will use the light around us to get the most flattering images.
6. Siblings are welcomed.
Monday Oct. 14th 10:00-12:00pm
Monday Oct. 28th 10:00-12:00pm
Monday Nov. 11th 10:00-12:00pm
Monday Nov. 25th 10:00-12:00pm