Transitions with the Stewarts

Certain people come in your life for a really specific and special reason. My first week of college, I was a bold-faced freshman, ready to take on the school, but God definitely sent me a few guardian angels pretty quickly as a new student. Her name was Jessica Haskins, and she was definitely my biggest match. My overly-stroked ego decided to get the best of me, and Jessica gave me the biggest dose of reality I've ever experienced. Through some inevitable life lessons, I realized that Jessica was right, and my ego quickly deflated. She helped me to understand myself as a leader, and she helped me understand the importance of growth. Without her, I definitely wouldn't be the person I am today, and I hope I have many more adventures and learn more lessons with her by my side.

I met Jessica as a single young professional with a boyfriend. The first time we met Jessica's boyfriend, Lamar, he had this really chill personality. I met him with my brothers and sisters, Taylor, Jessie, Hannah, Cody and Xavier... it was a night at Panera Bread. Jessica paid for our dinner, and we really got to know Lamar. It was funny, because the quirks in Jessica's personality that we picked on, Lamar was truly captivated and in love with them. So when Lamar proposed to Jessica, we were SO excited, because now we got to know more about them.
Jessica and Lamar's wedding was definitely a highly inticipated thing for me personally. Mainly because it was the first time I saw a wedding come together from start to finish. Also, it was the first wedding where I got to use my opinion to help Jessica make VERY important decisions! Seeing as though my role in the Breakfast Club of Lead Orientation Leaders was the Fashionista, when Jessica showed me her wedding dress, it was almost like I was watching my sister get married, truly a very moving experience.

Jessica's justification of us attending her wedding was if we were to work, which I had no problem doing. Let me just say that while the entire wedding is planned, I moved to Statesboro and started at a new school. So this was all really exciting. When Jessica and I discussed photography, she told me that she wanted me to take photos as a supplement to the contracted photographer. I understood my position and wanted to make sure I did my best. A few weeks before, though, Jessica asked me to photograph her rehearsal dinner! For me, it was a time where I got to be intimate with Jessica and Lamar's families,  which I really enjoyed. It was good to see where they both come from, and who they were raised by, and how they fell in love through the eyes of their parents, friends and family members.

The main thing I can remember about the day of the wedding was being SO excited to get dressed. I bought a suit my sophomore year, and have had few opportunities to wear it, but I was so happy for this one. Especially since my suit matched the wedding colors. (Of course I would think about stuff like this.) Seeing Jessica and Lamar exchange their vows and the love that surrounded them was so magical, it was truly an amazing experience! Not to mention Jessica's personal vision was executed perfectly and I was so in love with everything!

Ok, now we have the present day! When Jessica asked me to take her Maternity and Newborn photos, I was acutally kind of shocked. I knew she liked the photos from the wedding, but I didn't realize she liked them enough to photograph the birth of her first child. That was quite the accomplishment for me, especially since this was my first Maternity & Newborn photo shoot. The Maternity shoot was fun because I just got to catch up with Jessica and Lamar, because it had been since their wedding that I had seen them. It was also great to hear about their transition from newlyweds to parents, and how much they've matured because of this experience. Lamar cares so much for Jessica, which he should, but it's really something that I look up to. Like every two minutes when we were outside in the Georgia heat, Lamar was making sure Jessica was hydrated, awake and taken care of... SO CUTE.

Driving back to Augusta for the Newborn shoot, I really was freaking out because I was so excited to meet baby Aileen! She is SO adorable. The fact that I have a personal relationship with her parents and now she has a life and I can be apart of it is really so exciting. She was so calm and protected and innocent and everything that a baby already is, plus 5000 points because she was so cute.

I said ALL of this to say that I realize the importance of taking life one step at a time. In today's society, so many people try to skip steps and have all of life's greatest things while they are really young. But seeing Jessica and Lamar fall in love, get married and start a family is really something that I understand to be a great way to live your life. I am so proud of them, and I can't wait to see where God takes them and Baby Aileen! Just know that my camera will be ready for ALL of their life's precious moments!

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