Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Picture Perfect

Since becoming parents of a medically fragile child, 
we have been beyond blessed by the outpouring of support we've received, 
both from our immediate community and people we've never even met. 
Brenda Munoz was one of the latter.

Brenda is an adult CHD survivor! That alone is enough to give parents like us HOPE. But there's more. Let me just brag on her for a minute - she has not only been through multiple surgeries and heart caths, but is a SENIOR at UCLA double majoring in Microbiology (with an emphasis in stem cell research) and Spanish, with a minor in ethical philosophy. So yeah, not only must her parents be crazy proud, but as a parent to a young heart child, I'm proud of her - and honored to know her and be inspired by her. But enough about how smart she is and how proud her parents must be - in addition to school and volunteering, she runs a photography business. And...her.work.is.AH-MAZING. I mean absolutely breathtaking shots - She has such a gift!

She met us through the heart community and offered to photograph our family - how lucky were we to be among the amazing heart warrior families she has photographed and profiled on her website?!? 
We got to do our photoshoot with her a few weeks ago.

I could blog about it myself, but it would go something like this: 
"Bodie ran around like crazy. We literally couldn't get him to sit down, except in front of the ducks (so we couldn't see his face), or in the mud. His nose was running nonstop, which was gross. The best lighting was in the shade, where it was a tad cooler, so his lips were crazy purple and I was freaking out. He was basically a giant pain in the butt. Sierra cooperated - A LITTLE. Daddy didn't want to take the pics in the first place (but at least was cooperative once we got there!) Brenda probably totally regrets asking us. 
I'll be shocked if she even got one good shot." 

But that wouldn't be very fun, when you could actually read her amazing write-up! (But I'm not gonna lie - Dusk and I read it and thought "Was she at the same photo shoot we were at?!? Because we don't remember it quite like that!" Ha!)

Anyway, here is her write-up. I pulled it from her website (with her permission, of course!) - please please please check out her website (www.bmunozphotography.com) - not only is her work incredible, but by using her for your photography needs, you can support someone who genuinely cares about the heart community and uses her gifts to benefit the heart community on a regular basis)! THANK YOU BRENDA - we love you!!! (Oh, and one other reason Brenda rocks? She brought us lunch at UCLA when Dusk was recovering from surgery - I did mention she was awesome right?!?)

------------------- from www.bmunozphotography.com -------------------


Number One Rule when you're photographing toddlers: wear running shoes. I am so glad that I was wearing comfortable shoes for this session, because one of the kiddos was a runner! His older sister was a total princess though, so that evened things out :-)

Meet "The Princess", stunning 4 year-old Sierra.

And her 2 year-old brother, Bodie - "The Runner". Look at his hair- need I say more?

Bodie was unstoppable! What you would NEVER guess is that Bodie only has half a heart. Bodie has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and is living on only half a heart... But you would never know from just looking at these photos of him being an unstoppable toddler :-)

Our first try at a family portrait. We actually did get one with everyone looking at the camera, but I am in love with this candid. It looks like it belongs in a family-related magazine.

We then moved on to portraits with the parents. LOVE this one of Amy and Sierra.

And this has got to be one of my all-time favorite Daddy-Daughter shots with Dusk and Sierra.

Both kids with mom - priceless expressions!

Then it was time to play! Sierra was such a princess on the benches.

She's such a Daddy's Little Princess, it was so cute to watch :-)

Bodie, being all-boy, decided it would be best to climb on the back side of the benches....

...and be thrown in the air by his Mommy :-)

We then tried again for another family picture and I got another magazine-worthy shot. Seriously, someone needs to get this family an agent!

Then we tried for some Easter-style images. LOVE these. Seriously, these kids are so gorgeous!

Bodie and Sierra had a good time with the eggs and basket :-)

The family then changed into some red clothes for Congenital Heart Defects Awareness week and we tried to get a family picture in that. Bodie had a different idea, though.... (see him in the background?)

Bodie thought my cart was SO much more fun :-) LOVE this kid!

Amy and I then put a plan together... we would slowly add people to the picture in hope of getting a family picture. So we started with Dusk and Sierra...

We then added Bodie to the mix while Amy was silly behind me and got this awesome shot!

Amy then ran into the mix but Bodie was all done - he was ready to go play :-)

So we finally headed to the playground to have some fun. Sierra immediately took over the swing.

And Bodie took over the slide :-)

Sierra was such a gorgeous little princess at the playground.

And Bodie was running around non-stop. It was amazing when he would stop long enough to look at my camera!

Towards the very end Bodie was getting tired but he still wanted to try something new - climbing the metal steps in the playground. Dusk was so patient in helping Bodie climb up.

This picture just gets to me... Here's toddler with half a heart (hence the medical bracelet here) doing things that no one thought he would be able to ever do. He reaching new heights (literally) and he's an amazing little boy. Of course, he's doing things with the help and support of his family (hence Dusk's hand in the background to help him). This image speaks on SO many levels.

After his climb Bodie was exhausted and so done that he wouldn't even run anymore, so on to Daddy's shoulder's it was :-)

And then to cuddle with Mommy for a nap :-) Amy and Dusk, thank you both SO much for the opportunity to do this session for your gorgeous family. It was so good to meet you guys and chase after Bodie! :-) Hugs - Brenda



  1. Awesome photos!! I've seen Brenda's photos and she does an amazing job!!

  2. Love, love, LOVE!! You are all beautiful! :)