It’s your worst nightmare as a baby photographer. The email or call to tell you that your client’s baby has passed away. I’ve been lucky. Over the past 7 years specialising in newborn photography, I counted my lucky stars that it had never happened to me. All that sadly came to an end this month when I received devastating news from not only one but TWO clients.
It’s difficult in situations such as these to know exactly what to say to people. What do you say? What can you say? I think the honest truth about this is that there really isn’t anything that you can possibly do or say to make your clients feel better.
As much as there is no consolation that you can give to families in these awful situations, it makes me feel good to know that there is a wonderful volunteer service that I can refer my clients to to help them at this difficult time – Heartfelt.
Heartfelt – Volunteer Photographers for families in devastating situations
Heartfelt is a wonderful group of photographers in Australia and New Zealand who volunteer their services to families who have experienced still/premature birth, or who have a child with a serious and terminal illness. Heartfelt photographers are trained in working in difficult situations and with families who are grieving. They work discreetly and sympathetically to capture images of your baby or child such that you will have a photographic record to remember them. For my clients who have experienced stillbirth, the call was put out to volunteers from Heartfelt who came to the hospital and took photographs of their baby and their family. They said that they found the experience a very positive one and that it has helped them grieve their baby. They have felt relieved at having images of their baby to look back on in the future and to remember their important member of the family. Thank you to all the Heartfelt photographers out there who do such an important job for families.
If you’re a photographer who would like to volunteer with Heartfelt, or a family needing a photographer please visit heartfelt.org.au
If you are looking for more information about stillbirths visit The Stillbirth Foundation or Sands, an organisation supporting those experiencing miscarriages, stillbirths and newborn deaths. Sands has a 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637.