July 13, 2018. It was a Friday. I planned on going to the Clovis Farmer’s Market to pass out my business cards that contained a 10% off discount code. I got to the market and began chickening out, while my husband and I had a small argument over a stupid tattoo shop he wanted to visit. I really let it affect my mood because I couldn’t fully be myself towards potential clients if I was upset with him. We were there for about 30 minutes when we decided to grab a bite to eat. Mind you, I still hadn’t passed out a single business card. While we were standing in line waiting for my husband’s brother to get his food, I saw the cutest set of twins, and couldn’t help but chuckle at what they were wearing. They both had on a cute diaper cover with a big ol’ bow on their head. Nothing else. Just two cute naked babies. I kept making eye contact with the man pushing the double stroller with the two twins in it while I had my daughter with me in hers. I told my husband, “I feel like I need to go talk to that man and give him a card.” He kept telling me to do it, then I would chicken out. Finally, I just started walking towards him after what felt like 5 minutes of contemplating it. When I approached him, I said something along the lines of, “I’m not sure if your wife has Instagram or Facebook, but she is welcome to check out my pages! And If she likes my style, here is a discount card!” WOW, I butchered that pitch. I always pride myself in getting to know my clients and when I said that, I really was shocked at how terribly rehearsed I was. But I saw something change about this man that hit me like a train.
He began to tear up and tried to speak through his pain-stricken lips. His words were as piercing to my heart as they could have ever been. He said, “unfortunately my wife passed away three months giving birth to our twins.” My heart sank. I was not expecting my first conversation to go like this. Then I remembered watching the news one day hearing of a Fresno Cal Fire Member whose wife had passed away shortly after child birth. Could I be face to face with that man? Was this real life? I instantly felt terrible and I looked at my husband, who was also teary eyed… We both just felt our hearts break for him. Nick Reeder, the man who stepped up as a father to all his children, gained so many new hats on April 9, 2018, when his beautiful wife, Amanda, grew her angel wings. I think I gave Nick a hug, and we kind of introduced ourselves to each other’s families. I then said, “keep my card, I will do your photos for free.” And that is when I knew my heart had led me to the perfect family that night.
Shortly after, Nick and I connected on Facebook where he told me that he and his family really liked me and would like to let me do photos for them. I was so taken back that I could not express my feelings. And that led to Tuesday, August 7, 2018. We sat and hung out and took photos of him and the three girls he shared with Amanda, his wife. He told me some awesome memories, when she surprised him at the station that they were going to have another “hero” soon. I could see in his eyes when he spoke of her, how much he loves her. He spoke about how excited they were to have another baby, and how shocked they were when they saw two babies in the ultrasound. Nick mentioned about how happy he was to find out he was going to be a father of TWO more girls.
I will forever remember this experience, as it is a huge reason why I have chosen family photography and seizing special moments. I was able to capture images of Nick being a dad to three beautiful little girls: Layla, Kelce, and Kaia. Although these photos will not heal his aching heart, I hope they allow him to see how amazing he is doing as a father. Thank you so much for bringing me into your home and allowing me to experience firsthand the love you have for your girls, all four of them. And in the end, it didn’t matter that I was upset with my husband wanting to go to a tattoo shop. This experience encourages me every day to enjoy each moment I have with my loved ones, and to stop sweating the small things. I am so blessed.