I was leaping out of my comfort zone entering one of my most personal and emotional images into the National Geographic 2013 photo contest. My remarkable friends trusted me enough to be in the BC Womens Hospitals NICU just days out of having an emergency C-section at 28 weeks, resulting in their precious teenie treasure Westley Wade. They not only trusted me to be in the room, but allowed me to photograph some of their most intimate and personal moments. I entered this photo of Westley because in the moment of taking this photo, everything was so unclear. The amazing doctors had just told the brand new parents that their not even 2 pound baby boy could potentially need heart surgery depending on test results. I took a few steps back and tried to give them a bit of space, emotional. Nervous, and admittedly a little terrified about what that meant. As I watched over the incubator that was busy with wires and cords and growing Shannon and Ryans miracle baby in it, they looked down at his incredibly tiny body with a million thoughts and feelings racing through their veins. Everything was unclear. Then, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen happened… This tiny little miracle man Westley shot his little hand straight up at them. "I'm here!!! I'm ok!!! It will all be ok!!!" I instantly burst into tears, clutching my camera to my chest…. then I suddenly remembered… "I'm a photographer!" I brought the camera to my face and this is the result.
I am blown away at the response from so many people about this photo, but having my photo chosen by National Geographic editors as a top pick, will always remain a key moment in my photographic career. It is such an honour. I have seen the photo on Huffington Post and following as well…. kinda wild to see it go so far and reach so many! Relevant MagazineYahooMSNThe AtlanticTwisted Sifter
The winners of the contest will be announced some time in December. Do you love this photo? If yes… please head over (CLICK HERE CLICK HERE) and show your love here and "like" it. I don't think the votes really count for anything, however… it certainly looks good if there is a peoples choice winner. In an age when there is so much doubt, uncertainty and confusion. It certainly is a beautiful reminder from the tinest little body with the most enormous spirit that truly anything is possible. Hope is a beautiful thing.
Endless gratitude to Shannon and Ryan for allowing me into such intimate moments with them. Love you all so much. The very best part of this story… is this, is Westley Wade these days (below). Happiest little West Coast baby in the world.