A stunning photo of a doe coming out of the autumn woods to investigate the tiny, adorable baby is going viral this week, and for good reason: Everything about the shoot is perfect, from the sweetly sleeping infant to the ethereal backdrop and the serendipitous deer sighting.
There's more to this photo than what meets the eye, though, and the photographer — Megan Rion of Imagine That Photography in Lake Charles, Louisiana — gave SheKnows the backstory.
Rion, who has been a photographer for nine years and operating her own business for seven, is used to having the deer — a rescue fawn named Maggie who lives in Sam Houston Jones State Park in Moss Bluff, Louisiana — wander into her shoots.
So when the photographer started snapping pics and Maggie came around, Rion knew it was her. "You can tell it's Maggie in each and every picture because of the notch in her ear," she told SheKnows. "She was bullied as a younger deer because of the human scent on her. She was a rescue dropped off at the park so she has been hand fed for years."
Maggie came out looking for a little something to nosh on, and that's how she stumbled into the shot. "We had our mini set up — [we do it] every fall — for baby Conner — turning 1 month on that day — it was all fixed and we were trying to console him and get him into position while Maggie just strolled up behind us. My assistant then took part of our setup, an ear of corn, to coax her to look straight. Not only did she look my way, she came up calmly walking towards baby Conner and our setup! I got a couple shots, then we were done."
Conner's mom was even able to grab some video that shows the whole thing going down, and it's pretty cool:
Video: Gator 99.5/YouTube
What's more is that Maggie is a sometimes visitor to Rion's sessions, coming out of the (literal!) woodwork to sniff out snacks and visitors, and Rion says her clients love it when she makes an appearance.
"She picks and chooses her appearances, [and] although we would love to see her every time, we do not...The older kids are super excited about the deer, some even call it a horse but are still very calm and endearing around her."
As for little Conner, the little cutie's mom was over the moon about Maggie's appearance: "[She]was in awe; awe at the deer how she showed up so peacefully, awe at the way we posed her baby, awe at the photographs we were able to take as they were a surprise for her husband."
The photos are definitely something special; the kind of once-in-a-lifetime perfect shot that Conner's parents are sure to cherish in the years to come!
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