Getting ready to welcome a new baby is typically associated with joy and anticipation, and that’s part of the reason maternity shoots are so popular. It’s a wonderful way to document an exciting and beautiful time. For one Mississippi mother, though, this joyful time is also tinged by sadness after the loss of her husband just months before her due date.
Nicole Bennett had planned on doing a maternity shoot with her 4-year-old son Landen in part because her husband, Deonta, suggested the idea as her pregnancy progressed. Sadly, Deonta wouldn’t be there to pose for pictures with his family — the beloved husband and father passed away before he could meet the daughter he and Nicole were preparing to welcome into the world.
Still, Bennett wanted to go ahead with the shoot, especially after an idea to include her doting husband in the photos occurred to her. She enlisted Sidney Conley of Sidney Conley Photos in Jackson, Mississippi, to help her realize her vision. The photographer helped her superimpose images of Deonta on the already hauntingly beautiful photos of Bennett and her son.
It’s not hard to understand why Bennett would want to include photos like these as part of documenting her pregnancy. Her young son and her daughter will not have something so many of us take for granted for our children — memories and pictures of the four of them as a family.
By having these photos taken, both Nicole and her photographer have given her children a wonderful gift. The loss of their father can never be mitigated, but they will have photographs like these as a visual reminder of how much Deonta loved them all.
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Despite the tragic loss, Deonta will never truly be gone from his wife’s, son’s and daughter’s lives. Now they have a set of photographs to help them look back and remember him as the loving person he was. Hopefully these pictures will always serve as a treasured reminder of how even in life’s most troubling moments, love and happiness can still thrive.