I met Carrie at the Homeless Prenatal Program 7 years ago. She works with the moms I photograph. I loved that we shared the same name, easy to remember. But, in all fairness Carrie is not a person you could forget. Carrie is my kind of gal. She is raw, unapologetic and she has a heart the size of Texas. Carrie is bubbly, smart, funny and loves to wear corsets. Her fiery, curly red hair, gorgeous eyes and huge smile also make her hard to forget. One of the first times I met her, she showed me photos from her home birth. The were so beautiful and so intimate, and I loved that she was sharing them with me, despite having just met me. She is a force.
Carrie has not had an easy life. She has been through a lot and that doesn’t hold her back, it propels her. She was raised by addicts, she was an addict. She got pregnant and she was homeless. Carrie was a client at Homeless Prenatal Program and they helped her find a new path. Now she is a New Beginnings Case Manager and a Health Educator at the Homeless Prenatal Program. This one of the things I love most about HPP, they were the first agency in SF to hire and promote former clients as employees. The majority of their staff started off as clients. Carrie is also doula and is also involved in the centering program. She has worked at HPP for 7 years now. She is a true inspiration.
Unfortunately we missed the window for doing maternity photos for Carrie, as her girl came early. Carrie asked if there was any chance we could do photos with baby Abigail, when I was at HPP this month. Of course I said yes. So, yesterday, after photographing the pregnant mamas, Carrie popped by with miss Abigail. My heart filled as soon as I saw them. Abigail was an angel. Oh, that blonde hair! I always wanted towheaded children. Anthony had to remind me I wasn’t really blonde and that we would never create blonde babies, and he was right. Both of my kids were born with very dark brown hair. Anyway…
Carrie and Abigail seemed so happy and connected. We talked and caught up while we took the photos. We generally don’t have much time to chat when I am there each month, so this was a treat. We shared stories on how things were not easy for either of us right now, but we keep moving forward, and we do the best we can. I felt so lucky that I had a chance to take these photos for her. I was so excited to see the photos. Once I got them in the computer I had to share a few screenshots with Carrie. She replied “Thank you Keri-you know seeing what you capture in moments helps me see being in love”. “They fill me with joy”.
Her words meant so much to me. I always wonder what the photos will mean to my clients and the moms at HPP. This was more than I could have imagined. I love that I get to be a part of this journey with my moms. It fills me with joy.