I am surrounded by lovely photographers too numerous to count. Most recently, one of my talented friends, Daniel Consuegra, posted an image of a maternity session including their daughter, Everly.
I was immediately drawn to her expression and soulful demeanor and asked Daniel if he would be willing to let me create a hand rendered digital painting of their daughter. As photographers and photographic artists, we are taught that every image tells a story.
Daniel met Ivan Herrera and his wife Paniz, at Abundant Living Family Church, in Rancho Cucamonga, where both served in the Team Media department. Not only did they become good friends, but Ivan’s curiosity about photography prompted him to ask Daniel to photograph their engagement session. Not only were they thrilled with the results, a year later, when the Herrera’s were expecting twins, Daniel was asked to document the event in a maternity session.
Tragically, on the day of the delivery, one of the twins went to be with the Lord. Everly survived, a source of comfort and love to Ivan and Paniz during a time of devastation and loss.
I was particularly drawn to their story of hardship and faith as I am also a mother of twins, one of whom had health issues. Our twin son was 10 months old when underwent open heart surgery for a congenital heart condition. While it was successful, he had to repeat this surgery at the age of 17. When I asked him if he was frightened, not only did I discover that he had YouTubed the procedure (gasp), but he shared, “Mom, I’m not afraid. If I live, I stay with you all. If I die, I’m with God. It’s a win-win.” I still recall this dialogue with tears. (The surgery was done successfully with the same surgeon who did his first surgery!)
Happily, the Herrera’s are expecting another child, and I’m certain that Everly, almost two, will celebrate in the joys to come. As creatives, we have a unique place in the narratives of those around us, and I am fortunate to share their story.
Says Daniel, who still enjoys a close friendship with the couple, “Why are they special to me, Irene? Their trust and faith in their personal Savior and their trust in me to be part of their lives.”