HerKentucky Story: Photographer Priscilla Baierlein

This HerKentucky story features a guest post by Central Kentucky-based photographer Priscilla Baierlein. I am lucky enough to be best friends with the man who was smart enough to marry this incredible person. When Cilla started her photography business, she asked to take pictures of my daughter for portfolio. I had absolutely no idea how incredibly talented Cilla was. I've always loved photographs. Memories mean everything to me. I am a hugely sentimental person. However, it's completely accurate that I didn't "get" photography as an art until I saw Cilla's work. Aside from her ability to turn everyday moments into art, she's also an amazing wife, mother, and friend. I've never met anyone who doesn't adore her from the moment they meet her, and I can't wait for you guys to get to know her too! - Megan Whitmer

Many photographers develop a passion for photography that is born out of their love for their children. They realize just how fleeting each moment is and want to hold on tight to every little memory. My love for photography came at a time that I thought I may never be able to experience motherhood. I may never experience the gentle (and not so gentle) nudges of a little one growing inside me. I may never experience the hard work of birthing my baby into the world. I may never experience holding him for the first time or watching my husband ever so carefully swaddle him snuggly. I may never experience the intense and overwhelming love, fear, and feeling of responsibility that comes with having a child. There would never be bath times with water splashed every where or bedtime stories and snuggles. I would never have sweet little afternoon naps or squeezes around my neck. I would never hear that pitter patter and laughter fill my house. I would never have kisses that would heal any boo boo. It took a while for us to realize that although we may not be able to experience those things with our own biological child, there were other options. Then something happened. After a series of medical interventions and what, to me, can only be explained by the love of God, things turned around. We started getting good news. Before we knew it, I was pregnant.

Now, I find myself falling in love with photography all over again. It's my way of holding onto this time of his life. I get sick to my stomach just thinking about high school graduation and college. Although this chapter of parenthood can be trying at times, it is beautiful and perfect and will only last a short while. I feel extremely thankful. Thankful for all the things I thought that I may never experience. Thankful for the things we experienced that only prepared us to be the parents we are. Thankful that not only were we able to have a child, but we are able to watch him play, hold him, and protect him. He's not sick. He's healthy. And wild. He's wild and crazy and sweet and perfect.

My most favorite photography captures...well...everything. It captures the laughter, the tears, the pitter patter, the bath time, the first breaths, the swaddles, the naps, the neck squeezes, the cuddles, every moment...every chapter...every season of our lives. It's all picture worthy (even in our pj's, with our messy hair, dark circles under our eyes and pounds we need to lose) because it's our lives and it's what we're going to wish we had just a little bit more of when our end comes. I know that although many days seem less than perfect, one day I will hope for just a few more moments with the ones I love. These types of photos, these are the ones that will show my son how much he was loved just in case we're not around to show him.

I'll leave you with a few of my favorites from the most recent chapter in our family's story.