NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP
More than just a children’s lullaby, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is an international network of volunteer photographers who give the gift of bereavement family portraiture to families suffering the loss of a baby.
NILMDTS was the idea of Cheryl Haggard, a mom in the United States who suffered a loss, and a local photographer, Sandy Puc. Together they created a non-profit support service that is available in 40 countries with over 1,700 active photographers.
Since 2005, families who have requested this free service of the network’s photographers have received beautiful black and white images of their loved ones and families. For those who have used NILMDTS, the images are the only tangible memories of their cherished baby, and a loving reminder that their baby was part of their family, even if just for a short time.
I have had the honour of photographing many families and their beautiful babies. As a photographer, it is indeed a unique experience when called at any hour to go to the hospital to photograph a family. Whatever the situation and emotions, the photographer must put that aside and focus on creating beautiful images for the families. After a shoot, in the quiet of the car, returning to the home or studio to process the images, the emotions then come rushing in.
This type of portrait photography, it must be said, is not for everyone, but for those who wish to join the organization – I can tell you – it is one of the most powerful things you can do for those in need.
Please consider becoming a photographer for NILMDTS by reading and contacting the organization.
The images displayed here are done so with the full permission of one family for whom I had the privilege of photographing. This family is is a loving family with other children, a loving extended family and support group.