December Snow in OKC

December Snow in OKC

I tend to think it’s a pretty big compliment when a photographer asks you to photograph their family, so when this sweet photographer reached out to me, I was more than happy to have a snow session with her! I was actually going to be out in the snow for just a few minutes anyways, with my own two littles at about the same time she was hoping, so it was fun to get to be out there with this beautiful family, even for five minutes! In that short time, I think I captured over 40 images, and honestly I pretty much loved them all! Snow + a Child’s Innocence + a Really Fashion Coordinated Family = Yes Please! Below is just a sneak peek, but you can tell we had fun! 

Not only did I get to meet a new to me local photographer, but I also got to experiment with a matte, grain look on t these images since this Mama preferred that look to my usual natural, purist type style…and I am okay with that! I love how these turned out and it pulled me out of my normal comfort zone. Note: I am not big on presets, y’all!! I honestly enjoy hand editing and there hasn’t been a single image I’ve EVER produced that I didn’t hand edit to some degree. Even in the early days, when I bought not so great (to my style) presets, and used them and then tried to fix them, LOL!  I’m sure many would think that’s silly, but it’s just how I am. Each photo and each photo session speaks differently to me, so although my editing style isn’t 100% one way, I hope the images are still speaking to you too! 

Oh! And, my new photographer friend is Tori Rice, and you can find her work at Tori Rice Photography!

xx, Shelby 

Renew: My 2020 Personal Journey to Wellness – 6 Month Update

Renew: My 2020 Personal Journey to Wellness – 6 Month Update

How has it already been six months? Actually, it’s been over 6 months, by about a week. 
If you are new to coming to my page, or if it’s the first time hearing about this, I’ll share a summary. In late May 2020, I had a breast explant surgery – yep, I voluntarily got rid of some toxic bags that I now know factually were making me sick. So, so very sick. I won’t lie and say I’m miraculously completely healed, and to be clear, that was never my expectation. I wanted to feel ANY amount, even 10% better, and know for certain that I had done everything in my power to feel better. I have an autoimmune disease aside from what I now know to be Breast Implant Illness, so I think I went in to surgery with realistic expectations. 

If you’re wondering why I’d share this on a photography page, well, it’s really just somewhat cathartic for me to share! Also, it’s that this has the most reach of people who may be affected by #BII. I want people to know my story. I want women and men alike to understand the possible consequences of breast implants. I want women to know that they are NOT alone! If you have breast implants, saline or silicone, and you are having issues with fatigue, joint pain, brain fog…it might be worth looking in to. Please don’t misunderstand and think that you WILL get #BII or that I think all implants cause this in everyone. I know plenty of women who have implants (I almost used to think I was a rare unicorn amongst my friends, but alas, lots of us have or have had them). I know plenty who don’t have any of these issues. I also know plenty who don’t think some of their similar issues could be related to #BII. But…it might be. And even if those types of issues aren’t something you are experiencing, know that my particular body is now and will be permanently “deformed” from the implants. Yes, you read that correctly. Permanently deformed. My ribs, like the individual ribs that were under the weight of the implants, are now concave. My ribs are misshapen. Maybe that’s why it was hard to get a full breath of air for so long. In any case, I did ask my surgeon if this thought was accurate (that my ribs are now concave) and he said that it was in fact true that the weight can alter the ribs. Again, not something I expect happens to everyone, but be aware of it. And just so we are all clear, I did not have abnormally large implants! I went from a “barely A” cup to a B, and through pregnancy and aging, went to a full B/small C. So about 300 cc of fluid, I believe. Maybe a pound of implants? But over 17+ years, the damage was still done. Anyways, here’s the 6 month post op update on my symptoms (very similar to the 3 month update): 

InflammationImproved 30+%
Joint Pain – Improved 30+%
AnxietyImproved (not sure on %, because this was a particularly stressful month)
Difficulty ConcentratingSlight improvement – 15%
Memory LossThis one I’m not sure on. Still not great, but that’s been the same since I was about 18
Brain FogImproved!! 50% 
Hair LossImprovedHair growth visible, looks healthier  — I’ve had some additional hair loss since the third month, but not like it was a year ago)
DepressionDefinitely an improvement. 
Mood SwingsNot sure, but I feel confident it’s improved. 
Shortness of BreathBETTER!! Improved 80% or more! I had no idea that my breaths had become so, so shallow. Just days after surgery, I could FEEL myself breathing deeper. Even if nothing else changed, this would have been worth it!!! 
Weight GainNot sure. Some weight loss since surgery, but I also did a juice cleanse for five days about a month ago. Unfortunately, I followed that up with a month of Starbucks and eating out. Sooo…between that and the stress, I did lose weight, but it fluctuates, and though less weight than before surgery, I’m not sure how much is from just that. 

Chronic Fatigue – SO MUCH BETTER!! Probably 50%. Yes, I still get tired doing menial daily tasks, but what I haven’t done is lay in bed all day pretty much since maybe a week after surgery. Are there days I want/need a nap? Yes. But it’s not daily anymore, and even better, I’m able to exercise and walk without becoming short of breath and tired. I already know that my quality of life has been forever changed. 

And here’s what I really wanted to share below. Pictures of what my Move, Exercise and Stand rings (Apple Watch app) used to look like compared to the last few months. I’m hardly the same person. It’s AMAZING what I’ve been able to accomplish while NOT spending 4-6 hours in bed, daily. I don’t care what anyone says. I know those toxic bags were NOT good for me. The data speaks for itself. Before those things were out, I could barely move, let alone exercise for 5 minutes, much less over 30 minutes. They are just some random screen shots from my phone, but almost any month before May 2020 will look similar to the November 2019/January 2020 shots. I actually did work out quite a bit in July, and then took some time off with the infamous move that didn’t happen since I was concentrating on … packing for that same move! Ha! And while I’m thinking about it – my pain. I don’t have post surgery breast pain. I DID have pain prior to the surgery (although was assured from my general physician it wasn’t my implants). But really, everything is back to normal for the most part (very rarely some tenderness, but that may be hormonal or something…it doesn’t feel like it’s a post-surgical pain at all). 

I still fear that I’ll regress somehow and maybe that this is all temporary, and my body will reset it’s immune system. I dread the day I ruin my streak of working out daily, knowing that it’ll make me feel like I failed. I know that isn’t true, but I still worry. I’m so very sad for the “me” that I was for so long, but so thankful for the me that I’ve discovered since the surgery. The difference has been life changing. I’ll also mention that of course I have bad days! I don’t necessarily like my body’s new appearance in the way that I probably should. But, I’m accepting it. Some days are harder than others, and I expect that’ll always be the case. I still know I made the right choice, for me. 

If you have any questions about #BII, please contact me. I’ve had numerous friends or friends of friends (or even some strangers!) contact me in regards to their health issues. I’m no expert, but I’m a completely open book and can walk you through what I went through, and how I found my explant surgeon, Dr. Derek Shadid. You can also see previous posts regarding #BII here: One Week Post Op  2 Month Post Op3 Month Post Op and Journey to Wellness – Pre-Op


I may or may not have thrown in the last picture to gloat to my friend, Shelby, just a little. 🙂 
I was proud of myself though for doing a competition and it just happened to be that I  beat him! 

xx, Shelby

Oh yes…I updated my headshots!! 
Taken on October 31st, so about 5 months post op. Feeling AND looking healthy! 

Celebrating TWO…and my First Home-Water Birth

Celebrating TWO…and my First Home-Water Birth

It’s hard for me to imagine, but this time two years ago, I was barely recovering from having my first HOME Water Birth Story session! Yes, me. I was recovering…from photographing it! To say this birth was eventful would be a huge understatement, as this birth was filled with so much peace, joy, love…and also worry, pain, and uncertainty. Our strong Mommy undoubtedly passed her strength and spirit to her incredible, brave, princess fighter, and through some tears and quite literally a “labor of love,” I watched as this life was brought Earth side. We started at my clients’ home, fairly late in the evening, maybe around 9 pm, but ended up at OU Children’s sometime well after midnight. Thankfully, God had His hand over this family the whole time, and I could not have been more thankful to be a small part of their amazing journey while growing their sweet family. Through the joys of having social media and especially Facebook, I have been able to watch this precious little one grow into now a beautiful little “wildflower” as her Mommy likes to say. I’m sharing today as I think of this child often, and am so thankful for her life and that I was able to witness the beginning of it. With the COVID pandemic taking over our ability to do normal, daily tasks, including various types of photography over the past several months, I have missed being able to meet and document our world’s newest blessings. And this birth was so very special to me, so sharing my love for Births and this Birth Story just seemed natural. 

Here are a couple of images from this special child’s amazing Birth Story, as captured through my lens. I love every image from this Birth Story. Documenting this time is truly an honor for me. To be there, in the room, present with Mom, Dad, the medical team, and of course, God, who makes this miracle happen. I’ve been questioned before about how I can document “births.” “Aren’t they…umm…”  … LET ME STOP YOU THERE. Births are beautiful. They are part of everyone’s story, and documenting the details couldn’t be more fulfilling to my soul. If you can’t see beauty in these images, my guess is that you have some preconceived notion of what you think birth is like, and not what it actually is. Because…just look at these! BEAUTIFUL. GOD. MIRACLES. 

Happiest of Birthdays to you, Eden! Thankful to have been among the first to meet you!

                             

 

xx, 

Shelby 

 

{D} Family : Newborn Session – Twins!

{D} Family : Newborn Session – Twins!

Seriously, how beautiful…to be blessed with two healthy babies, one boy, one girl?!

This family is absolutely precious — just look at these images! You know, I had someone comment on one of the Facebook previews about their Dad proudly serving…actually, while Daddy is proud of his babies and his wife…in this case, the Mommy is the one serving. That’s right — a toddler at home and the Military Momma taking care of these precious littles AND doing her thing at work while serving our country too! Amazing, loving, and beautiful family. Such an honor to meet them, and I know the sacrifices this family is making. It’s not easy, but with that much love, they make it look like it is!

In talking with Mommy, we decided an at home, candid lifestyle session with a few posed images would work best for their family. I call this realistic expectations! With a toddler at home and two newborn babes, although I know it can be done, I think having the best of both portraiture and lifestyle is the way to go!

Also, if you are interested in seeing their maternity session, you can find it HERE

This one is a must share!! LOVE!
dasilva-blog-4

dasilva-blog-2

dasilva-blog-32

Proudly showing off what Mommy is up to here in Montgomery, Alabama.
dasilva-blog-5
dasilva-blog-7
dasilva-blog-8
dasilva-blog-9
dasilva-blog-10
dasilva-blog-11
dasilva-blog-12
dasilva-blog-15
dasilva-blog-16
dasilva-blog-18
dasilva-blog-19
dasilva-blog-13
dasilva-blog-20

Perfection…
dasilva-blog-21

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a prouder Big Brother!
dasilva-blog-14

dasilva-blog-22

dasilva-blog-23

dasilva-blog-24

Daddy has his hands full of love…
dasilva-blog-25
dasilva-blog-26

Quite possibly, one of my all time favorite lifestyle captures.
dasilva-blog-27
dasilva-blog-28

I adore this one so much! Look at those precious faces!
dasilva-blog-29
dasilva-blog-30

Gorgeous
dasilva-blog-31

I might have been a little too giddy about capturing this one! Look at those smiles!
dasilva-blog-33
dasilva-blog-34

dasilva-blog-37

Pure love…and you can feel it!
dasilva-blog-36

One final image to round out this amazing family newborn session!

dasilva-blog-38

{C} Family – Newborn Studio

What a beautiful little blessing! 

A few months back, I was able to capture this precious newborn in my studio! It was a lively session…we had Mom and Grandma here, and somehow, despite having the record for most diaper changes in one session, we were able to capture some gorgeous images! We needed to get a little creative with posing since this little one didn’t want to be squished (or wrapped) too much. I love how these turned out though — the detail in her eyelashes, skin, and lips are perfection. 

One of the best things about this session is that I was able to head back over yesterday to do an in-home documentary session with the whole family and SEE these beautiful captures in frames and on the wall! Documentary sessions like these make my whole heart so, so happy! I hope to have that session up sooner than this one got online, but I’ll be excited to share it when it’s up and processed. But trust me on this — if you love your photographer’s work, and want to pay them a compliment, you can do two things: one, get the images up on your walls, and two, refer to friends and family! Remember, photographers are creatives. We WANT to see our work to be seen, and that’s pretty difficult when images are stuck somewhere on a CD. This is another reason why I offer print packages! These images were printed and ready to be put in frames, and I’m thankful that my clients have been so, so great about getting them up. Such a huge reward to us seeing our work displayed in your homes! 

Okay…now, here’s Baby Adelyn, with more to come soon! 

  

Lightning in South OKC

I love attempting to do what seems to be the impossible, and capturing actual lighting strikes seems to be one of my favorite things! It amazes me that in an instant, I can freeze something that happens in the blink of an eye.

This particular evening was AMAZING. We were prepared for severe weather, hail and possible tornadoes (hello, OKC, we’ve missed you!) — but the lighting show…wow! I have lived here a long time, and this was by far the most active lightning show (with deep rumbles of thunder the whole time) I have ever seen. I was captivated by it.

Below are a couple of my favorite images, from the storm in South OKC (well, in a good chunk of OKC, but I’m in South OKC) on October 4, 2016. At some point, I may do a Capturing Lightning Tutorial…so be on the look out. As we may be gearing up for Round 2 of storms this evening, I’m going to enjoy time with my kiddos and make sure we are ready to take cover if we need it.

It’s a toss up whether I like this one or the last one the most…

10-4-16-slp-websize-okc-storm-10

I this one, it was one of the first frames and I was in such a hurry to capture some lightning…so, the shutter speed was a little fast. But, it’s a nice, crisp lightning shot!
10-4-16-slp-websize-okc-storm-1

I think our trampoline looks cool like this!
10-4-16-slp-websize-okc-storm-4 10-4-16-slp-websize-okc-storm-5 10-4-16-slp-websize-okc-storm-6 10-4-16-slp-websize-okc-storm-7  10-4-16-slp-websize-okc-storm-9
There’s something a little eerie about seeing this go on. Above your head.
10-4-16-slp-websize-okc-storm-8

See…this one is pretty cool…
10-4-16-slp-websize-okc-storm-11