When I first came up with the concept of this shoot, I knew I wanted it to have an old New Orleans, southern charm feel to it. How I would be able to make this work in Kentucky, I had no idea. The dresses were originally supposed to be for the girls first group Christmas pictures, but between me working at Rue Gilt, the weather, and other family members wanting the kids to come visit, I never got the time to do it. This took a tole on me mentally and emotionally, because since I became pregnant with my first child, I always wanted to be a photographer. Of course with 5 kids (2 boys, 3 girls) this profession obviously wasn’t ideal to put food on the table, so I pushed it to the back of my mind for years...or at least I thought I had. Looking back, I can say I do believe not following my dreams nearly pushed me over the edge of depression, along with other factors. I found myself always in awe at the photographers I worked with, hoping and praying that one day, I would be right next to them. How I would do this as a single mother, I had no idea, so I continued to shy away from it, telling myself, I can always come back to it. Then one day, while scrolling on IG, I came across a meme that read, “A talented person who does not put in the work, will always fall short to the individual who is not naturally talented, but puts in the work.” I felt like I had just been slapped in the face by the truth itself. It was in this moment I told myself I have to do something, because if I didn’t, how can I tell my young black children to always follow their dreams, knowing that I was a walking contradiction. So, I pulled the dresses out. Kiyomi, my eldest daughter had used hers as a play dress, so it had some wear and tear, Kamaria’s dress was fine because she never touched it, then I was afraid that my baby girl Kori might not be able to fit hers. Remember these dresses were meant for Christmas 2019, and we were now in the month of August 2020. Luckily she still could fit it, but barely, so I knew I had to act quickly. I chose to do their hair with the back left out, because my eldest always struggled with the shrinkage of her hair and I wanted....no....I needed her to know that no matter what style she had, her hair was beautiful just the way it was, and I meant it. Once I got them dressed up, it started to sprinkle outside. I could feel myself slowly crashing as the anxiety took over. Still, I loaded them in the car . The original location I chose was closed due to Covid 19, so we ended up in Elizabethtown at the duck park. I don’t know why I never noticed before, but when we pulled up I noticed a small cute bridge in the distance, and decided we would start there. By this time it had stopped running, but not knowing if it would happen again, I began to move quickly. As I began, I could feel the fire in my heart burning again. Personal happiness was what I was feeling, and I wanted more. Moral of this: don’t give up, even if you’re a single mother of five kids.