Did you know that the Monarch Butterfly is West Virginia’s official state butterfly? No? Neither did I, but there’s a fun story behind how I learned about it.
When Miss Cora (with the utterly kissable cheeks) was born, two families experienced the joy and changes that come with adoption. Cora was born in West Virginia and went home to her mom and dad here in Maryland. I had the chance to meet her in the studio just before she turned four weeks old.
Adoption has played such an important role in the formation of my family, and I’m proud to be a volunteer for Red Thread Sessions, specifically to serve families created through adoption.
I’m always looking for creative ways to incorporate a family’s story into their portrait session. Sometimes I’ll include something as subtle as a favorite color, or as complex as a custom made backdrop and set. For newborn Cora I sought inspiration in her home state. I wanted something subtle as a link to her very first home, to this time of year, and to her family’s beautiful history which is being made right now.
As it turns out West Virginia’s state flower is a Rhododendron; rather more showy and bold than I had in mind. The state tree is a sugar maple, which is dear to my Canadian heart of course, but rather hard to incorporate into an early spring newborn portrait session. The state flower is a cardinal, which is a lovely winter bird… and also pretty tough to incorporate into a newborn portrait without being totally fake and cheesy (health, safety and permit concerns made a live bird impractical). I ruled out the state flag, seal, coat of arms, song, fish, and motto as inspiration as well. The state animal, a Black Bear, was nearly the end of my wild idea of seeking state- related inspiration.
The Monarch Butterfly; besides being West Virginia’s state butterfly, is also a symbol of change, renewal, birth and new beginnings. What better way to tell the story of this precious little girl? I can imagine sweet Cora looking back on these first images of herself with her daughters and telling her story.
** Live Butterfly Permit on file with Photographer
Kat is a studio and on location photographer in Elkridge Maryland focusing on newborn photography and child photography, serving clients from Baltimore County, Columbia, Silver Spring, Annapolis, Howard County, Montgomery County and more. Contact us today to reserve your session or, explore behind the scenes on Instagram and follow us on Facebook for promotions and previews.