Cassie Clayshulte is an official newborn photographer for her local hospital in South Carolina, so when Hurricane Matthew struck her town last October, Clayshulte suspected that a baby boom was on its way. "Nine months after a holiday, blackout or storm is always a very, very busy time for me,” she told TODAY Parents.
Taking that hunch into consideration, Clayshulte took to social media to reach out to women who had conceived during the storm -- aka "hurricane mamas." "I am planning a group maternity session to show that BEAUTIFUL things always come from not so beautiful things.” The maternity photos that resulted from her request is truly breathtaking. Check out two shots from the gasp-worthy session.
"I wanted to show everyone that the storm gave some Bluffton, Beaufort, and Hilton Head couples a special miracle," Clayshulte tells Parents.com. "If it weren’t for Matthew, these eight couples wouldn’t be expecting these little miracles. Some of these couples had trouble conceiving, experienced difficult previous pregnancies, and even had to undergo several rounds of fertility treatments to become pregnant. This storm destroyed trees and property and our area’s tourism industry took a big hit, but the storm helped these couples create something even more beautiful and these stunning mommies-to-be are living proof."
Clayshulte explains that in order to illustrate her point, she wanted to incorporate hurricane damage that still exists in the area into the shoot. She and the moms-to-be also headed to the beach, to show the world that Hilton Head Island is as stunning as ever -- and still a fantastic vacay spot.
Ultimately, Clayshulte's goal was to show that positivity persists, even during a dark time. "I have always been the kind of person that sees beauty where others can’t," she tells Parents.com. "I hoped that those who were stranded out of town and those who had no home to return to might see these images as a beacon of hope. The first ray of sunshine after a storm. Since those images went viral, I was inspired to show the world once again that every storm has a silver lining." Clayshulte's shoot couldn't have illustrated that point any better!