Nowadays, if you take any business or marketing class surrounding photography, you will probably hear about branding. Specifically, branding by using your name or your persona. That is why you might see photographers start a business using their name followed by the word: photography. Today I have a really personal story to share in how I chose my business name. It provides you with the backstory of why you aren’t on the “Jen Cassellius Photography” website. Instead, you have landed on a blog post related to the brand: Pink Spruce Photography.
It all starts with family
Before starting a photography business even came into our lives, my husband and I were trying to start a family. Over the course of 4 years, we suffered 4 miscarriages. Then, after years of struggling, endless amounts of testing, we reached the 20-week mark with our baby boy, Laughton.
First, there was Laughton
I’ll never forget that day going in for the 20-week ultrasound. We were going to find out the gender, everything was so positive, and I remember buying a cookie at the hospital’s bake sale to celebrate afterward with Graham.
The ultrasound presented us with some of the most difficult news and even more uncertainty. Multiple specialists, geneticists, and tests determined that our son had some major genetic defects. The severity we would not know more about until after he was born.
However, our world collided even further at 28-weeks when my water broke. After spending almost a week in the hospital, Laughton made his appearance. He was with us for only a couple of hours before becoming our guiding angel.
Then came Emmons
We decided that adoption was our calling, especially after our experiences and losing Laughton. Our adoption journey was speedy, unlike any we had heard of. Really quick, in fact. We signed the agency’s paperwork in May, we met with a birth mom in August, and our little man, Emmons, was born in December.
Emmons is the perfect child, although we are admittedly biased. God sent him Earth-side for us, he was always our plan, and we truly believe this. We will move mountains for him, as long as we can.
However, one thing that kept lingering for us was growing our family even further and not knowing the best way to do that. We never received a clear answer as to why things happened the way they did with Laughton. It was noted as unfortunate “luck,” even with my history of losses. After struggling for YEARS to get pregnant and then continuously losing those babies, we weren’t sure we wanted to dive right back into that life.
Therefore, when Emmons was about 9 months old, we made the “decision” to let come what may. We weren’t actively (or desperately, as we had felt in the past) trying to have another baby, but we weren’t preventing one either.
Last but not least, Pebbles
As you could probably have guessed, I was pregnant within a month of that conversation with our little girl, Pebbles.
Everything was going well during the pregnancy. We were even letting ourselves get excited. It was the best pregnancy yet. We found out she was a girl around 10-weeks as a part of some initial genetic screening.
Everything was fine until the beginning of the second trimester. We were in a high-risk monitoring plan and had fairly frequent ultrasounds because of our history. At 14 weeks, they found a mass growing on Pebbles. However, after many more tests and scans, they were surprisingly optimistic that it might be something that would need to be removed upon birth.
Enter: the Christmas tree
After that news and falling back into the worry game we knew all too well, I will never forget walking into a local store where all of the different Christmas trees, sparkly lights, and decorations were up and ready to enjoy. I stopped dead in my tracks in front of a pink Christmas tree. I began to cry (yes, right there in the middle of the aisle, silent tears ran down my cheeks), thinking about how desperately I wanted to buy that tree for Pebbles. To have it sit in the corner of her nursery and then decorate it with her for years to come.
We lost Pebbles shortly after that. Unfortunately, it happened in a rather traumatic way (even more than what we experienced with Laughton), one that I am not sure I will ever totally recover from.
Finding a new purpose
After losing Pebbles, I will admit that I spiraled a bit. In the sense that I needed (needed) to figure out what my purpose was. To show that my husband and I hadn’t been faced with these heartaches in life for nothing. I knew I was supposed to learn from them, grow from them, or help others. However, I didn’t know how or what or why.
No longer did I want to do things that I wasn’t totally passionate about. It was at this point that I (quite literally) dove headfirst into photography. I dabbled in the craft until this point. However, I had been treating it more like a hobby. In fact, when I first explored this avenue, I thought I was going to be a baby photographer. Especially after our experience with photos of Laughton captured by a Now I Lay me Down to Sleep volunteer photographer. I planned on trying to be a NILMDTS volunteer photographer myself!
Very long story short, I enjoy capturing wedding days most of all!
A pink Christmas tree inspired the name
When I tried to decide on an official name for this new business venture, one that I was throwing my entire heart into, that moment standing in front of that pink Christmas tree came to mind.
Hence, Pink Spruce Photography came to be. In honor of my angel babies.
I am an open book if you haven’t already gathered that. Feel free to read through as much, or as little, of my personal, family, home, and behind the scenes posts here.