An expectant mother who recently lost her husband decided to include him in her maternity photo shoot and the result elicited emotions in all who saw the photos and read their story.
When Amanda and Jesse Snyder learned they were expecting their first child, they were overjoyed. Jesse did not leave his wife’s side throughout the first months. He tended to her and was there for her when she suffered morning sickness.
“He was there for every appointment, he was there right next to me when I was so sick I couldn’t leave the bathroom or my bed, and he did everything he could to show his love to me,” Amanda told HuffPost.
Sadly, it didn’t last long. On May 27, Jesse died in a tragic accident, leaving his pregnant wife to prepare for their unborn son’s arrival alone. When the time came for her to take maternity photos, Amanda decided to include her late husband. She enlisted the help of photographer Shanna Logan who used Photoshop to incorporate Jesse into the photos. The photo shoot took place on July 11 at Logan’s family farm in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Amanda wore a blue dress. She had picked out a matching shirt for Jesse but she ended up using it for his burial outfit.
Logan said she had never Photoshopped a lost loved one into a picture but she had seen other photographers do it so she used photos of Jesse from a few months before his death to bring Amanda’s vision to life.
Amanda gave birth to Jameson at 6:37 p.m on August 2. Throughout her labour, delivery and postpartum recovery, she kept a photo of Jesse next to her. Coincidentally, Logan called her and left a voicemail to say she’d finished the photos at 6:36 p.m. – the same time Amanda welcomed her child.
Amanda was overwhelmed with emotion and began to cry when she saw the photos the next morning. Logan shared the maternity photos on Facebook, where they’ve reached nearly 10,000 likes. Amanda said she did not expect her photos to go viral, but has been touched by the kind words she’s received from strangers, especially other women who have lost their partners.
She said the photos depicted the things she felt for her husband and best friend. She said: “These pictures show the love I have for him and how much I miss my best friend and my soul mate. I may not have been able to have him by my side in the flesh, but I believe he was there in spirit, which is what these pictures represent to me.”
She added: “The hardest part was leaving the hospital and not having my husband be the one driving us home for the first time and knowing he wasn’t going to be there to help me.”
She said her father and close friends have come together to support her. Amanda says she’ll forever be “Jesse’s girl.” She hopes Jameson will inherit some of his dad’s wonderful qualities.
“My son is the most amazing gift Jesse could have left me with. He has this grin that is exactly like his daddy’s, so when I look down and see it, I see my husband,” she said.