I specialize in timeless, fine art photography and my passion is combining traditional and lifestyle portraiture while photographing families, seniors, maternity and branding clients in Cle Elum, Washington and surrounding areas.
When my dear friend Patti Gomes shared with me the journey Joe and Brittni Kelleher had embarked upon over the last couple of years, I knew in my heart that as a maternity photographer in Ellensburg, I wanted to be a part of gifting them an adventurous maternity session. It was only fitting after the journey they had been on and what a beautiful way to celebrate the miracle of this pregnancy.
“It means so much to have these. I was pretty sure I didn’t want photos. This pregnancy has been hard, heavy, negative and really sad. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to remember much, but the more I thought about it I decided that this baby is an absolute miracle. She is saving my life and that 10000% deserves to be celebrated, captured and remembered forever. Thank you for making that happen for us. It means so so so much.”
The day began with a bit of beauty and pampering from the talented hands of Revive Makeup Artistry. Followed by a hike into the lush evergreen winterscape where Brittni and Joe were absolute rockstars in the cooler temps. Against the backdrop of the Central Cascades, we created stunning maternity photos to celebrate Brittni’s motherhood.
Ellensburg is where Joe and Brittni live, work and call home. He is a firefighter for Kittitas Valley Fire and she is a kindergarten teacher at Kittitas Elementary. It’s also been the community that has rallied around them through this journey. After struggling to become parents they were blessed with a generous donation of fertility treatments by an amazing nurse practitioner. After such a long road, Joe and Brittni were able to conceive the baby they dreamed of almost immediately. It was a blessing that was going to do more than just give them the baby they hoped for. It was going to save Brittni’s life.
Brittni and Joe had 10 short weeks to celebrate in wonder over their new pregnancy before they discovered the worst news imaginable. When Brittni received the results from her first-trimester blood work, they were informed that Brittni likely had Leukemia. And again, their angel nurse paved the way, connecting them to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where they were seen within a week – an incredible feat as usually the wait is much longer. After many labs and marrow tests, their worst fears were confirmed.
Eventually, they were told that the type of Leukemia Brittni has is chronic, which meant that they could continue the pregnancy. But each week was a delicate balancing of numbers. Of contingency plans. Each week brought a choice of whose life to value more. But there was one thing they knew, for as long as they could, they would continue to choose their baby, a girl. Named Logan Gray, after the angel nurse who gifted them, looked out for them, and gave them hope along the way.
It’s my hope that one day when Logan is 5, or 15 or 20 Joe and Brittni will be able to look back on these and celebrate the way their lives were forever changed and shaped by this experience. For me, it is a reminder that my work as a maternity photographer serves a greater purpose than beautiful art. It’s a part of someone’s origin, of their beginning.
Throughout their journey, the community has come together in ways that have been such a blessing, if you choose to be a blessing, you may do so here.
Mary Maletzke Photography
MARY MALETZKE PHOTOGRAPHY IS A LUXURY FAMILY & PERSONAL BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHER SERVING CLE ELUM, Ellensburg, SUNCADIA, (AND BEYOND!)
We SPECIALIZE IN AN EXCLUSIVE FULL SERVICE PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE beginning WITH SESSION PLANNING, STYLING AND LOCATIONS, AND CONCLUDES WITH THE CREATION OF HEIRLOOM QUALITY FINE ART FOR FAMILIES TO ENJOY IN THEIR HOME FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.