Newborn photographer and New Haven, Indiana, resident Angela Forker is on a mission to show that babies with special medical needs are beautiful, valuable and worthy of love.
That’s why she donates two free photography sessions each month to families with special-needs babies. Through her Precious Baby Project, she uses ImaginArt floor-scenes to photograph babies in whimsical, magical and creative worlds that she creates. Indy’s Child talked to Forker about her project and her inspiration.
What inspired you to begin the Precious Baby Project?
My photography business is Precious Baby Photography, and I am known for my special Baby ImaginArt floor scenes created out of fabric. A year and a half ago, I was praying about my photography and I wanted to make a difference. I felt that God showed me that my scenes are perfect for babies with special needs. A baby who can’t sit up or walk just has to lie down in this scene. I thought, if I am Precious Baby Photography, then how about the Precious Baby Project!
How do you prepare for sessions?
I draw off the baby and family for ideas. Sometimes I have no idea how I’m going to create the scene. I do my homework to find photos, drawings or cartoons to help me create. Then, I find more fabric. I love saying, “What’s a new way that I can use this item?” I use my imagination to create something memorable for families.
Where do you get your ideas?
Sometimes, I just want to do something cute. Other times, [I’m inspired by the babies] — for example Bryce [Clausen], who had Krabbe disease. I had him “Battling the Krabbe.” Even though the crab looks fierce [in the photo], there is a message of hope because his life was not in vain. Because of Bryce’s little life, every baby in Indiana will be tested for Krabbe disease. [Note: Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed legislation in March 2019 that would add three rare genetic diseases, including Krabbe disease, to Indiana’s newborn screening panel.]
What is your favorite part about this project?
There is so much more happening through this project than I could have possibly imagined. One of my favorite things is changing people’s hearts — changing how people see children and babies with special needs. We are raising awareness while spreading hope and joy. Sometimes life happens differently than expected, but if we open our hearts, we will find a new kind of beauty. I want to show the world this beauty because I truly believe these babies are beautiful.
Learn more about the Precious Baby Project by visiting preciousbabyphotography.com.