Maggie Jill Photography » Maggie Jill Photography is a natural light studio and on-location photography service specializing in newborn, milestone and family photography

I wish every single one of you could have the chance to meet Jase in person. I know that I wont even be able to come close to describing how amazing he is with my words. Just know that he has SO much personality. He talked my ear off the whole walk to the beach and he’s hysterical! I was truly laughing out loud most of the way. He told me about everything from his love of trucks and trains to some recent underwear struggles… he is NOT shy! I know I caught him on a good day (in between treatments) but he had a ton of energy and a huge smile, the only evidence that he was anything but a happy, healthy 3 year old, was his bald head. He climbed right up on the rocks, sailed (or sunk) his boat and shared some sweet moments with his furry brother Moose. To be honest, he listened better than a lot of toddlers that I see and there was truly no other indication of the ginormous battle that he’s fighting. I’ll share his story below but first, some of my favorites from our session-

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Jase’s story told by his Mom (although he is now in phase 3 of treatment which began this past Sunday)-

On 12/19/19 our little train lover Jase, aka Jasie jumping bean, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. He was originally scheduled to start treatment on Christmas morning. While other kids would be home opening gifts our son would be in Boston Children’s Hospital getting chemo for Christmas, we were devastated. Then, on 12/23/19 Jase underwent emergency brain surgery to stop a bleed caused by one of the tumors in his skull. He made it through a very scary surgery and was shockingly out of ICU on Christmas Eve (less than 24 hrs after surgery). On Christmas morning, we woke up in our hospital room on the 6th floor oncology unit and watched as Jase promptly demolished a chocolate frosted donut… and it was the best gift we could have received. We knew we had an amazing little fighter on our hands, and he has been fighting every day since. He has completed his induction phase of treatment which included 2 rounds of chemotherapy, 2 rounds of combination chemotherapy/immunotherapy, resection surgery to remove the main tumor in his abdomen, and then another combination round of chemotherapy/immunotherapy. He is currently in phase two of treatment and has completed one stem cell transplant and is almost ready to go home from the second. Next he will undergo radiation which will complete phase two. Phase three will consist of an oral chemotherapy and 6 months of immunotherapy. Throughout this rigorous treatment Jase has had many tests and scans to show his progress and we are so grateful to be able to say he is having very good results! His team at Boston Childrens Hospital and The Jimmy Fund Clinic have been beyond amazing and have been very impressed with not only his response to treatment but also how well he has tolerated such an intense treatment plan. He has truly been such “the little engine that could” and has made an extremely difficult time so much easier for us than it could have been! We have also been so blessed to have such amazing support from family, friends and our exceptional community. We are sincerely in awe of how unbelievably kind and generous you have all been. A close friend very appropriately dubbed all of Jase’s supporters the #Jasetrain and there really could not be a more perfect term to describe all the people he has behind him, supporting him, cheering for him, and fighting with him. We have been keeping people updated on Jase’s progress through private Facebook and Instagram accounts but have realized we have an opportunity, and really a responsibility to share Jase’s story to a larger audience and bring awareness to neuroblastoma and all pediatric cancers and how people can help. We have created this page as a platform to raise awareness and hopefully in the future raise funds to help other families dealing with pediatric cancers and to fund research to find cures! Please, jump aboard the #Jasetrain and follow, like and share this page again and again to help us reach these goals! Thank you for your support, we love our #Jasetrain! Danielle, Josh and Jase 

Make sure you follow his Facebook page below for updates on his fight. Please feel free to send his family lots of love and positive vibes and share his story to help them raise awareness and help other families dealing with pediatric cancers!

Facebook page-  Jase Train

 

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When Mason was born, his Mom asked if we could chat over the phone because there were some unexpected complications that she wanted to talk through. I’m ALWAYS happy to have a phone call with a client, but honestly, I dont get that request too often and as soon I saw the email I was worried. The first thing she said when I called was “I’m sorry in advance if I cry…”, that already had me in tears on my end. She had spoken 7 words and I was already crying (I will say that I’m pretty sure she didn’t know this, I think I fronted with professionalism).

I can’t tell you her exact words (probably because of the tears I was trying to hide on my end) but she told me that Mason was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome. She told me that there were a lot of unknowns and that they were still waiting on a lot of answers. After filling me in briefly on what Treacher Collins is, she talked about how incredibly in love she was with him already, how perfect he was and how she wanted nothing more than a very typical life for him in every way possible- including a newborn photoshoot. Its hard to explain how many emotions I felt from her in what was ultimately a pretty quick phone call…. I could tell that although she was scared, she was VERY strong. It was week 1, and I could tell that this little boy was loved an amount that I am certain I have never felt in my life time. I knew she was overwhelmed but so, so, determined. I knew she was sad but not in a way that meant she didn’t love him with every ounce of her… in a way that just meant she knew his road was going to be harder than most. I knew that she was really proud…. maybe all new Moms are proud, but this was different- she knew that he was incredibly special (spoiler alert- he is!).

So we got off the phone and I watched the movie Wonder (with Julia Roberts) that night. Its about a little boy with Treacher Collins syndrome and I LOVED it. I loved the message in the movie, I loved the little boy in the movie, I loved the story line. I honestly just loved it! I thought about our conversation and I thought about the movie A LOT over the next few weeks (our session didn’t happen right away between combo of his complications and COVID 19). Every time I thought about his session, I just knew I had to get right. I wasn’t worried about any restrictions, my ability to adapt to his needs, or anything like that. I just wanted his parents to be as comfortable and relaxed as any new parents (maybe thats not overly comfortable and relaxed, but you know what I mean). I wanted his session to be as typical as any other because I knew how much that meant to them.

Well his session wasn’t typical. It wasn’t typical because 2 minutes in I fell in love with all of them. Let me just tell you that 12 weeks in this world and Mason already has an amazing personality! He’s so easy going, but knows what he wants. He definely ran the show, but not in an annoying or needy way. In a way that said “Listen lady, you can take my picture, but I’m gonna call the shots on how and when”. This probably seems like something people just say, but I PROMISE YOU, I can tell that this kid is going to do big things. He’s going to be so incredibly sweet and have such a kind heart but also have no problem standing up for himself if he needs to. It’s clear as day at 12 weeks, I swear! You don’t have to guess where he gets it… his parents are so loving and so laid back but so ready to fight for anything Mason needs!

I could write forever but I just dont think there are words to convey how amazing this little boy is and how incredibly loved he is. I’m sad that Mason has tough obstacles in his future, I wish he didn’t have to face some of the challenges that he already has, and others that are unavoidable (he already has two surgeries under his belt and will definitely endure more). But I am not worried about him one little bit, because like I said, I know he’ll do big things and I know that he has THE MOST loving and supportive parents who would literally go to the end of the world for him.

It was so hard to choose just a couple images from his session to share because I love every single one, but here are a few of my favorites-

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How do you know what’s right? (and a cute baby real quick because… well, because thats what I do)

70403780_2477794785783505_3640580684302516224_oPINIMAGEIf you’re like me, you started a business out of passion. The passion to create art, to help people reach fitness goals, find their dream home… whatever you felt so strongly about and you were thrilled to make a career out of.

You may have quickly realized “well this is a little harder than I thought. I thought I would be enjoying my passion all day and now I’m answering tough emails, finding the right words when I have to say no, writing policies when I’m not even entirely sure what they should be…”

And then 2020 happened. The year that really seems to be the year of all years. The one where every month seems to bring a new, completely uncharted challenge. I mean are murder hornets a thing? Is this year real?!?

Now the decisions seem even bigger and more personal. They seem scarier. Lives are literally on the line. Should you speak up on current events, is it your place to say something or worse, is it your place NOT to say something? How should you re-open your business, are you making the right choices for yourself, your family, your clients?

I’m overwhelmed by 2020 in general. Some days (today started as one) I’m worried that my business won’t make it because I don’t know the right answers. My head spins when I think about the questions that I just can’t seem to get anywhere with, I go in circles on what is right and what is wrong. Yesterday I spoke up in a social media group. My intention was to make sure all voices were heard and all opinions were considered (in regards to re-opening guidelines). I felt that some in this particular group were projecting their opinions as the right ones and I was offended. I chose my words carefully and spoke from the heart. I got a ton of support and I felt like I did the right thing. Today I woke up in a panic wondering if I had done just the opposite of my intention. Did I make someone else feel like their posts were wrong and out of line? Did I not accept their choices? Did I end up doing the exact thing I was preaching against?

I feel like I’ve been spinning since this whole pandemic started. Truthfully I’ve been spinning for a lot longer. As strong as my passion for photography is, my passion for doing the right thing, being a good person and being someone who others can count on and look up to is even stronger. This year has tested that. Honestly, the past few years have tested it for me on a personal level, but this year it feels like it’s all coming to the surface. I worry so much about the doing the right thing, saying the right thing, making sure my intentions are clear… that I often don’t get anywhere. Sometimes I don’t speak up when I probably should. Sometimes my opinions are swayed by the thought that maybe I’m offending someone. Sometimes I see so much grey area I can’t even wrap my head around a decision one way or the other.

Someone recently said to me “we judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviors” 🤯 I looked it up and Stephen M.R. Covey originally said it. It rang so true for me. I know my intentions are always good but I worry so much that my words and actions have to portray them perfectly or I’ll be misunderstood. I spend more time than I’d like to admit wondering what the right answer is because if I chose the wrong one then people may not think of me the way I think of myself. I worry if I say or do something, it might offend someone and in my heart I don’t want to offend anyone, ever. I don’t want to come across as someone who doesn’t value the opinion of others but since others will ALWAYS have different opinions, I can never satisfy everyone, so I spin. I worry about my reputation. I worry about how I’m perceived. I do this in my personal life but I do even more in my business, especially lately. Especially in 2020.

Well I recently (like minutes before I wrote this) came to a realization that I should have probably come to when I was 20… you can’t please everyone. I knew that. I knew that on the surface when I was 20 but I didn’t accept it, honestly, until today, until moments ago. I didn’t understand that you have to accept it and you have to do what’s right for you and that doesn’t make you selfish. There is literally no way to please everyone so you have no choice. Spinning in circles doesn’t help you please everyone, all it does is make you silent and confused. You should hear opinions, you should be open minded, you should admit when you’re wrong and you should always be willing to grow but you shouldn’t be afraid to make the wrong decision. If you do what you believe in your heart to be right, then you’ll never be wrong. You’ll offend some (because you always will) and you may see things differently in the future, and even change your opinion and your actions over time. You’ll grow. That’s OK. It still wasn’t the wrong decision. It was the one you believed to be true in that moment, the one that was right for you, then one that came from your heart and that’s the most right you can be.

I guess that was a lot of words to say that if you feel any of the stress and pressure that I described above and you can’t seem to find the right answers, look inside yourself. Do what’s right for you because that’s ultimately what’s right for the people closest to you, the ones who are most similar to you, your ideal clients, and your true friends. It’s never going to be easy to know that others don’t agree with you, are offended by you or upset with a choice that you made but take it from someone who has spent years spinning… there is truly no other way. There is no RIGHT answer, only the answer that’s right for YOU, so go with that 💕

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