Summer a bald beauty at 13 | Inspiration Shoot | Louisa, Va | Crystal Reyns Photography

Summer-2071

SUMMER!!!

A gorgeous, strong, confident, and HAPPY young lady. A THIRTEEN year old when she lost all her hair in just TWO weeks. This shoot was planned to inspire and lift her spirits, but little did I know she would inspire me more than anything I have ever done in photography.

We met before sunset, a little after Kat’s Hair Studio spend some time doing Summer’s makeup for the shoot. Summer was all smiles, she owns exactly who she is hair or no hair. We chatted during her shoot, and I learned all about her family, her best friend Maddie that has been a bald beauty too so they have a special bond, and all about school and how some kids are so mean to her because she doesn’t have hair. She smiled after telling me this, I realized she is one heck of a STRONG young lady.

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Here is a little about Summer from her Mom, Sharon: “Summer L Stauffer born March 18, 2002 in Fredericksburg Va. In early October of 2015 she was washing a car with a friend and I noticed a bald spot on the side of her head. We went to the doctor and confirmed it was Alopecia. It took us about three weeks to get into a Dermatologist who officially diagnosed Summer with Alopecia Universalis (AU) on October 29 2015. From when I noticed the first bald spot until the time that all of her hair had fallen out was about two weeks, four days before our appointment at the dermatologist. They informed us that day that AU is one of the rarest forms of alopecia and her case was especially rare because of how fast it happened. There are three types of Alopecia:
Alopecia Aerata
Alopecia areata, the most common variation of the autoimmune disease, presents itself as round, smooth patches of various sizes.
Alopecia Areata Totalis
Alopecia areata totalis presents itself as total loss of hair on the scalp
Alopecia Areata Universalis
Alopecia areata universalis is the rarest form of alopecia areata and presents itself as the loss of hair over the entire scalp and body
Alopecia is not contagious. They don’t know exactly how or why some people develop it. It is an autoimmune disease that is normally brought on secondary to some other medical issue or diagnosis. The easiest way to explain what and how it works is that your body is allergic to your hair. Now keep in mind this is not the technical definition, just an easier way to explain. There is no cure for Alopecia. However there are treatments to help the possible regrowth of hair, injections, creams, squaric acid. None of these would have been beneficial for Summer. The only possible one they suggested would be the squaric acid treatment. After talking this over with Summer she decided against it. Basically they would put this acid on her scalp in hopes to cause an allergic reaction and her body would attack that and leave the hair follicles alone to regrow hair. On top of my 13 year old female child, at the time this all started, losing all her hair she was going through some medical issues as well. Summer missed a lot of school between the middle of October until December when we were able to finally get her on home bound school. She went back to school part time in January and returned full time April 4. Through all the lab work, scans, ultrasounds, visits to the ER, the Gastroenterologist, Primary doctor, Oncology/Hematology, Orthopedic and physical therapy they have still not determined everything and what was happening with her. She is being treated for stomach issues with medicine that seems to be working, a liver mass that they have been watching, and still trying to figure out what is wrong with her back and the pain there.
Summer has met people within the past six months, complete strangers with Alopecia as well, who have come up to her and asked if she has Alopecia and that she inspires them and makes them want to be like her, to have her strength and own what obstacles that have been placed in her path. They hide behind wigs, hats, scarfs and make up because they are scared of what others will say and not comfortable in their own skin. A woman stopped us walking out of the store around Christmas time and was amazed of how Summer was “rocking” the bald head. She gave Summer a hug said “God Bless you I want to be like you.” They look at her father and I and tell us that we have raised a very strong young woman. I hope so. We always tell our children that they are who they are meant to be.”

Summer is a big sister:

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A best friend:

Summer-2121 Summer-2129 Summer-2130 Summer-2137 Summer-2148 Summer-2163

And an amazing, inspirational person!

Summer-2042 Summer-2039 Summer-2032 Summer-2023 Summer-2012 Summer-1984 Summer-1980 Summer-1973 Summer-1962 Summer-1953 Summer-1950 Summer-1921 Summer-1915 Summer-1899 Summer-1890 Summer-2113 Summer-2104 Summer-2102 Summer-2067 Summer-2059 Summer-2052

Plaster Maternity l Crump Park l Glen Allen, Va Family Photographer

This session was such a pleasure to capture as this was the first time I got to see Dani and Joey after they told me the wonder news as I passed along their Wedding Photo Book after their big day. 
Dani you are STUNNING as a mommy to be and I am completely honored to capture you from a bride to with child. You and Joey look even more happy now than y’all did on your wedding day, and I didn’t think that was possible. 
THIS IS LOVE, and this is what life looks like after the wedding day. LET LOVE GROW!!!
 Love that baby bump!!
 AAAHHH Dani, you are one gorgeous Moma to be!
 and how cute is Ms Gracie, as she is so excited to be a big sister
 FAV!
 EEEEKKKK another fav!
 and this special moment….. 🙂 🙂 

Luke’s outdoor cake smash l Louisa, Va Family Photographer

 This little cutie, Luke, has turned ONE!!!
Although we had to post pone his session due to snow (a couple of times) and our crazy temperature changes. I am thankful for the day we were able to do his session as it was warm and nice out, so we were able to do his cake smash by the woods. Luke being a country boy just like his big brother, definitely loves the outdoors much more than being inside.

A gorgeous snowy winter bridal session l Louisa, Va Wedding Photographer

When I first met with Camdynne to discuss her big day she said ‘I want to do bridals in the snow.” Exactly one month after their big day I got to spend a few hours with Camdynne and Kyle on this gorgeous Mineral, Va property. Camdynne you are stunning with your red hair, and you totally rocked this in the snow. 
We went against all ‘normals’ for this amazing shoot. As a photographer we know it is a little harder to shoot in the snow, because there is so much white and highlights. Not only did we shoot in the snow, it was sunny, and about 11:00 am……Yes I was hoping for overcast, but I am now so glad it was sunny and these are timeless images for Camdynne. 

Brantley turning ONE

It’s hard to believe that a year has past since we were all waiting in the delivery room waiting for Brantley to make his appearance. (Brantley’s Birth Story) A day that Shelley and Jonathan had been anticipating since their Pregnancy Announcement. I have loved every second of watching them grow from a couple to a family with so much love for this adorable little boy.

Even at Brantley’s Newborn session he was so laid back and calm, and that still remained true to his Three Months Old family session, Fall mini, Christmas session, their in home session, and now to his one year old session. WWWWOOOOOOO, some may think that is quite a bit of sessions, but I have LOVED every minute of capturing him at those moments in life that they won’t have back.

Now he has mastered the art of crawling so he is a little man on the move. Shelley came very prepared for their session, which as photographers we LOVE. So I have to send kudos to her…GREAT JOB!!! And she even made the rag garland and banner. Here is a few of my favorites of Mr. Brantley’s session:

 Leg warmers from Rooty-tutus

 Oh that little grin……..

 Look ma I’m one!!!! 🙂

 FAV!!

 He was unsure about cake at first, and it was so cute watching him pick off the dots first.

 YYYYYUUUUMMMM!!

 …..and I’m spent…..

 How CUTE?!?!?

Happy Birthday Brantley and I am super excited for your Cat in the Hat Party!!!

TWO more days l Louisa, Va Portrait Photographer

Two more days until Deborah finds out if she is having a boy or a girl. I was OVER THE MOON excited when her status popped up in my news feed, as she was waiting 16 more days to find out. I had never used glitter in a session, and I have seen it used many times. I thought ‘hmmmmm this will be the perfect opportunity to test this glitter thing out’ 🙂 Deborah was all for my ideas, yes I said ideas, now for the others I will not share yet. But I am impressed with the outcome of these!!!

You tell me, what will it be, pink or blue??

Brantley 8 days new l Louisa, Va Newborn Photographer

 I first met Brantley minutes after he was born, as it was such a GREAT honor to share that moment with mom, dad, and family. He was born on a Monday night, weighing in at 6lbs 7oz. Mom was quite the trooper through the contractions!! We had discussed documenting his birth story before their maternity session, and I was beyond honored, excited, and nervous.

As I arrived the evening of his newborn session, I was so excited to see him again, and Shelley. (And she let me wear sweatpants 🙂 WIN) She was so prepared for his session, GOLD star!! I decided to use natural light instead of studio lighting, and I am in LOVE with it. Brantley was quite the model, and so cooperative with me. We also got to get a few family images in their gorgeous bedroom, and his nursery, and yes Shelley I would love for you to come decorate my house 🙂

 His cute cousin Taylor.

 I LOVE baby feet!!!

Landon l Louisa, Va Newborn Photographer

I am super excited to tell everyone that I have a new nephew. 🙂 He is a spitting image of his older brother Dylan when he was born. My sister brought them both to my home studio, and Dylan got to not only play with Skeatti and Meatball (my pugs), but also got to take his picture with them.

I was beyond honored to capture this special time, but also to have images to put on my walls, as they are still bare since moving. lol don’t hate

I am still in the process of editing the rest of his session, so here is a little sneak peek of the newest addition in the Taylor house. 🙂