Mom Honors Pregnancy & Infant Loss With Breathtaking 'Rainbow Baby' Desert Photos

Rainbow baby photoshoot
Felicia Saunders Photography

In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, photographer Felicia Saunders has released a series of breathtaking photos that serve as a poignant reminder of the strength of women -- especially when faced with a devastating loss. The photos have now gone viral, and the photographer tells CafeMom that her only hope is that they bring comfort to those who need it most right now.

  • Saunders says that it was an image of her own son that first inspired the idea behind the photo shoot.

    Saunders, who owns Felicia Saunders Photography, explains that the idea came when she was taking photos of her son with a drone as he played outside on his bike one day. 

    "When I saw how his shadow fell, I knew immediately I wanted to create something unique with a maternity shoot," she explains.

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  • Soon after, she spoke with a friend who had suffered a pregnancy loss but was pregnant again, and was willing to share her experience.

    "I photographed her gender reveal photoshoot earlier in her pregnancy," Saunders says of her friend Brianna Weedman, who soon became the subject of her project. "After four healthy boys and a tragic loss, she is expecting her rainbow baby girl!" Saunders shares.

    But the theme has a special meaning to the photographer too. 

    "Rainbow babies hold a very special place in my heart," says Saunders. "I had an early miscarriage my very first pregnancy."

  • The two friends traveled to the desert together to make the photo shoot happen -- and the images Saunders captured are pure magic.

    "I had a few new ideas I wanted to experiment with, including my first drone shot," Saunders tells CafeMom. "So we headed back to the desert to photograph her again, this time celebrating hope with a rainbow-themed session."

  • After posting the images on Facebook, Saunders' photos have been shared thousands of times.

    Saunders says that she's proud of the work she created -- not just because the photos have garnered viral attention but because she was able to help her friend honor the baby she lost in a meaningful way.

    "I know how tender loss can be, and strive to create something special to pay tribute and remember their journey," she says. 

    When posting the photos online, Saunders included a short quote by the novelist Gregory Maguire, which she says sums up perfectly the pain parents of loss carry with them, even after they get their rainbow: "The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say."

    In other words, "We may not know what someone carries in their 'shadows,'" Saunders says.

    Still, Saunders says that she hopes that people who see her photos will let others know that "they're not alone, and [that] it's okay to reach out."

miscarriage & loss rainbow babies