Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Henson.
Alyssa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I always have appreciated the art of photography. I would see images from professionals and I would drool over artistic perspective and creativity. I chatted with a friend about her photography business and asked for advice on where to begin my journey. She pointed me in the direction of a camera and gave me some priceless advice. She now is my business coach, Zara Ashby. I started photographing everything and anything I could. From my neighbor’s kids to funky mailboxes in Boulder. About six months into my journey, my father passed away, suddenly. To say my world was crushed is an understatement. My dad was one of my biggest fans and supporters. We had dinner the night before he died. We discussed how I am falling in love with photography and I really want to pursue this as a career. He told me “Alyssa if you do what you love, you will always be free.” Little did I know, that in 12 hours my father would pass. My heart was crushed and my world was turned upside down. However, in that horrible time of my life, the birth of my business and passion was emerging.
Photographing families felt instinctual to me. I love getting genuine emotions and expressions from kids and their families. I love being part of their journey and capturing them as they grow. My intention is to freeze a moment that they will look back at and feel the same emotion as they did at that moment. After attending the University of YouTube for a year, I joined an amazing Photography team called Bella Baby. They taught me so much about natural light, posing, selling, learning how to photograph in difficult and tender situations, and so much more. I quickly moved up to the Lead Photographer and trainer for the Colorado area. A year later, my husband and I lost our first baby.
Six months later, we found out we were pregnant again. Being overwhelmed with joy and concern because of our loss we decided I needed to step down from Bella Baby and focus on my health and our baby. Our pregnancy with baby Sawyer, (A.K.A. Soy, Soybean, Bean, Beanie, the list goes on) was a bit difficult. And our birth was traumatic. Sawyer and I are walking miracles of the hard work of the men and women of Colorado University Hospital. Sawyer ended up in the NICU and I wound up in ICU. I did not hold my baby until he was three days old. It took Soy several weeks before he could go home. Feeling so fortunate because we know so many babies have much longer visits in the NICU. It took me over a year to get back to a new normal. Before I got pregnant, I was very overweight. I was at an unhealthy weight to carry a child and even worse to give birth. With hearing my husband’s loving encouragement in my ear, I fought to stay on this planet. My body was wrecked. I am still recovering. I will have surgery in a year to help reconstruct issues caused by my emergency C-section. This trauma has forced us to be a “one kid and done kind of family.” I am now down almost 200 pounds. I have spent these last two years getting healthier. I want to live! Life is too short to not follow my passion, soak up all of life’s blessings and lessons. I wouldn’t be where I am at without the support of my unconditional loving husband and my amazingly supportive friends and family. Befree Moments is thriving as I thrive. I am constantly feeling inspired to grow and learn more every day. We are now working on building a home studio and sharing the space with my best friend who also is a family photographer, Ashley Knoll, with Cherished Moments Photography. We are so excited to see where this journey takes us.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
At a young age, my mother was diagnosed with MS. We have battled this disease ever since this disease came into our lives. We have all tried to care for her throughout the years as she battled unfair challenges and proved her tenacity. My husband said it best; “If you look up Determined in the dictionary, you will see her picture.” It is beyond true. We all live together with my mom, my sister, my husband, Sawyer, too many cats, a new puppy, and we all are supporting each other. Life gets a bit rough when you grow up in and out of hospitals, and know way too much medical knowledge than I would like to admit. However, I get to see my mom be a victor over debilitating challenges that are completely out of her control. I do not believe I would have been able to fight as hard as I did while recovering as a new mom if I did not grow up without learning how to fight from my mother.
My father’s passing has been a huge struggle in my life personally. There is no way of getting around not missing him. He taught me so much about unconditional love, humor, and he was my moral compass and soundboard.
My unhealthy body has been an extreme challenge for me professionally, spiritually, and personally. I have held my self back too many times to count because of fear. Now that I have faced some of my biggest fears, I have realized I am capable of loving my body into health. And I am capable of living my best life.
Yes, life is challenging and we have seen our share of ups and downs, but who hasn’t? What I know is that those who have great challenges have some of the deepest gratitude. I can’t hate on our obstacles. I can’t hate on the crappy times because it has brought me to all my amazing blissful times as well and for that I am grateful.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Befree Moments Photography story. Tell us more about it.
Befree Moments Photography is all about capturing life’s little moments. I love the smirk of a sassy toddler and the roaring expressions of a true belly laugh. We specialize in lifestyle family photography. We play, spin, laugh, jump, and sometimes cry in a session. Our intention is to have fun and to be real. My most booked session is my milestones and family sessions! Cake smashing, sitter sessions, seasonal family sessions, senior sessions, maternity, and so much more. My clients feel like part of my family. I have been there through some amazing moments in their lives and we connect on a level that means the world to me. It fuels my fire for life and photography. We are all so uniquely different and special and my passion is celebrating what makes you, you.
I also love helping companies with branding photography. I love supporting and capturing other business being rock stars at what they do. I help them create content for social media, advertising, stock images, and website content. It’s my joy to prove how incredibly passionate the company is at their job!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
My husband 100%! He has loved me through so many awkward phases, high highs and lowest of lows. He has been my steady stream of luck from the moment he tutored me so I could pass Chem honors. I have never known a kinder soul than him. He is through and through the greatest person I have ever known and inspires me every day.
Luck would be getting pregnant with so many odds against me. Then, living through a horror story of a birth, with a healthy son. Sawyer is the greatest gift of all time.
- Website: www.befreemoments.com
- Phone: 7202022793
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/befreemomentsphoto
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/befreemoments
Ashley Knoll with Cherished Moments Photography for our family pictures and Befree Moments Photography