About Us - loatesart

About Us

Shooting Karen & Daniel


ABOUT US

Unless you know our story, you won’t have a feel for who we really are.  Our experiences in life shape our souls and mold our spirit.  While these words may seem out of place on a photography website, they will help you understand that my passion for life comes from loss and triumph, from relationships and experiences.  These things transcend all else and give me my Storyteller's Passion!

Christina is my amazing wife and friend.  We were married in 1999 and in 2001 became pregnant with triplets!  I already had two daughters from my first marriage – I had been a single dad of two teenaged girls (now THAT was an experience!) but I loved children enough to embark on that journey again with Chris.

Nearly fourteen years ago, Fiona, Madeline and Michaela stormed into our world.  They were born 3 1/2 months early and faced a very improbable future and a very long stay at the Tacoma General Hospital NICU.  We had no idea what our lives would be really like from that moment on.

The next day, Michaela died snuggled against my chest.  I really don’t know when it happened, she just drifted off – too small and too fragile to withstand the trauma she had sustained.  We never had time to grieve.  Two more sick preemies to keep alive.

From the beginning, Fiona and Maddi's little spirits waged war against their extremely underdeveloped bodies.  Together, I think they experienced every preemie ailment in the books.  The team at TGH was amazing.  Let me tell you, for the 150 plus days that our children were in the NICU, they were our best friends.  Still are.  

Maddi lost the sight in one eye and has only limited vision in the other as a result of Retinopathy of Prematurity.  Other than that, she is a smart, thoughtful and very caring six year old.  Her musings and perspective on life give us pause and teach us more.  She is determined and stubborn which can make us a bit crazy at times but we’ll be fine, and the world will be a better place for it.

Fiona had a tougher course than Maddi.  Fiona has cerebral palsy (or as she calls it, "Terrible Palsy" that primarily affects her lower limbs.  She began to walk when she was about eight years old, and she does still have mobility issues but it's more of a balance and confidence issue than anything else.  As a baby, she also had severe reflux and decided not to eat.  She needed a feeding tube to get enough nutrition.  It was supposed to be temporary, but the fear of eating remains and so does the tube.  These are about the biggest issues that she faces.  She will probably be playing "catch-up" for the rest of her life, but she is determined.  She is truly brilliant for what she has survived; and, like her mum always says, "with the challenges facing Fiona, it doesn't hurt to be cute and have great hair."

Our story doesn’t stop there.  We are writing a new chapter every month.  As each developmental milestone is conquered, as each battle is won, we smile at fate because we ARE winning!  We have two wonderful little people in our lives to keep us focused on those things that really count.  Life.  Love.  Friendship.  Happiness.  And we try to share each of these each day.

We will always miss Michaela.  Her loss will always hang heavy on our hearts.  But we WILL survive.

MEET CHRISTINA

Chris is first and foremost a great mother and if you’ve read the story on the previous page, you understand what her life is like.  She is my best friend.Chris grew up in the inner-city in Edmonton - a large, northern Canadian city.  A single child, born of a caring but demanding immigrant father and a loving and extremely tolerant and accepting mother, Chris grew to become a single-minded and determined woman.  Smart as they come.  Drop dead beautiful too!  WAY out of my league.  Imagine my surprise when she agreed to go out on a date.  I was a broken man suffering through a riotous divorce.  Two teenaged daughters and more baggage than a cruise ship.  In one of my best sales jobs ever, I eventually won her heart.  Don’t ask me how!  If I could figure it out I’d write a self-help best-seller!  Chris keeps me on track.  She inspires me.  Loves me.  Chastises me.  Praises me.  Like I said, she is my best friend.

MEET THE KIDS

I have been blessed with many daughters.  

Blake is my oldest daughter, a very talented artist and my dream second shooter.  A wonderful and sensitive girl who has found her calling as a wedding photographer.  She carries the worries of the world on her shoulders.  Shoulders too fragile.  A heart that’s too caring.  Her clients are better for it.  For many years we were lost together.  She was my rock and I was hers.  These days she has a new rock, her husband Jay.  We are all grateful for his presence in her life.  He keeps her focused and makes her happy.  That's all a dad could ever want.

Bethany is my youngest, older daughter.  Her drive and determination has made her successful at whatever she does.  She has the first dime that she ever made.  She is currently trying to decide if she wants to be an environmental scientist while being a wife in Australia, or whether she wants to leave it all for the polar bears in northern Canada (the first love of her life).  She is a steadfast vegetarian who is never afraid to stand up for her beliefs about food, religion, politics and anything else important.  This is a girl that you want on your side.

Fiona is my oldest, younger daughter.  The first born of our preemie triplets.  CUTE as a button.  Feisty and stubborn.  Fiona spits in the face of daunting adversity.  She continues to win in her battle against the odds.  

Maddi is my youngest daughter.  The second born of our preemie triplets, we lost her identical twin Michaela shortly after they were born.  Maddi is so smart.  So articulate.  She trusts everyone, loves everyone, questions everything, challenges each injustice.  A defender of the faith.  A fighter for the downtrodden.  


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