A powerful photo is offering a message of hope in the aftermath of grief.
Missouri photographer Alex Bolen brought together six mothers who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss for a rainbow baby-themed photo shoot.
With the help of smoke bombs, gowns from Sew Trendy Accessories and a little Photoshop magic, Bolen created a beautiful tribute to the rainbow symbol.
The photographer said her own pregnancy inspired her to reach out to moms who experienced loss. “Early this year, I had my daughter Haven, and my whole pregnancy was filled with happiness ― but mainly fear,” Bolen told The Huffington Post.
“I was a part of many online soon-to-be mom groups, where women were posting about miscarrying or suffering the loss of their babies after birth,” she explained. “I was petrified. As I grew into this local mom community it became apparent how magical this ‘rainbow baby’ term really is!”
Bolen posted a call-out on her Facebook page seeking mothers wanting to pay tribute to their rainbow babies and received many responses. She chose the first six volunteers for the project.
“The day of the shoot was so gloomy, and I was getting so nervous and bummed I wasn’t going to pull it off,” the photographer recalled. “But after we snapped those first few, I knew we did it.”
Bolen posted the finished smoke bomb photo on her Facebook page, where it received over 22,000 likes. The comments section is filled with stories from other parents who welcomed rainbow babies after loss.
“This photo has taken the Internet by storm, and I am so honored,” Bolen told HuffPost. “So many woman have shared their stories on my image ― it truly is amazing.”
The photographer said she wants her photo to bring a little light to humanity right now. “With all this darkness and hate going on in the world, we truly needed a little lifting up,” she said. “The rainbow term has brought together thousands across the globe and I feel pretty darn blessed to be part of that.”
Keep scrolling to see more photos from Bolen’s rainbow baby shoot.