Livingston photographer is helping families with loss of a child

Samantha Hill

Tayler Hanks said she has always felt a strong connection to children. Now, combined with her photography talents, she is helping those who have lost a young child.

Hanks has recently become a photographer for the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep foundation, an organization in which volunteers take pictures of deceased newborns for the benefit of families.

“I have been trying to do this for a long time,” she said.

Hanks, who has her own photography studio in Livingston, Sweet Lil’ Moments Photography, said she struggled with her own pregnancies and would have “given anything” to have pictures if something would have happened to her children, so that is why Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep organization interested her.

Women have reached out to her about their experiences, Hanks said, including those who had already experienced a loss and others who are dealing with the possibility in their current pregnancies.

She said one woman, who is pregnant with a child with a significant birth defect, said she wasn’t sure if she would be ready to see the photos.

“I told her that she might want to have the pictures because maybe in five days (or) maybe in 15 years she will want to see the pictures,” Hanks said. “At least she would have them.”

How the process works is when a family loses a child or there is a high possibility of losing a newborn during or before birth, the family will get in contact with Hanks, and she will give them 25 photos for free.

Hanks said it won’t be easy to take the pictures because it can be one the hardest moments in person’s life, but she knows it will provide good closure for people.

“I have a very, very big heart for these things, and during this time I am probably going to cry with the family,” Hanks said, adding that the organization wants people who can empathize with the families during these difficult times.

Although the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep offers photos for recently deceased newborns, Hanks wants to provide her services for the women whose babies have Down’s Syndrome or other disabilities, as well as premature babies.

“I want to do this for anyone that doesn’t have the money or resources to get the photos they want,” she said.

Hanks can be reached through the organization at through her personal Facebook page.