NEW HAVEN, IN (CBSNEWS.COM) - An Indiana photographer spends up to 10 hours working on the elaborate and individualized scenes for the babies she photographs, even longer making their costumes, many of which she sews by hand -- completely for free. But, she said all of her hard work has a purpose: To spread awareness of the lives of babies born with disabilities and medical conditions.
Angela Forker, founder of Precious Baby Photography, has been a professional photographer for more than three years, but she just began "The Precious Baby Project" in February after she had the opportunity to photograph a very special baby.
Forker told CBS News a couple at her church found out while pregnant with their baby girl Madalyn who she had "really serious medical problems." They had the baby in December and she survived for 15 days. Forker had the privilege of photographing the infant before she died.
After she took photos of Madalyn, Forker said she "was praying, 'God, how can you use this photography to make a difference in people's lives'" and the idea for "'The Precious Baby Project' dropped in her heart."
Since then, Forker has photographed 23 babies with disabilities and medical conditions. But, instead of trying to cover up their disabilities, she incorporates them into her work.
"They have this tube coming out of their nose, they have this bandage across their cheek. I call them their accessories. I feature their accessories. This child has tubes, has wires and look how beautiful they are," said Forker.
For example, one of her works features a baby named Elijah, who has a craniofacial disorder called Crouzon syndrome. He has to wear a helmet, so she incorporated it into photographs titled "The Sky's the Limit," where it becomes an astronaut's helmet and he's connected to a rocket ship.
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