It was Cyd Lapour’s son who taught her to shoot the moments in-between. As a photographer for her business Bayou Rose Photography, she’s made her name in capturing authenticity, preserving memories you can’t pose or craft into being. And it all started with a trip to a photo studio with her autistic son.
“We tried to take him for portraits, and he would just flip out,” she said. “We discovered later that he couldn’t handle the sound of the studio lights, and just quickly realized that studio photos weren’t ever going to happen with him. If I wanted to have pictures of him, I would need to take them myself.”
In her early attempts, she quickly learned that the best photos came out when he was comfortable, when she didn’t try to make him sit still or give too many instructions. “I really enjoyed photographing him just as he was,” she said. “That led me to wanting to do that with others as well.”
For the past six years, she’s worked as a photographer for weddings, family portraits, events, and special needs. And around 2015, she started photographing one of the most raw, unposed events in the human experience—birth. Today, she documents around 20 to 25 births a year.
Which is how she met Rebecca Gardner, Hands Producing Hope’s director. In early 2018, Cyd documented the birth of Rebecca’s second daughter. So when the opportunity presented itself to partner with Hands Producing Hope to help support expecting mothers a world over, she didn’t hesitate.
With Bayou Rose Photography and Hands Producing Hope’s new partnership, $50 of every birth Cyd photographs will go towards HPH’s Maternal Health Program in Rwanda, helping to fund badly needed education programs and access to prenatal care.
Helping to prevent bad outcomes for pregnancies is an issue close to Cyd’s heart, for more reasons than one. Alongside all of the joyful births she is able to capture, she also takes time for the babies who don’t survive the journey. Working with the nonprofit Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Cyd volunteers her skills to families experiencing the loss of a child through remembrance photography.
“Rebecca was telling me about the complications that women faced and the terrible situations the maternal health program is meant to address,” said Cyd. “It really interested me, because I’ve become so much more familiar with what can go wrong, and how precious that life is.
“I just enjoy being able to do what I love at the same time that I’m contributing to something I’m passionate about. Being able to visualize how fortunate we are in the United States with the access we do have, with our lower maternal complication rates, and to contribute to helping women who don’t have that.”