When Nicole Babb’s family of three became a family of two, she wanted to keep the memory of her partner, Deonta Bennett, alive. Especially for their baby daughter who is due later this month.
Bennett, who would have been 29 last Friday, died unexpectedly last month under circumstances that are still under investigation.
Before his death, the Jackson, Miss., couple discussed hiring a photographer to do a maternity photo shoot to capture their family before they welcomed their new baby daughter, due on March 25.
They didn’t get the chance to do so with their four-year-old son, Landen, because he was born prematurely.
When Bennett died, Babb decided she wanted to go ahead with their plans.
“With him no longer being here I wanted our daughter and son to have memories of him,” Babb told Global News.
“Our daughter will never have the chance to meet him and so I wanted to do something that we had already planned to do.”
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Babb contacted local photographer Sidney Conley and hired him to take pictures of Landen and her, and asked him to edit Bennett into the pictures.
“It was just me doing a job I always do and it turned out amazing,” said Conley, who had never received a request like this until Babb’s shoot.
The photos Conley posted on Facebook have gone viral with over 100,000 shares since Monday. He is now receiving requests for similar shoots from across the country.
“Anyone and everyone who’s lost someone have been saying they’ve been looking for a photographer who can edit photos like that, and I would love to capture that moment with everyone who’s ever lost anyone,” he said.
Babb said she thinks Bennett would have been over the moon with the photos.
“He would’ve been so excited just like when we did our engagement photos. And just to top it off he would’ve been much more excited because he had his baby girl,” she said.
Babb said the photos are creating new memories for Landen.
“He [Landen] was so excited when he looked at them,” said Babb. “He said, ‘Mama, how did they put daddy in the picture?’ I just told him that he’s now an angel and that they put an angel in the pictures.”
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