In A Celebration Of Life And Love, They Took 'Newborn' Photos With Their Son — 21 Years Later

"Life is short, and sometimes sad, but you have to embrace the weird."

Photo shoots featuring newborns are all about celebrating love, life, and joy. They're a memento families can look back on fondly and see how things have changed. That's partly why Rebecca Hayes and David Ward decided to take newborn photos with their son, Clayton Denes.

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However, they took their photos 21 years after his birth.

Courtesy of Duffi Crowson/Chaotic Perfection Photography

Hayes's longtime friend and photographer Duffi Crowson, of Chaotic Perfection Photography, shared the photo series on Facebook and explained the touching story behind them.

The photographer says she's known Hayes since they were 5, and they grew up going to church together. In their sophomore year of high school, Hayes become pregnant with Ward's baby. 

The couple broke up shortly after and Hayes eventually moved on and got married. As time passed, she had a second son with another man. "A few years ago, her husband passed away, so she moved back home to be closer to her family, as well as her oldest son's father and family." 

Tragically, Ward also lost his wife. After the passing of both their spouses, Ward and Hayes reconnected through texts, talks, and phone calls about being widowed.

Courtesy of Duffi Crowson/Chaotic Perfection Photography

Crowson writes, "That high school romance from 24 years ago rekindled, but has grown into something completely new, completely different."

Courtesy of Duffi Crowson/Chaotic Perfection Photography

She reveals that one of Hayes's regrets from years ago was that they never took newborn photos as a family when their son was born.

So, they decided to do it now.

Crowson writes, "So here they are ... mom, and dad ... With their 21 year old 'newborn' son!

Announcing
Clayton Denes
Born 12/12/1995
240lbs 4oz 75 inches long
Proud parents Becca and David"

Courtesy of Duffi Crowson/Chaotic Perfection Photography

Crowson explained to A Plus via email that the family did a "regular" family photo shoot first, then they did the "newborn" one. The photographer said that the atmosphere on set was as fun as it looked in the photos. "We laughed our butts off! I showed Rebecca some of the shots, and we were laughing so hard!"

After sharing the photos online, they have gone viral. Crowson says she hopes people understand the story behind the photos and its positive message. "I figured some people would see the pics and think they were weird or creepy if they didn't read the story. I hoped that people would see this family, and their story, and see how much love and laughter they have, despite the hard times and tragic circumstances."

She adds, "Rebecca told me, 'Life is short, and sometimes sad, but you have to embrace the weird.' I think the fact that Clay was a willing participant is a testament to that!"

Courtesy of Duffi Crowson/Chaotic Perfection Photography

(H/T: HuffPost)

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