BLUFFTON, S.C. – In the midst of the worst natural disaster the Lowcountry and the Coastal Empire has seen in decades, one local photographer decided to not let the tragedies of Hurricane Matthew define her or the people around her.
Cassie Claychulte evacuated with her husband and friends from their home in Bluffton. When she returned, she decided to embark on several ‘inspiration projects’ to find a silver lining in the midst of the damage and loss.
Early in May she decided to host a shoot with her company, Cassie Clayshulte Photography, designed to celebrate women who became pregnant during the storm.
Calling them ‘Hurricane Mamas,’ eight mothers-to-be gathered to do a group shoot surrounded by down trees in Bluffton and then on the beach on Hilton Head Island.
The photos have gone viral, reaching networks television and websites viewed around the world.
The project all with the uniting purpose, “To show that something beautiful can come from something ugly,” Clayshulte said.
Slideshow: Local photographer captures ‘Hurricane Mamas’
Slideshow: Local photographer captures ‘Hurricane Mamas’ x
Lindsey Gullet is one of the eight. She evacuated with her husband Tyler to Chattanooga. Now eight months later they are counting down the days to welcome their daughter, Lily Marie, into the world. She is due in mid-July.
“She’s definitely going to know she was a little hurricane baby,” Gullett said.
All moms have their own struggles and journeys to make it to the finish line but Clayshulte is determined to let her project act as as an encouragement in the midst of such pain.
“If you look in the right places and you look with the right heart that our world already is beautiful,” she said.
The moms are all expected to give birth to girls, except one. That baby boy is to be named Murphy, not Matthew.