Jeremy was looking for maternity photography when he found my studio. I knew this was going to be a special couple because Jeremy told me on the phone that he wanted the photo session to be a surprise for his wife Diana.

This couple met when they were still in high school and that’s not often the case these days. With all the apps and social media and snap chat me your beeper number I honestly think people are deliberately trying to avoid one another.

If you keep reading you will also learn how tenacious Jeremy was in pursuing Diana. That took courage. That’s real man stuff in my book.

I’m struck by how well suited they are for one another. They share plenty of similar dark experiences growing up, but it’s how they chose to respond to their challenges that I feel bonds them together in a really beautiful way.

I hope you enjoy their interview and their photos.

Loving man kisses the shoulder of his wife that bears a tattoo of their lost child.
Jeremy was very tenacious in pursuing Diana and that takes courage.

Jeremy: We met when we were 17 in high school. It was August of 2007. She didn’t want to go out with me, but after a couple days of chasing you down and I got your number.

Diana: So I remember that I was working at Ace Hardware at the time and I was walking to the ice cream store and he was playing basketball. He approached me and he just wanted to walk me to the ice cream store. And at first I thought who’s this guy?

Jeremy: I had only 50 cents in my pocket.

Diana: Then he started asking me if I have a boyfriend and I told him at the time I did but my ex-boyfriend had moved and he was like, oh if I was him, I wouldn’t let somebody like you be over here by yourself. You should be with somebody like me.

By then we had reached the ice cream store and he offered to buy me something but I said no, I can buy my own because I was thinking like I’m not going to let a stranger buy me ice cream or anything.

Couples puts their hands on the baby belly.
I bet Eva can already feel the love her parents have for her.

After that every day after work, he would wait for me by the fire hydrant. At 86th and Exchange there was a red fire hydrant. He would sit on it and wait for me. He would ask me for my number and ask how did my day go and I always told him no, I don’t want to relationship right now.

By then, you know, I was already broken up with my ex- boyfriend and he knew about it. And once he knew he started approaching me more and waiting for me and stuff.

So after that I think he asked me four times for my number and I told him no each time and then I finally gave him my number and the very first call lasted the whole night. Just talking to each other. Til the sun came up. It was like five or six o’clock in the morning and we had to go to school.

Jeremy: That was back when after nine o’clock it was free (cell phone) minutes. Ah the free minutes!

Diana: We just talked so much about anything. At the time he was going to a different high school, George Washington, and I was going to Bowen.

When he transferred it was our last year of high school and we wanted to go see the sunrise near Whihala Beach in Whiting Indiana but his van caught on fire at like five o’clock in the morning.

Loving husband kisses his pregnant wife.
If anybody has a gripe in this world. It should be you and you don’t. You walk around with a smile on your face.

We met 12 years ago and got married a year later. It was a bad experience when we lost our first kid but now we’re 8 months pregnant getting ready to have a baby girl.

Jeremy: What I love about you Diana is that even with everything you’ve been through. I tell the guys at work when they complain that their dad wasn’t there or that happened to them… I brag about you.

I tell them my wife didn’t know her mother and her dad is a handicap and was abusive and you don’t blame anybody for anything and you just keep working on your life. You even have your Master’s Degree.

If anybody has a gripe in this world. It should be you and you don’t. You walk around with a smile on your face and don’t judge people. You don’t act bad or do bad things.

Eva means ‘Full of Life’ so I think it’s the perfect name for our baby because she’s going to bring us light, and life and joy.

Both: After everything she’s been though. After everything we’ve been through.

Diana: Baby just started kicking. She’s awake.

Her name will be Eva Cataleya. I’ve always liked that name because it’s a beautiful flower from Veracruz. I first learned about it in the movie Colombiana. It was the signature flower every where that the character went. I really love the name Eva from the movie Wall-E. It’s a Disney movie about a little boy robot who’s chasing a girl robot named Eva.

I’m Eva!
I’m Wall-e!

Diana: We looked up the name Eva and it means ‘Full of Life’ so I think it’s the perfect name for our baby because she’s going to bring us light, and life and joy. Yes, so I think that name really fits her.

Maternity portrait of man showing us his baby bump while mom admires her family.
Jeremy always looks on the bright side.

What I really love about about you Jeremy is how hard-working you are. You don’t give up. You’ve been through a lot. Losing your brother, and then losing our first baby soon after that.

He used to work at a pizza place in the summer. It was like a 120 degrees in there and he would work 12-hour days and he didn’t complain even once.

He always wanted to be in law enforcement ever since he was a teenager. I’ve witnessed him work and put himself through school at the same time. I’ve always admired how willing he is. No matter what people say he doesn’t let it bother him. Also he’s a morning person, always making jokes, laughing and seeing the bright side of things.

If someone acts poorly towards me and hurts my feelings he always looks on the bright side. He says maybe they were going through a bad day.

He works at the jail in maximum Division. I’m sure he sees horrible things in there and he still manages to leave all that behind. When he get’s home he likes to watch TV with me or show me YouTube videos with dogs and funny stuff.

Yes, I admire him a lot.

Please join us in our mission to end domestic violence.

Did you know that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime? And it’s not just women but men and children too.

I’m a survivor. After years of therapy I’ve healed from the effects but the drama of my early childhood is being replayed over and over again. Every single day the Chicago Police get an average of 500 emergency calls related to domestic violence.

Now through the end of October any donation of $100 or more to The Chicago Battered Women’s Network gets you an amazing family, best friend or furbaby portrait session at my family portrait studio in Logan Square. Here’s a chance to celebrate the relationships that mean the most in your life while supporting other families and children who desperately need your help.

Thank you for your support. I’ve included information about Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network below. 100% of your donation goes directly to the Network!

Jake’s fundraiser for Chicago Battered Women’s Network

Did you know that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime? And it’s not just women but men and children too. I’m a survivor myself and have healed from the effects but the drama of my early childhood is being replayed over and over again.