Beryl Ayn Young » Photographic teachings for the mind, body, & soul

illuminate with beryl ayn youngLighting the path to photographic healing

I was 20 weeks pregnant when we lost her. Our sweet, much loved, much wanted first child. Our daughter. My world came crashing down around me the moment she was gone. Photography was the healing outlet my heart needed as I learned to live a life without her.

Six months after Bella was stillborn I flew to Tampa, FL to attend a workshop to learn the ins and outs of running a successful portrait photography business. As we introduced ourselves that first day, I was the mood crasher. As most of the women in that room shared how their living children were the inspiration behind wanting to photograph I got to tell that room full of family photography business hopefuls “Hello, my name is Beryl, I want to learn photography, and I am here because my baby died.” I went on to tell them about our angel Bella, my inspiration.

Illuminate1Amazingly, as that weekend of learning began to unfold two more of the 12 women at our photography seminar approached me. Told me how moved they were by Bella’s story. How they too experienced their own losses. How they had never told anyone. How no one wanted to listen.

Most women keep it to themselves. Most women suffer in silence. Most women don’t know where to find healing. From Miscarriage. From Stillbirth. From Infant Loss.

1 in 4.

That’s the mind-blowing statistic. That’s the number of women who experience the loss of a child in their lifetime. Grab a cup of coffee (or tea or hot cocoa if that’s your thing), and stay here awhile. Go and read the story of our Bella.

This is a safe community for you to remember your loss, to talk about your babies, and to find healing behind the lens of a camera.

Illuminate2After losing Bella due to a series of complications, I scoured the internet looking for bereavement resources that spoke to me. I searched for a community that could relate to my pain. I needed someone to talk to who wouldn’t mind if I needed to talk about the pain of losing Bella all day every day. I longed for an audience who could understand the source of the imagery I was creating. I came up with nothing.

I learned photography on my own, as I grieved, and slowly grew from amateur to professional. Over the course of the past 4 years I’ve built a successful photography business from the ground up and I vowed that one day, when the stars aligned, I would create a photography experience exactly like the one I was looking for after our loss.

And now that experience, Illuminate, is here.


Illuminate is a completely FREE 4-week self-paced online photography class.

Dedicated to my daughter Bella, my muse and guide, I believe that every woman deserves the opportunity to seek creative means to healing.

During your FREE Illuminate experience you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Learn how to use your camera (any camera) to capture beautiful images that speak to you and your journey through grief.
  • Feel the compassion of a trusted guide and mentor who knows exactly what it’s like to lose a child.
  • Manage your grief in a creative way and grow because of it.
  • Focus attention on the family members who are still in your house and in your life.
  • Create a body of work that serves as a testament to your lost child.


The period of time right after our only son at the time died was heavy with longing, isolation and darkness. All we could see were the places and spaces where he was missing and should be. Expression of grief through photography was movement. The only movement that we had at the time when everything else stood still. ~Laura


After losing my daughter at 2 days old, my postpartum body was still healing and I unfortunately had many well-meaning strangers ask me if I was pregnant- which was like a knife through the heart and a blow to my confidence in those early days of grief.  I took this image as a way to remember that my body had done an incredibly beautiful thing and that every line, stretch mark, and scar told my daughter’s story and in that way, I would carry her with me forever. ~Kristin


This photo shows Nara’s hat, a bit big for her tiny, perfect head. I like to carry her hat in my purse when we take special family outings to include her. In this photo, I am holding her hat above my favorite tree in our yard and letting the sun rays shine through her hat and down on me. Filtering her love for me down from heaven. This photo reminds me that joy and grief can exist at the same time. ~Cynthia

Are you ready to get started on this healing journey?

Simply enter your email address in the box below to get started. Your email will provide you with:

  • Five Illuminate lessons including video and PDF guides
  • Occasional email encouragement and support from Beryl.
  • Access to my weekly e-newsletter that will provide you with tips & inspiration to keep your creative juices going long after Illuminate is over.