Expecting mother includes late husband in maternity photo shoot

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Nicole Bennett’s late husband Deonta wanted to do a maternity shoot with her and their 4-year-old son Landen prior to her due date, but he died unexpectedly two months before their baby would be born.

But Bennett, who is due March 25 and is having a girl, decided that she still wanted Deonta to be in those maternity pictures, so she asked her photographer to do something special with their photo shoot. In late February she and Landen poses for pictures with photographer, Sidney Conley.  Conley then inserted older pictures of Deonta, slightly faded so as to appear more as a spirit than an actual presence, into the final version of the images.

“I wanted to do something special because he’s been there for my son since day one,” Bennett told ABC News. “It’s memories for my son of his father and for my daughter who will never meet her father. It’s memories for her as well.”

Conley said that the process of going through and adding Deonta into the images brought him to tears. “Just how I edited [the photos] with him looking down on them, it’s showing that he’s making sure they’re okay,” Conley recalled.

Conley went to Tougaloo College and started his own photography business after graduating in 2012.  His photos of Bennett have generated more than 100,000 shares on his Facebook page.

Bennett described the photos as “perfect” and her friends, family and supporters agree.

“So sad they lost him!” said one commenter.  “This is such a wonderful way to still have him with them.”