Finding beauty after Hurricane Matthew

But whatever Hurricane Matthew stirred up created more than motion in the ocean. The hurricane concocted some kind of love potion in the South Carolina lowcountry.

BLUFFTON, S.C. - The kind of motion hurricanes create in the ocean can be deadly. We're talking 74-95 mile per hour winds for a category one 'cane.

But whatever Hurricane Matthew stirred up created more than motion in the ocean. The hurricane concocted some kind of love potion in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

"A lot of people don't realize when a hurricane hits, you have to be gone so long," said Cassie Clayshulte, owner of Cassie Clayshulte Photography

"Sometimes you're in big cities, sometimes you're in whatever little hotel has openings with... not a lot to do!"

Cue the love music. And Clayshulte knows how that story goes, she's a Bluffton-based photographer who specializes in newborn, maternity and children's photography, capturing the first moments of a baby's life at Coastal Carolina Hospital and in her studio.

"Usually the first place babies go -- other than the doctor's office -- is here to my studio," said Clayshulte, who's lived in Bluffton for the past four years and built up an impressive clientele.

Rewind to October 2016 and Hurricane Matthew, which according to USA Today, did more than $6 billion worth of damage in the US and dumped 13.6 trillion gallons of water on the U.S., enough to fill the Rose Bowl 163,000 times.

Not exactly an ideal forecast, but perfect conditions for conception and as sure enough, there was a surge in pregnancies.

"Nine months to the day, from that evacuation," said Clayshulte, who had an idea to get expectant mothers together for a photo shoot.

"The whole point of it was to inspire hope," and eventually, Cassie found eight expectant mothers and got them together for a photo shoot.

The results were astounding.

And the internet took notice. Clayshulte's work was featured by BUZZFEED, People Magazine, Parents Magazine, TODAY SHOW, CBS News, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, The Weather Channel, newspapers, local TV stations, and across social media.

It's not the first time her work has gone viral but Clayshulte was surprised when the photos of the soon-to-be moms rocked the internet like a hurricane.

While she appreciates the publicity, Clayshulte is more encouraged by her 'message of hope' reaching the masses.

"Whatever your struggle is, there's a reason for it and there is a silver lining with it. You may not see it yet and if you're like these Moms, you won't see it for nine months."

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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