When the Chimeno family was trying to escape their flooded hometown of Orange, Texas, during Hurricane Harvey, they also had to consider their newborn daughter, Hope—a mere 10 days old.
Rescue volunteers Cris and Clint Sanford, brothers who belong to the Cajun Navy group that uses their own boats to help others, brought the family of five safely to a nearby town in Louisiana, and it was Cris's wife, Katy, who asked if the family had had a newborn photo shoot—because she had a photographer friend in mind.
"I had to ask myself, 'What's most important right now? To give to this family who could have lost so much,'" she adds. "I don't have a lot of time or money, but what I can give is my photography."
Mills then set up a shoot that incorporated the Sanfords' rescue boat, an orange life vest and an adorable onesie that reads: "I survived Hurricane Harvey."
The southwest Louisiana-based photographer also took shots of the entire family, which included the Chimeno's young son and elder daughter.
But it was the aptly named Hope who was the star of the show.
"It's a story of triumph," Mills tells Today.. "In a heavy time, she's a ray of sunshine."
Photos via Noelle Mills Photography