Girl holding newborn baby.

BABY MAKES FIVE: STORY OF A GROWING FAMILY

Baby doll time!! Okay – big brother and sister here were just too stinking fabulous in this Old City Philadelphia family session. I can’t get over the image of baby sister looking up at her big sister, of Mr. Middle counting baby toes. This family wanted to make sure we were telling the whole story of their family, not just baby – and my answer was, OF COURSE! A newborn photography session when there are siblings is not just about the latest squishy-newborn-amazing-I-can’t-believe-we-did-it-again. It’s a story of a whole family– that has now grown and expanded and how somehow love overflows. It is about how Mr. Middle still needs some extra attention from mom, and how big older sister is a pro at both holding baby on her own, as well as exploring her block on her bike. It’s about the quiet space of mom nursing while dad runs interference with the older kids.

There’s a story in every family. It’s not that the center of the universe is now the new baby. It’s that a family is growing, and this is a sliver of a moment where we are welcoming someone new, into a story that is already full of joy. So full we didn’t even know we had space for one more, and yet somehow we do! Somehow, adding that one more is bringing even more joy and completeness than we had before.

One of the things that this mom expressed to me in her pre-session consult resonated as so, so true. She told me, “I know this is my last baby. I know that this is the last time I’ll be pregnant, I’ll have a little one, I’ll be nursing – I just want to make sure we have the memory of this time documented, because I know how quickly it goes by.” Loved this comment – she gets it, she knows it as true – it’s the heartbeat of why I love my job and what motivates my art. I get to document something that is going by so quickly – to help you remember that time when your love grew bigger by a measure you didn’t even know was possible.

 

 

CAPTURING THE MAGIC OF CHILDHOOD

I’m about to launch into telling you about my thoughts of Halloween, but first, to those of you who have just stumbled in and know little about me, and why I write – I’m hoping this blog, these images, help you to think about what you love about your neighborhood. What memories do you want to collect? Can I help you collect them?

So, a mom-confessional time.

I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween. But my neighborhood is conspiring to pull me more towards the love side. Can I talk about what I hate first? Basically I’m a grumpy grinch who doesn’t feel like shelling out cash for my kids to have sparkly new Halloween outfits every year (in fact, I usually hit Target two days after Halloween, load up on 70% off Halloween clearance to give to the kids for their November birthdays and Christmas). I hate the mounds of candy and how it makes me anxious about obesity and wastefulness and what cavities. I hate having to basically designate an entire day to dealing with costume angst, begging, schlepping through a neighborhood, and sugar crashes.

But what is pulling me into the love side? When I step behind the lens and start looking and seeing the magic that we are creating. The memories.  The year my 2nd kid made a Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy, people!) costume out of Amazon brown paper packaging. The year my oldest, in new teendom, won a costume contest by tying keys to his shoes and going as “low key.” The piling of candy into categories and massive candy swaps (with any trade having to be authorized and approved by an adult to keep the olders from scamming their younger sisters). The inventiveness, the cackling, the pride and sheer joy. Even the crashes seem so perfectly part of childhood when I stoop down to see things from their eyes.

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