I really wish that I had photos like this of myself when my 12 year old was one year and still nursing.
It again speaks to me of why I’ve chosen to focus on family and newborn photography – it’s one of those fleeting but beautiful moments that is absolutely etched in my mind and heart – makes my heart simply ache to remember my own children as toddlers – to remember the rituals of bath time and reading, of stuffed animals and first nurseries. Of little hands who are busy playing with your shirt, your hair, your face while nursing. How busy little toddler’s world stops and becomes calm. Well, mostly calm! There is some squirming and protesting involved I will admit. Still, eventually there is peace, and simply connecting.
So this wasn’t a full photoshoot or anything – just had my camera along as I hung out with a good friend. I wanted to share some of the snaps though, because to me they illustrate why I love to take photos throughout the first year of a baby’s life.
Do you know how sometimes, your everyday routine can just get so tedious, so tiresome, that your body and mind are just screaming for a break? Spring break just couldn’t come soon enough for me! We were thankful to be able to hitch onto our grandparent’s farm, and to invite friends to spend some of the time with us. That meant tire swinging, stream explorations, stick wars, reading and quiet times, campfires, and shirtless-tractor-tire-king-of-the-mountain. It gave me both a break from routine, and some extra time to spend with the kids in a fresh setting. A new setting jumpstarts my photography brain too, which was getting into it’s own winter rut. I loved having an extended time to look for the emotions of childhood: the joys, the silliness, competition, the sadnesses.
Spring is the perfect season for babies, right? It’s finally warm after a long winter (bundled up and pregnant – ooh, believe me I know the feeling) – finally sunshine arrives in it’s burst of beautiful. Little Ms S arrived at the perfect time and I was so happy to capture her one week old birthday in this family’s Old City loft. The walls of this gorgeous loft just call out spring too – with window light and bright colors on every wall – the perfect backdrop for welcoming new sister, who is destined to bring trouble to her big brother.
As a parent and photographer, there are certain rhythms of life that I love to photograph – and some of that is in how I look to capture the rituals of our yearly calendar. Right now, that is Spring. Spring means lots of things. The end of hibernation. Warm weather and changing to short sleeves and bare feet. Obvious things like picking dandelions and running through green grass, collecting cherry blossoms. Another is Easter – As a Christian this means to me a reflection on life, and life that is birthed after hardship, sorrow, darkness, injustice.
This is why I am a documentary photographer, friends – to capture moments like the very first meeting of big brother and little sister. It’s about as authentically awesome a moment as you get – magical – like a wedding. Everyone in the room is teary at how beautiful it is. Mom and dad are incredulous at how huge their first baby now is in comparison with the newest little one. Big brother is wondering a little bit at what the fuss is all about. Little miss is about as little as they come. And beautiful and true – and seriously – this is why I am a photographer.
As I am busy with processing and photoshoots for other people, in the background I worry that I will lose the passion of my first photography love – taking photos of my own kids! I’m committing this spring to make sure that doesn’t happen. I will take pictures of my own freakin’ kids gosh darn it! And hopefully you’ll enjoy the window into our world.
One thing that I am working on to eventually add to clients, both newborn and family, who are at my All of ‘Em tier of packages, is a video fusion slideshow – where I take my favorite images from your session, add some video, a licensed soundtrack, and put them all together for you into a video hopefully you can pass along forever. Trust me, when they are 12 and smelling like either sweaty locker room or AXE body spray, you will stumble back onto this slideshow and you will fall over in gooey sappy happy feelings remembering when they were so little.
I loved photographing this fun couple and their son in their Old City loft (can you believe the view on their balcony?) Little P was super full of energy – running up and down the hallways and hamming it up for me – I can’t wait to see him interact with little sister. Isn’t he just the sweetest little boy?
Another part of why I love documentary lifestyle work – I love being able to preserve personal details that just can’t take place in a studio: The last photo on this page is mom looking up at a portrait of her grandmother. New little one will bear her name! So amazing, is new life.
This darling boy has an adoring fan club of sisters who are totally loving their new brother — I can’t tell you how much this house was abuzz with the energy and joy of HE’S FINALLY HERE! What I really love about in-home newborn lifestyle shoots is the ability to spend some time with each kid, and capturing some of each personality in your home. Yes, your new one will be the star of the show, but some of the story is how everyone else is easing into the new transition too.