It’s always a joy to capture those first few magical days with a newborn. A documentary family photographer has the privilege of preserving real memories of a home as new parents settle into life with baby. But this newborn session in Philadelphia had a unique twist- this lovely couple brought their baby home to the apartment that Mom actually grew up in. I loved hearing about how mama’s old bedroom had been turned into baby’s sweet nursery!
So rain was in the forecast (and indeed, the evening would bring about the Middle of the Night Tornado warning of 2019), but after just a few minutes of umbrellas, the rain decided to pause a little and this family got to enjoy a stroll in the Philadelphia Museum of Art sculpture garden. Cherry blossoms, of course, are a highlight of spring – and 3-year-old Miss N loved giving showers of blossoms to her mama, followed by brushing her mama’s hair with a improvised Stick Brush.
I always love moments like standing under an umbrella, hand holding, smelling flowers, and family hug sessions under cherry blossom trees!
The end of the session was totally a classic. We had promised ice cream, and Miss N was super focused on a strawberry cone. When an accidental trip over her own dog’s leash resulted in tears and a scraped elbow, Mama’s hug followed by Dad’s purchase of an ice cream cone brought a giant smile. . . only to become a curious question as she tipped her cone sideways, ice cream falling, dog licking, and Miss N dissolving into a second face of tragedy, as little brother looked on. More ice cream was shared though – and a second bout of sweet happiness.
I know some families look at photos of their toddlers screaming mad and think they will never miss those moments. But as a mom of older kids, I can promise you that you’ll want to remember these times, too!
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.
Okay, people- this is one of those out of the box newborn sessions that I hope will inspire you to think about your own family and what kind of images could reflect you and your family’s personality. A photography session with me is not just a plug-and-play routine; I really love to brainstorm how I can customize to make sure your images reflect a real picture of your unique family.
It’s about to hit – the season of flowers and chocolates and super gushy sweet love notes.
There’s part of me that still loves that. . . . but when I stop to reflect, love has become something much more.
When you share a life with someone, life is a little messy. But it’s still beautiful.
I start many conversations with clients these days telling them that more and more, my style is moving farther away from posed, and more towards documentary. This family was one of my favorite examples of what I mean by that. A documentary, storytelling session starts off with a conversation between me and you, where I start helping you think through – what is it about my family, during this particular slice of life, that is so special that I want to wrap it up and make sure I remember it forever? I have a questionnaire that is almost less for me and more for you – so that you can pause the laundry and dishes and have a moment of reflection – what exactly is the the thing that might drive me crazy now, but that someday I’ll miss? (For me, at this very moment one answer is the pile of books that my 8 year old leaves in the bathroom, by the sink and ready to be splashed on by her younger sister).
So a careful observer would note that I haven’t been blogging. For like a year.
This is not disconnected from an emotional space I was in last fall – I think a lot of us were there. I started this specific blog post in early fall. I wrote about how I loved the leaves, the fall, the inspirations of nature and sudden beauty. It was a plea to tell those of you who were inquiring about foliage and holiday card shots, to tell you that even though there is yes beauty in nature, that there is something more. I wrote:
Don’t get me wrong – I love love love the fall, the leaves, the inspirations of nature and the sudden beauty.
There is an internal conflict, because I know I can get you the smile and pose shot – I know you will look beautiful and will fit right into a Gap catalogue. But I also still genuinely believe – your every day is beautiful.
Before you hit play on the video below (and yes, in a sec I’m going to explain here why you really really should hit play) – take a look at the photo I’ve chosen as it’s cover. It’s one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken, and I feel really thankful to have had the chance to take it. Every single person in this brand new family of five is in relationship to someone else in the frame, in a beautiful, joyful, I can’t believe this is happening moment. He’s here. Little brother is here, and we are now complete! He is snuggled to mom, cozy and listening for the first time to the chatter and exuberance that will be his new everyday. Mom is looking at her oldest and thinking about how big he is, and how he was once so little. Mr. Middle Child and dad are just reveling in the fun and newness and excitement that they are getting to share together. It’s not posed – it was documented – and exactly the kind of documented moment my artist brain is constantly looking to capture.
It’s Thanksgiving week!
What are you thankful for? My oldest turns THIRTEEN this week, and I am thankful for thirteen years, and all the lessons that thirteen years teach you about parenting. About what you can control and what you can’t. About being kind of amazed and also a little sad/scared/excited that he’s survived to that teenage milestone, and a little curious about what the next thirteen years holds.
Some of you are just friends of the family I’m blogging about, or maybe someone who is pregnant and considering a photographer, and you are wondering where I’m going with this! Apologies for being a little bit stream-of-consciousness here. But I do try to let people understand the vision I am looking at when I pick up my camera, choose a lens, and bring your world into focus. I do bring, unapologetically, my love for my own children, my love for parenthood despite its struggles, authentic and unposed beauty, and a quest to preserve real moments and real emotion.
So awesome to see news that Expertise.com named June Day Photography as one of the Top 20 Maternity Photographers in Philadelphia! In the list are so many other photographers I follow and love, so it really is an honor. Thanks to all of you who have been helping me along and turning my passion for authentic, everyday beautiful captures into a career that I love.
And of course – if you are expecting a new little one into your life, or know someone who is – give me a holler and let’s chat about how I can tell your family’s story for you – From maternity on through the first year!