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.
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.