My oldest is about to celebrate her sixth birthday which means she is well and truly out of the baby stage. However, I can still remember her first few months of life in vivid detail. It was the most disruptive and massive change of my entire life. And while I truly enjoyed it and experienced that newborn honeymoon phase, it was also utterly grueling and relentless. The first four days of breastfeeding involved tears, blood (yes, she made me bleed), and sheer grit. There was uncertainty about how to soothe her cries, raging hormones, and A LOT of self doubt. Then there were the moments of euphoric bliss when I managed to nurse my baby to sleep or answer her cry correctly the first time. And let’s not forget the baby breath. Oh sweet heavenly scent, is there anything more intoxicating and addictive than that sweet air nectar? While I can’t speak from experience, I truly don’t believe there is a drug in the world that can provide a better state of bliss than baby breath.
SO yes, I have a bit of a soft spot for newborns and their mamas, particularly in the early days. When I met Emma for the first time, she mentioned that her son, Albie, was struggling with colic. Of course, he slept through most of our meeting and acted an absolute angel. I think sometimes, our babies are born with a cruel sense of humor and like to taunt us. We talked about birth, parenting, feeding, and everything in between before setting a date for their family session. Emma spoke so highly of her partner, Richard, and his amazing dad skills, that I couldn’t wait to meet him and see him in action.
I arrived on a Saturday morning, just as Albie was starting his day. Richard was in the kitchen prepping breakfast and tea while Emma focused her attention on a curious Albie. One of the things I love about documentary sessions is that they allow you to go about your normal routine. You don’t need to be “ready” when I arrive and in fact, I prefer if you’re not as it allows me to document your family routine which will inevitably change as your children grow up. Richard finished his breakfast while Emma cuddled Albie and then swapped parenting duties so Emma could enjoy a hot cup of tea. Eating a warm meal with two hands is such a luxury in the early days and for stay-at-home moms, is usually reserved as a weekend treat when dad is there to trade baby duty.
Emma had mentioned Richard’s knack for soothing Albie when he was tired or upset. Sure enough, as soon as he was in his daddy’s arms, he nestled into his chest for a nap. I still stare at my children while they sleep and I know it’s a favorite pastime of most new parents. So we just gushed over Albie’s cute expressions while he slept and chatted some more about this big life change called parenthood. My sessions all include up to three hours of coverage so if a nap is needed in the middle of it, there’s no stress about running out of time. Plus, it gives me a chance to document other details in your environment – this can even include your fur babies!
After his nap, Albie was hungry, of course, and searching for his mama. New moms – take some feeding photos! You will miss these days and having images to look back on will mean so much to you. As arms and legs grow bigger and longer, it will be hard to believe these little people were once small enough to fit in your lap. I will never tire of capturing these sweet moments and all the different ways babies connect with their mamas while they literally keep them alive. It’s one of my favorite relationships to photograph.
To Emma and Richard, thank you so much for trusting me to tell your story. You are both naturals at this parenting gig and were SO right when you said Albie likes to pull faces. He was a brilliant little model and one very loved little boy!