Friday, November 2, 2012

Little Baby L

Newborn sessions frighten me for many reasons. First, there is that intoxicating newborn baby smell... one whiff and my ovaries start screaming "let's make another baby!!!". And I just don't have enough energy to create, gestate, deliver and nurture another one of my husband's babies. Second, I'm scared that I will give the newborn a rare and fatal bovine disease. Again, my husband's fault, as he is a cow vet and spends the majority of his time around the many fluids that cows excrete. The third, and most pressing, reason I am frightened of the newborn session is that my style does not conform to the current trend in newborn photography. Perhaps you have seen the images of beautiful, sleeping babies curled up in an elegantly carved wood bowl or hanging from a branch in a wispy gauze cocoon. When done properly, as with the insanely talented women at Baby as Art, the images are gorgeous. Which is why thousands of photographers have emulated their style... some well and some, not-so-much. I count myself as one of those photographers who have wanted to try and pull off this style. I have tucked items like my pashmina, a webby hand-knit shawl and a huge piece of cheesecloth into my bag, only to never pull them out. Because once I get to my client's house, I become totally lost in their world. I just love to see how the family interacts and to hear the stories about how the littlest member arrived. Each newborn I have photographed is unique: one wore a delicate "baby ring" that has been worn by several generations in her family, another had a handmade quilt that belonged to her father. And Baby L, whose mom nearly gave birth in a park on the way to the hospital. And whose dad and grandpa played their guitars while he lay in daddy's lap. I love to incorporate these precious details into the photographs as they are a part of this baby's life and family. That is what I want to capture.

Baby L is such a handsome little man... 

and he made the cutest newborn faces:

and even smiled a bit for the camera:

I sat on the couch, next to him and his mom
and tried to remember what it was like to hold
my newborn baby.

We moved outside as it was a nice, warm fall day.
Big sister was more than happy to join in on the picture taking.

And was thrilled to hold her baby brother.

As was I.
Because I loooooooooooooove this beyond words.

And this

And this.

And especially this.
I sense there will many shenanigans going on in this household throughout the years.

Tiny toes.

I know most newborn photographers like sleeping babies,
but I prefer them awake. Look at these eyes!

Daddy and his son.

Now I will confess that I tend to linger too long at my sessions. Partly because I am so enjoying myself that I want to stay forever. But also because I am afraid that I will miss a shot. And such was the case on this day... I finally decided to leave this family alone when someone mentioned that daddy likes to play guitar while Baby L rests in his lap. I waited a moment and then pulled out my camera. While daddy and grandpa played guitar together, Baby L napped. 

I live for moments like these.
Moments that tell an entire story about this family without saying a word.

Baby L's mom sent me a note last week, thanking me for capturing Baby L's "newborn'ness'" as "he's already grown so much in these few short weeks". 

I wouldn't be surprised if Baby L can no longer fit in daddy's lap for their
evening jam session.

Baby L's mom also wrote that she will "cherish all of these beautiful photos forever".
I cherish these photos as well. To see this family together,
to be a part of their life, if only for a short time...
well, it just makes me happy.

I love what I do.

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