I keep writing and rewriting this post and I just can't get it right. So let me try to get it right this time.
I love lifestyle photography. I'm trying very hard to identify myself as an artist and a photographer in order to help clients identify whether I am the right fit for them. I see the posed, studio images of newborns and, don't get me wrong, they are beautiful... but they just don't tell me a story. The real story. I believe that newborns aren't alone. They came into this beautiful world, surrounded by love and joy and happiness. Seeing them alone on a blanket or posed with props and costumes makes me want to know more. Where is mom? Where is dad? Is there a big brother who might be a little hesitant to accept a new person in his house? Is there a big sister who snuggles her baby dolls close in an imitation of her mommy's big love? What does baby's new home environment look like? Is there a beautifully decorated nursery or are they co-sleeping with mom and dad? Does baby have a special stuffed animal that was a gift from Grandmom or Grandpa?
I have so many questions.
And the thing is, I want to capture all the answers so that in years down the road, when that baby is having babies they can look back and know what it was like in those first years at home with their family.
Now most moms will say, "but I don't want to be in the pictures because I look a mess, need to lose weight, get my hair dyed, etc." My response has always been and will always be YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You just performed a miracle. You created, carried and nurtured a human being! And for the record I have never heard a child (whether they are 10 or 70) hold a picture of their mother and say "wasn't my mother hideous?" They always, without fail, say look at how beautiful my mother was! Your child deserves to have pictures of you to cherish. Pictures they can share with their children and grandchildren.
I have a picture of my parents. They are a young couple with their first baby. My father is on his hands and knees and my mom and oldest brother are riding his back like a horse. The laughter and joy contained in that photo tell me what it was like years before I was born (I mean, 16 years before I was born!) and I have only known my parents as older and reserved, and maybe a little tired after 6 kids. To see them laughing and vibrant and playful tells me a story that their words never have. I have never looked and thought my mom could stand to lose a few pounds or maybe done her hair a little more flattering. I simply think look how happy they are.
I have been very blessed to be able to capture a few families in this way. Here is baby J. I got to capture his big brother's first year and now I get to do the same for him and his family's continuing journey. I hope you like their story and I hope you will contact me if you feel the same way about families and story telling and capturing today for tomorrow.