While I was working on editing these photos, I was playing some sappy Beach Boys love songs and just thinking so hard about this family and their story and how beautiful these portraits are that I actually got choked up, teary eyed and turned into a huge sap of a photographer. “God only knows what I’d be without you…” The song, the photos, oh it was bad. Or good. Well, it’s hard to edit with teary eyes!
This is a story to share! Imagine this… you have been waiting to adopt a baby for years. You and your long-time best friend that you ended up marrying 6 years ago. You had some close calls that fell through. You get a job opportunity and move to a new state when in the middle of your move… BAM…. you get the call that there is a potential adoption. You drop everything and travel back to the state where you were originally from and are chosen to be this baby’s new family. No time to prepare a nursery, no time to shop for baby clothes, car seats, diapers, no time for a baby shower in your honor. Your home is still in boxes and moving trucks are waiting to drop off furniture. Just like that… this whole family’s world changed in the matter of a week. Wow! The 9 months that most families get to prepare for a baby is something that we take for granted. Not every family gets this luxury.
This sweet mama called me and told me her story and I was just completely blown away. As much craziness that she had going on, she took the time to speak to me and was so funny and upbeat and I could tell how much joy that she had in her. She is also a photographer and wanted a lifestyle shoot. Um…. heck yeah! That is the stuff that makes my heart sing.
I really took in her story and before their photo shoot, I thought really hard about them. I knew that they had been going through a LOT. I mean a whole ton of a LOT. Even though it is all good stuff, it is still so much to process, and sometimes the stress from even really great stuff like a move and instant baby in your household can feel just as stressful as bad stuff. (I am speaking from experience and may be projecting as I am also in the middle of a move, combining families, no new baby but a new 8 and 41 year old, but that is a whole other story for another day). So I really wanted their shoot to be a time when they could just BE together and take a moment to soak up being new parents. I wanted them to forget everything else and just take a moment to enjoy this time in their lives.
While photographing them, the love that they have for each other and this beautiful baby was palpable. And the love that the baby has for them is obvious as well. The way she looked at her parents took my breath away. She was transfixed on her mother and father. And she SMILED!!! A two week old baby SMILED! Sure, some were passy-gassy smiles, but there were other smiles that I know said “I love you Mom and Dad” and “Thank you”. This is such an incredible family. She was worth the wait, Q family. You deserve the best that life has to give. I cannot wait to be your photographer for life and watch K grow!
As a family photographer, when you arrive at your shoot to be greeted with kids screaming your name and running into your arms to give you the biggest “I-haven’t-seen-you-in-months!” hug, you know it’s going to be a great photo shoot! That is exactly what happened when I got to photograph this family. S still had curlers in her hair when she came running out of the van, and her little brother couldn’t wait to show me his loose tooth. These are the moments that make my heart swell and make me SO! GRATEFUL! for the job that I have. I have been working with this family for years and I LOVE every shoot that we do. We always try to “outdo” the last, but we have some traditions that we always do on every shoot that makes it really fun. This is fun because it forces me to be creative and try different things and locations. This time, I decided to work at Jetton Park on Lake Norman because I’ve been working there lately and I really love the scenery. Plus I thought it would be fun to do a summery beach scene with some of the kids’ clothes that mama chose. It worked out perfectly and the weather cooperated!
One of our photo shoot traditions is the last thing that we do is a “tackle mommy” photo. Everyone looks forward to this (well… maybe not mommy but she is such a sweet mama and a good sport that she wouldn’t let on if she didn’t). The whole family gives her the biggest hug ever that usually sends everyone toppling over onto the ground with mom at the bottom of the pile!
We have certain games that we always play, and the kids look forward to those as well. This time, I even found out who has the stinkiest feet in the family. And I will never, ever tell!
After each photo shoot with this crew, I feel like I just hung out and played with long time friends. It is so much fun. And the pictures that result are so authentic and full of love and life, just like these beautiful folks.
Thank you again R family… it is truly an honor to be your photographer!
As we approach Father’s Day, I feel like this is an appropriate baby photo shoot to post. This dad is about as involved as it gets. He was the one that contacted me to tell me how much his wife loved my photography and wanted me to be their newborn photographer as they welcomed their baby boy. I gave him my spiel about what to wear, what to expect and how the session would go. I did get to speak to the mama briefly before the shoot as well.
Both parents were so hands-on with this sweet baby, truly sharing in all of the diaper changes and snuggles of their son. There was one moment during our photo shoot when mama was on the bed holding baby Z and I was photographing them, sunlight was streaming in through the window and it was a beautiful scene. Dad was next to me just watching the sweetness as they snuggled together, she looked like such a natural mother, holding her baby with so much love in her eyes. She looked amazingly beautiful, glowing almost. And then Dad said “You know (Z) you have the most beautiful mother in the world”… and her smile lit up light a shining sun. It was such a sweet moment to witness as a photographer.
I really enjoyed working with you S family and hope to photograph your baby boy as he grows! Thank you for inviting me to document this wonderful time in your lives.
When I last saw this family, the bun was still baking in the oven! They were so sweet and kind and so excited for the arrival of their baby and I really felt connected to them. Baby decided to arrive fashionably late… with a little motivation from the OB. She came out looking like a model. Her grandmother showed me pictures on her iPhone of a freshly newborn baby L actually posing! Her little hands were up near her face in the sweetest way. She was made to be a model, beautiful and graceful like her mother!
Well here are some portraits from our newborn photo shoot. I love the connection of the family in these. And the ones of dad and his newborn baby girl pull my heartstrings a lot.
Hope that you love these too!
In the first email that this pregnant mama sent me, she mentioned that she was expecting her first baby and then that she already had two “fur babies”.. namely, a dog named Taco, and a rabbit named Mr. Rabbit. I knew immediately that I had to be their family’s photographer! As the mother of a very quirky child (and being a quirky person myself), I appreciate dogs named Taco and pet rabbits! When we spoke about her photo shoot, she mentioned that they live near Freedom Park in Charlotte and often visit the park to walk Taco. I thought it would be fitting to photograph them there, although photo shoots in Freedom Park are tricky because of the plethora of photographers. We chose the perfect date and time of day and I barely had to photoshop joggers and bikers out of their pictures! And come on…. can you even believe these were taken at the busiest park in Charlotte?! I mean really…. they look like they were made in an enchanted elfin forest. Maybe her lovely flower crown has something to do with that magic.
Well… I am so happy with your portraits, C and A! I cannot wait to meet your (human) baby on her newborn portraits!!!