where stories are told
3/30/2020 0 Comments
The COVID-19 crisis has affected us all in some way. Myself and my family are doing our part to flatten the curve. Unfortunately, that means not taking on any clients. Photography is not an essential business and is not vital to life (although my soul would disagree). This is totally uncharted territory for us all.
My heart especially breaks for those mother's in their 3rd trimester, due to deliver any day. They won't be able to have maternity, birth, Fresh 48, or newborn photos- among a whole host of other things. All of these are once in a lifetime events. My heart truly breaks that I won't be there to capture these moments for you so that you can focus solely on your baby and your family. Remembering to take photographs during this time is just one more thing a new mama will have on her plate.
So, I've been thinking and I've tried to come up with some tips and tricks to help you document these precious days. Whether you have an iPhone or a DSLR or a point and shoot camera, the principles are the same.
DIY Fresh 48 Shot List
This is by no means an exhaustive list. I just wanted you to have a helpful resource and something to help guide you through. Everyone is tired after labor. The adrenaline wears off and everything becomes hazy and dreamlike. This is part of the appeal of having a professional photographer come in and do this for you- you don't have to think about it. Hopefully having a guide will help you get those once in a lifetime shots. Use your imagination. Everyone's story is a different and unique, just like them. Did this blog help you at all? Did I leave anything out? Want me to add something? Tell me in the comments below!
Somewhere in Suffolk, Virginia there is a family in waiting. Waiting for an event that is sure to come, for an once in a lifetime event that has been occurring since the beginning of time. A family of 6 is waiting to become a family of 7.
The birthing space is prepared, the supplies are gathered. The midwife is ready with skilled hands and generations of knowledge. A basket of snacks and juice sets beside the bed waiting to replenish mama after labor. A hand painted rug with the tree of life is placed in the middle of the birthing room, the leaves painted to represent the 4 seasons.
A bassinet that has held 4 sleeping babies before, now awaits the 5th baby it will hold. A special blanket made just for their arrival waits to provide comfort and warmth.
Change is coming so, so soon. And yet, the only thing left to do is wait patiently and pray. To be still.
Motherhood is an incredible journey. One where every single passing day builds a phenomenal amount of anticipation for this one moment- that moment when baby decides to join us outside of the womb. We know our baby. We feel them move, we talk to them, we sing to them, we dream of caressing their velvety soft skin and smelling their intoxicating scent. And yet, we wonder... who are you little one?
What are your dreams? What is your little personality like? Are you serious and logical or are you funny and spontaneous? Will you have a dimple or curly hair?
But the answers to our questions will have to wait. We have to be patient, be still. Baby knows when their birthday will be, our job is to wait, love, and pray.
Whether you are a mother welcoming your 5th baby into the world or your first, sometimes it can be easy to overlook these little moments. But, let me let you in on a little something. This statement rocked me to my core. It has fueled my passion for documenting family's stories- recording their history, if you will. Marie Masse, one of my favorite photographers, said this (or something to the effect of this):
You don't realize the significant moments in our lives until they've passed by us.
Do you ever find it funny the things you remember and the things you've forgotten? Lots of times, it's these little moments that happen in between the big things. And then in 10 years, we realize that thing, whatever it was, was actually a really important moment in our lives! One day in the future, we will all wish we had one more day of something...
And to me, that's what this waiting period is. It's important. It's significant. These last few days before this sweet baby makes their appearance. The last few days of this mama nursing this one baby. Soon, she'll be nursing two. These memories are worth preserving. Your story deserves to be told.
Do you want to have your family's moments preserved? Are you ready to capture the beauty of ordinary days? Contact me to book, let's talk about what's important to you and how we can document those things for you and your family. I promise, this will be one of those things you'll never regret.
Mondays aren't so bad, even in Norfolk, Virginia on a hot, humid, and overcast day. Sometimes miracles happen on Mondays. And this image- this is the culmination of 9 long months of waiting for 3 little boys, 2 special friends, a pair of grandparents, and a mom and dad. Can you see her little head there resting peacefully on Nana's shoulders while the little ones eagerly climb up to greet her? And proud Poppa standing by getting even more pictures. Pure. Bliss. Everyone's birth story is different. Each little miracle makes its way into the world in a unique way. And she is no exception. For me, this single image brought the story full circle.
Can't believe you're here now
Tiny dream come true
The answer to a prayer now
I'm so in love with you
Couldn't wait to meet you
Hope you like your name
I get the funny feeling
Life will never be the same -- Matthew West
I began telling their story from the moment they walked out of their home. They shouted, "Today is the day! We get to see our sister!" I even got a high five. From walking into the hospital and going into the waiting room, to listening to a prayer said by the biggest brother for the safety of their brave and courageous Mommy, Daddy, baby sister, and even the doctors... the Lord hears and honors your prayers big guy. To watching them press their ears up against the door, breathlessly waiting to hear the sweet sound of a screaming baby. I was so caught up in the moment, I thought my heart would explode. When that faint cry was heard, the feeling was indescribable. Joy, tears, relief, excitement, wonder, anticipation, happiness... Biggest brother was like a new Daddy, walking around the room hugging, smiling ear to ear, and shaking hands. And then returning to his post at the door to hear her again. It was a moment I'll never forget.
This is why birth photography matters. Moments like this will not go unseen or be forgotten. The story will be forever recorded. The big brother's stories are eternally and intrinsically intertwined with hers.
Now, the new chapter has begun. Where will her story go? Who will she grow up to be?
Here's just a little peek into her story. Which one speaks to you?
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.
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