Oh mama, the newborn period goes by so fast. It's such a whirlwind of emotions. Birth and the Fourth Trimester (as I like to call the post-partum period) can be truly unpredictable and really, no two experiences are the same. But motherhood is the common thread that weaves us all together. Rest assured that generations of women have come before you and shared in this experience.
With something so monumental, it seems fitting that we document the occasion with photographs.
Time Doesn't Wait:
I know for sure one thing that we all experience, no matter our journey, is the fact that every time you blink, they change a little. They grow a little. Something about them is just a tad bit different.
And the funny thing about this Fourth Trimester is that it will quickly grow a bit hazy for us mamas. We won't remember some things, but other things we will remember so clearly. I suppose it's nature's way of things, getting us excited and yearning for the next little bundle of joy.
Having an in-home newborn session gives us something to hold onto. It gives us a beautiful record of this time. It gives us something physical to see- something we normally only envision and reminisce in our minds. Because once this time is gone, it's gone. There's no going back.
Photographs Can Help You Heal:
For some of us (myself included) that have experienced birth trauma, photos may help you heal from that experience. It can help you sift through your emotions, reflect on the process, and begin the process of healing. Together, in the comfort of your home, we can photograph your body and baby in a way that honors and speaks to your experience- we can give that pain a voice. Where birth can be uncontrollable, you will be in control of this process.
Helps Older Siblings to Adjust to New Baby:
I have 3 children and luckily, I have been very fortunate to have easy transitions with my children (if I'm being honest, I am the one that probably had the hardest time). But I've worked with a lot of families and I have a lot of friends with different experiences than my own. I can tell you it will be okay. Truly. One way that I have found that photography helps is that it allows the mom and dad to take a step back and view the situation from the outside looking in. Seeing what I see through my lens helps to shift prospective a bit. Likewise, while I am there (as an outsider), I help show the big siblings just how important they are to the big picture. It makes a difference when someone other than mom or dad says it and 100% of the time they love seeing themselves in the pictures. It just solidifies their place in the family when they see themselves in the pictures and even moreso when those pictures are proudly displayed.
You Deserve More Than Cell Phone Selfies:
You've been through a lot. Your journey and your story deserve to be told. Your voice matters. It matters to you, your family, me, and let's not forget to future generations. One day your great-granddaughter will look through these photos and feel that familiar connection and draw strength from your experience. That's powerful.
This experience and these moments deserve to be preserved in the best way possible. Motherhood is an important part of history. And you deserve more than the front facing camera on your phone.
They Are Important to Extended Family Members:
At the time of writing this, it is February 2022. We're 2 years into the pandemic that has shaken our lives and knocked our world around. Some of our family members may be immunocompromised and have to keep their distance. It's so hard. Some family members may live too far away to visit easily. Some friends may not be able to make it to see baby because they live far away or sick. Whatever the reason, sometimes the ones who are important to us are not able to visit baby. Pictures, especially in home and documentary images, give them the ability to get a real glimpse into your life and to lay eyes on that beautiful babe. It's important to them.
This is from a grandparent I spoke with: "I wouldn't ever print cell phone pictures and put them on my wall. I've tried it. They are awful and blurry. I love being able to show off pictures of my grandchildren and I love being able to keep up with them (the grandchildren) from far away. I don't live right next door, it makes me feel better to have beautiful pictures of them."
You Want To Avoid Regret Later:
Honestly, it's now or never. They will never be a newborn again. They just won't be. She won't have an umbilical stump. He won't be scrunched in a tiny ball and fit perfectly on your chest. They won't smell like a newborn (I know you can't smell a picture, but your brain will take care of that for you). They won't nurse forever. The flaky skin will disappear. The wrinkles will fade away.
It's sad, but life goes on and they change every day...that's just the way of things. If you don't take the photos now and make the record today, you'll never again have the chance to do it.
But in all honesty, I've never had anyone say they regretted having photos done...only that they regret not doing them.
If this speaks to you and you know that this is something you want, please reach out to me. You can do that by clicking here or on the Contact tab above. The ideal time to inquire about your newborn session is about mid-way through your pregnancy. Because birth is unpredictable, the earlier I can get you on my to-photograph list, the better, as I only take a limited number of sessions per month.
Wondering what a Newborn Storytelling Session with me is like? Check out this blog:
What to Expect at Your Newborn Session with Jess Nicole Photography
To see more of my work with newborns, please click here to visit my Newborn Gallery.
I am so excited to be able to announce these super sweet sessions with you all! I am so passionate about getting moms in front of the camera with the ones they love the most. I want to show you how you look to them. We can be so hard on ourselves from everything from our appearance to our parenting, but at the root of it all is love- and it doesn't get more beautiful than that.
The Mini Sessions with Mom will take place in your home or on location here in Hampton Roads. They are 45 minutes long and will include an online digital gallery with 10 images for you to download and print as you wish. For this session only, I am also including a 5x7 vintage brass hanging frame with a hand torn 4x6 print of your choice within. This frame is so dainty and beautiful, it really adds a special touch to smaller spaces. (You can read more about the frame here.)
These sessions are priced at $249. They will be available from March 20, 2021 - May 8, 2021 only.
These would make such a wonderful gift for the motherly figure in your life. This is a gift full of meaning and the memories documented will last more than one lifetime. Your memories matter, they are important to your family and your legacy. Something she will truly enjoy and appreciate.
If you're ready to book your session, contact me here or use the Contact tab above. Or, if you'd like to purchase a gift certificate in lieu of flowers or candy this year, I also offer Gift Certificates!
I know mama, I have been in your shoes. Heck, I'm in your shoes now. I'm in the midst of this wonderful journey of motherhood too. I have never ending chores, mouths to wipe, mountains of laundry, floors to sweep, boo boos to kiss, dinner to make, homework to help with, and stories to read. I'm also the official legacy keeper and documenter of our days. I'm trying to preserve the memories that we are making together so that they have a visual representation of our love for them. When they look back on their childhood, I want them to see how they were loved more than the air we breathe. I want them to see how their mama and daddy loved each other so. I want them to see me in my element- the most important and beloved role I've ever had- and that's being their mother.
But that can be really hard to do, right? Taking the pictures and also being a subject in them as well? It is. I've had to get creative. When they look back, where will I be in their pictures and in their memories? Holding an actual, physical photo in your hand is a very visceral and emotive experience. I want them to feel something when they hold a photo of me. I want them to remember what my arms felt like around them and to see on my face what they mean to me... and the photo above of our shadows doesn't quite cut it. There's not a lot of emotion there. It's quite literally just documenting my existence and the fact that I was there.
This self portrait is a lot better- me and my littlest, hanging out on the bed together. It shows connection, emotion, and I love the way I am looking at him. But, self portraits are few and far in between for me.
I feel this so deeply in my soul.
I want to be able to give you this. I want you to see yourself the way your family sees you. I know what it's like to not want to be in front of the camera. I see all of my imperfections, but yet, my body has been so, so good to me. And you know who else doesn't care about your imperfections? Your family. Your husband. Your kids. They only see you, the woman they love mightily. I want you to see yourself in your most brilliant role of your life. I want you to see yourself the way they see you. Your imperfections are perfect and you are perfect for your family. You are right where you need to be.
And that, my friend, deserves more than a blurry cell phone selfie. You deserve more than that.
Instead of just documenting your mere existence, let's do something amazing. Let's tell a story without words. A story of love, struggle, courage, and warmth. Let's tell one about the adventures in motherhood and the days that last 874 hours, but the years that go by in a split second. Let's tell the story of the days when the toys were strewn around the house and how laundry was never quite done. Let's tell the story of motherhood. Let's make a visual diary that documents your love, not just your existence.
If you're ready to document more than your mere existence, let's talk a bit about that. Let's create some beautiful artwork that represents this season in your life. You are worth it. Your memories matter.
Click here or on the contact tab above and we will get in touch.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.