where stories are told
It's been 365 days since she took her first breath. She's been loved by her family every single second of every single one of those 365 days and she will continue to be all the days of her life.
I tend to get really sentimental with returning clients, especially those I photographed as newborns. I came to photograph her when she was less than a week old, in the comfort and quiet peace of her own home.
This session was a little different because there was the hum of excitement in the air and the intimate gathering of loved ones who wanted nothing more than to spend the afternoon celebrating her life and reflecting on what she has brought to their family.
As a mama myself, when birthdays roll around, I find myself doing the same thing. I feel that each baby teaches us something new, a little more than before. I never knew how much one little, precious being could teach me- they teach us the most important lessons in life. Selfless giving, unconditional love, and patience.
When I photograph a birthday celebration and milestone events, I always take the opportunity to observe familial connections. Stolen moments away with cousins or grandparents, adoring aunts and uncles- each wanting a special moment with the birthday girl. As much as I love seeing a baby eat cake (who doesn't?!) and the excitement surrounding the mess she is going to make, I live for these quieter moments and I'm always seeking them out. They are tender, heartfelt, and so precious.
Hiring a photographer to document these events allows the family to relax and to let go. It allows them to focus on what is important- celebrating and spending time and energy on the ones they love. You don't have to worry about taking pictures yourself or hastily passing off the camera to someone else so that you can actually be in the picture for once. You don't have to hope that they get a slightly flattering picture or that their finger isn't in it, or that it's not blurry. It's all taken care of and you will get a gallery of beautifully documented images to treasure for a lifetime.
It also needs pointing out that I look for humor everywhere! Outright humor, understated humor, sarcastic humor...all of it! And this had me cracking up! I hope little Hazel will laugh at it one day.
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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