I've been thinking a lot about my life's work. What in the world is God's purpose for me here on earth? I'm sure I probably still have new mom hormones running through me like crazy, but having a new baby has made me feel even more anxious about the future than I already was. And if that's not a crappy double edged sword...because all I really want to do is sit at home and hold her and not think about having to do anything else ever. But I know that's entirely unrealistic, so I'm all of a sudden feeling this pressure to do something. Something different, something meaningful. And I think I've taken the first step towards that by staying home with our baby girl for awhile. Which may not seem like a big deal, but was a huge decision for us. Because what is more meaningful than caring for your children?
Beyond that though, I know I can't just stay at home and stare at her forever…she'll probably not find me so entertaining in a couple years. Plus, I do have talents and passions that were built in to me by my Creator…I just hadn't, up until recently, figured out what exactly to do with them.
But I think I'm finally getting somewhere.
Though I became a mom 4 years ago through the process of adoption, giving birth to our second child was another completely new experience. Tons and tons of firsts that I didn't get to experience with our son. And I have just been completely enamored with the role of newborn momma. The entire past year…the pregnancy, her birth, and all those firsts I mentioned earlier…they are things I have never experienced before and will probably never experience again (my husband said he's done at 2) :)
And yet, I can look back through photographs and be instantly transported to the time when I looked and felt like I was carrying around a beach ball and she was still dancing around in my tummy; to the time when Benjamin met his daughter for the first time; to the time when Ian met his sister for the first time, etc.
I've always said the one possession I would save in a fire would be my photos, because of the incredible gift they give us. So to hopefully end this brain dump quickly….what I'm trying to get to is that I think I may, may have found a bit of direction in my life's work. Maybe I can give other moms and dads photos that will conjour up distinct and profound memories of those first days of their children's lives. Because I know for me, those are moments I never want to forget.
I know I can "do" photography. I grew up with a camera in my hand and got a degree in the field. But I've never been extremely confident, and I've never felt truly inspired. If I've taken your photos in the past, I don't mean to say they were uninspiring, or that I didn't enjoy it; I just always stressed so much about the logistics, and the technical side of things (posing, lighting, location, etc.). I focused way more on the photographs than on the emotions in them, and it sucked the joy out of what I was doing.
In birth photography, you don't really even have that option. You have hospital light, and completely unromantic and uninspiring settings, and messy hair and un made-up moms. But those moms are such beautiful of subjects as they prepare to bring a sweet soul into the world.
In birth photography you have the most brilliant of experiences taking place, and that, as a photographer, is something I have found a heart for. SO, as I transition from family photography to maternity/birth/newborn photography, I ask that you pray that I have confidence, that I don't give up, and that I serve these moms and families well.
Finally…here are the images. Ideally, these First 48 (typically the birth shoot will take place over a period of 48 hours in the hospital) sessions will include a maternity, or a "Pre" session where I get some images of the mom or family before the baby arrives, and then a Newborn session, after the baby arrives. With this sweet family, I got/get to do all three parts, and it has been so wonderful. Here are some from exactly a week before (almost to the hour) their baby boy #2 arrived: