Every now and then, we are invited into a moment in time that stands out as nothing less than miraculous. And, in the case of this shoot, I was given the opportunity to share space with this growing family three times over a 48 hour period. When this mama first contacted me she was nearing her due date with her second child and she was interested in having the birth photographed, however with my busy schedule and after years of living the life on call as a homebirth midwife, I gently guided her to another option. That being “The Fresh 48”; ok, I didn’t call it that directly, that is just the trendy name that some photographers use, but I digress.
So back to the busy schedule thing, it is just that. I received the call that the birth had occurred (in rapid fashion-I wouldn’t have made it to the birth had that been the plan) while I was driving back into town with my exhausted and hungry daughter who had just completed a swim meet about an hour away, and she needed to be fed. So, after a quick trip to our local Amazon-owned hot bar, a drop by the house to trade my daughter for my camera, and I was off to meet this family whose newest member had just arrived.
The mama had given birth at her mother’s house, a full circle story as her late brother passed in that same home on that windy, narrow road in a town about 45 min South of Asheville. I did not know that at the time that I entered the home, this time with a camera and not my bag of birth supplies, but this is reflective of how quickly you can get to know someone while creating space together in such a heart touching moment.
This ability to create space while also disappearing is something learned from my midwifery days that serves my style of photography, silently documenting while also inducing laughter and capturing connection. By the time I left, about an hour after arriving, I was totally invested in these three, was excited for the next day’s session where I would also get to meet Big Brother E!
Facebook memories allows one to go back in time on a particular day and see how much their kids have grown or how many more wrinkles they have compared to nine years ago, the difference is not all that subtle; and with the new ones, 24 hours can make a huge difference too. Not only did this little one have a full day under his belt and looked so different, he also had a name…Ellis. The family had changed location and were enjoying their babymoon at a beautiful mountain home outside of a town further into the mountains from his grandmother’s house. And, by enjoying, that also means that they were surviving on coffee and bliss, managing their two year old who was totally unimpressed by his baby brother, and yet still seemed to have it together more than my 12 year old does after a marathon round of Fortnite.
After a shoot, I am typically found in front of my editing computer, my kids on my bed fighting over what they’re going to watch on tv while also critiquing each image as I get to it, and this is obviously the glamourous side of being a photographer. My point is that this time-consuming task creates a virtual extension of time of each shoot. So, at this point, it is the third of our 48 hours and I feel like I have been with them for the full 48 hours, except for that I have gotten more than three hours in a row of sleep. This final session finds everyone a little more in the flow of the newness of being a family of four, mama and dad are in it and happy, and big brother is still, well, unsure about this whole thing. They truly are a special couple (having known each other since early elementary school) and other than dad’s delusion about choosing the Georgia Bulldogs over the Florida Gators, they’re going to have an amazing life ahead. I’m going to close this post with one of my favorite things, reality. Above is an image of Ellis getting his footprints done, below is also an image of Ellis getting his footprints done. Cheers!