I want you to picture those first few days with your new baby. As you sit with them in their nursery, the smell of wipes and baby powder filling the room, you can’t help but stare at them, in utter awe of how incredibly perfect they are. You run your finger over their nose and along their brow. They gently rest their sleepy eyes. Their sweet chubby cheek flows over your arm and you can’t help but smile. You notice how they have the same dimple, when they grin as your sister did when she was little. As their tiny hand falls in the palm of yours, you realize just how small they are. You snuggle them up to you, close your eyes and take them in completely. You believe you’ll never forget how they looked when they smiled, or how tiny their toes were…
… Except you don’t realize that in just a short time, those cheeks won’t be as round, the softness will fade from their expressions, they will be more awake, they will start to grow and change so quickly you won’t even recognize them from one week to the next. Before you know it, you start to forget how they looked when they laid curled up in your arms. How small their hands were in yours. How gently their big sister held them. Their big eyes when they looked up at you… The way YOU looked when you snuggled them close and completely took them in. The way they were as a newborn escapes your memory and you’re left with a blur.
Most photos anyone ever takes as this age are laying in a crib, or carseat. Maybe in your arms right after birth, or even more likely in dad’s. You have a couple photos of your toddler holding baby on the couch but they aren’t exactly the sibling photo you envisioned. You may even go to the local studio and have a few photos taken professionally… but they don’t look at all like the precious baby you hold in your arms. Instead you see an uncomfortable, awkwardly posed, awake baby, in bad lighting, that looks exactly like the last customer’s baby. How do I know this? Because those are the photos I have of own my daughters. (see images below) They are photos of my baby girl and I’ll keep them in on my computer to show my daughter down the road, but they certainly don’t fill in the details I’ve forgotten. Those photos aren’t something I’m proud to display on my wall and they don’t give me the warm fuzzy feelings I was hoping for. My daughters are now 8 and 9; what seems a universe away from where they started and I miss those moments terribly! Even if it were just through some photos in an album or a portrait on my wall, I wish I could go back.
I believe great art stems from the heartbreak an artist experiences in their own life. This couldn’t be more true for myself. I know exactly what photos I would want today of my own babies and that is what drives me to provide them for my clients. In my work, you won’t find images of a baby against an extravagant backdrop, surrounded by props and bright colors. You will see your baby! You will see their details and expressions. You will see the curve of their cheek and the way they curled up while sleeping. You will see a work of art I’ve poured my heart into, knowing I’ve taken immense care in recapturing the essence of your newborn completely. Because in 9 years, I want your heart to be just as full as it was when you held your baby in your arms for the first time.
You may regret a lot of things, but you will never regret investing in and preserving your most precious memories.
Oh yeah, I promised you some awesome mall studio photos of my daughter… enjoy 😉