So….. I am working on a business project, and it requires a lot of thought and introspection. I was asked to choose the 10-15 images that best express the heart behind my work… the images that are the most “me”. If you know me, you know how agonizing it is for me to eliminate my work and pick just a handful of images! This was NOT easy to say the least!
Here’s what I picked:
For a while now, I have wondered why I am so passionate about both documentary storytelling, totally unposed candid images like births, and also about newborn portraiture (which, in my style, is very simple, but definitely more planned and less candid). I think I may have had a glimmer of understanding as I narrowed things down. While these two styles of images might seem visually very different, to me, they are very similar… because my “why”, the heart behind them, is the same. I make photographs because there are moments in life- moments that, whether “big” or “small”, are what life is all about. The first time a mama sees that long-awaited baby, the moments when the facade drops and all that is left is raw emotion and real connection, the tiny softness and sweetness of your newborn baby, the details of your baby’s face… these are moments that are so temporal, so fleeting, gone so soon, that it is impossible to hold them in detail in our minds. Yet, these same moments are the ones we hold in our hearts for the rest of our lives, and we don’t want to ever forget. I take photos because they are a tangible image and a way to hold on to those moments, to those memories that we treasure so dearly we can close our eyes and feel them even decades later. Life is so busy, our days are full of so much that we do to make a living. For me, photography is a way to capture the moments that make a life, and the moments that are what we are alive for.
I am a mom of four children who are the loves of my life and the joy of my heart. If I could go back and have one thing from the past, it would probably be newborn images of my children, done like I do them now for my clients. I have pictures, but I would love to have natural, beautiful, simply artistic images of their tiny bodies, their soft sweetness, their little faces, eyes, lips, toes, cheeks. I can remember all the hours I spent watching them as they nursed and fell asleep curled up in my arms, or as I watched over them in their beds when I checked on them after I laid them down. I can imagine them still, their tiny, beautiful little newborn selves- but I cannot really remember them in crystal clear detail, and I wish that I had those kinds of newborn images now that they are no longer babies. Of course, I might pick birth images, instead… I have images from one birth, and I wish that I had them from all four! They are some of the photos that I cherish the most. I think that has shaped a lot of who I am as a professional newborn and birth photographer. I capture these tiny miracles simply and naturally, the way their mamas and daddies will remember them when they have grown up, long after their newborn days. I always feel such a wonderful sense of purpose when I give a family their images, because I know that because of those images I created, they will be able to remember.
Whew! Enough introspection for today, but it was really good to think through why I do what I do. If you are my client and read this, thanks for giving me the honor of capturing these moments for your family. It is truly a blessing in my life!