Archive for the ‘Baby & Children Portrait Photography’ Category
Meeting little Asher was something very special for me. His parents and I have been friends for several years. We started out as kid-free married couples, long conversations after homemade meals, late night dinners in our favorite Denver restaurants. I observed and listened to Kendra process her plan for a family, start lining things up in their life to make the time and space, and then, the BIG NEWS. She was pregnant! We helped them pack up their house and move into their new one. We brought them dinner the night she went into labor. It is still very surreal for me to meet the new child of a good friend. To see a little person that is a combination of two people I love and at the same time a brand new entity. To be in relationship with someone when they are “footloose and fancy free”, walk alongside them as they plan a family, get pregnant, be pregnant, give birth to a new human being and to their own parenthood. The transition is fascinating. And I will admit that this one is bittersweet. People ask me all the time, of course, if we have children. No, we don’t. Why not? Well, that wasn’t my original plan. It’s not something I really care to lay out and I’m still navigating the path to peace about it all. The part that is the most difficult for me in the process is feeling left out. Left out of motherhood. Left out of playgroups. Left out of the heart-bonding stories where women sigh that deep commonality. “I know what you mean… We’re in this together… I’m so glad someone else understands… I’m not alone.” The deep heart smile of recognition. I love listening to people’s stories. I can talk with mothers all day long about child birth, their baby’s digestive system, their overwhelms, their triumphs, their fears, their plans for the nursery and education. Only very occasionally does something sting. Unexpectedly but not surprisingly. Like acupuncture. I don’t wake up feeling like there is something missing from my life. My life is positively luxurious, spacious, peaceful and sorted. But it doesn’t change the fact that I miss my friend, Kendra. I miss all my dear friends who are now absorbed into parenthood, as they should be. It requires your all. Why do I still photograph babies if there is a chance it will sting? Because I love freezing a fraction of time, to photograph the perfection that is this new mutually adoring relationship: mother and son. It is a gift for my friends, for my clients and, honestly, for myself. It keeps my heart connected, pulsing hot blood through my veins. It is my mechanism for staying engaged, present and open. And so are these words. My heart on a blog.
Newborn baby Stone is but ten days old. And his big brother, Cash, is about 22 months old. Now that’s a handful. Don’t these images seem so peaceful? So sweet and calm and serene? I’m here to tell you that it was NOT that for about 90% of this photo shoot. Yet another shoot that left me thinking- “Regina, what WAS that? At what point are you going to get it together and have super smooth problem-free sessions where the newborn doesn’t cry and the one year old doesn’t have a melt-down?!” As if any of that is really in my control. I still find myself feeling like I should by now have perfected the baby portrait things and that they should all just magically be amazing now that I’ve been a professional photographer for thirteen years. And, once again, I go back to the start. I ask the question: “Why are you shooting, Regina?” And I say, “To capture what is true, lovely, tender, authentic and mysterious. To be intentional about focusing on the beautiful because too often I just see what is broken and mean. To create connection in a world in which I often feel isolated. To freeze an allusive mysterious moment of fragility, wonder and vulnerability because I long to feel safe and unguarded.” And this is why I don’t POSE. This is why I don’t have a studio prepped with the same three vignettes that I use every single time and herd clients through in a systematic routine. That would be so much cleaner. So much more efficient. So much more reliable. And believe you me I LOVE those words like crazy!!! But at my core, I know they are not what I seek. At the end of the day, I’m not satisfied with safe. I want unabashed beauty. Which means opening up the possibility of a chaotic fiasco. It’s a risk. And I do it with every shoot. Which is why I need so much sleep. Thank you, Heidi and Jim for bearing with me and trusting me to create images that you will love of your gorgeous boys. I hope we have done just that.
Here is the second set of my favorite baby and family portraits from 2012. Even that sentence is difficult to write because there were literally hundreds of images that were in my first set of considerations for my favorites. But editing is a huge part of my job. It is a skill that requires consistent honing. So now that I’m thinking about it, this was very good practice for me. And I loved that I had help with the project. My little sister and her family are living with us right now. They are raising funds to go serve in Kenya so we have been sharing our home with a family of four for since early September. My nieces are four years old and twenty months old. I don’t need to tell you what a different kind of energy we have going on around here. We are all adapting and trying to flow our routines around each and together. For all the screaming and chaos that comes along with little ones, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Having my little sister so close is a dream come true – and honestly I didn’t even know I had this dream. She is all grown up and can offer me the most sage and tender advice. She has a sweet and playful spirit so I’ll come home from a hard day to a Jane Austen movie cued up in my studio with wine and chocolate and strawberries with whipped cream. She fluffs my hair up when I’m walking out the door looking a bit crumpled. She listens to me process issues I’m trying to work through. She climbs on the counters helping me hang spiderwebs for Halloween, snowflakes for Christmas and heart garlands for Valentines. She labels our fridge drawers so the boys can remember whose food is whose. She is a model for me of patient parenting, thrifty and disciplined spending habits and a powerful woman of God who seeks His heart with her whole being. It has been an absolute gift so have this time together. Having both a mother and a sister as professional photographers, she has grown up looking at billions of images so she has developed a very keen eye. Her talent for editing is something I am taking FULL advantage of these days! And this set of images is a little taste of our collaboration.