Archive for the ‘Musings’ 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.
I think I shot my first “botanical” image the year after I finished high school with the Pentax K1000 my mother gifted me for graduation. I didn’t realize I was shooting with slide film. The lab didn’t catch it either and the film was “cross-processed.” I had an image of a bleeding heart that came out in the most shocking blues and purples and pinks. I was hooked. That bleeding heart image is still one of my all time favorite shots. While I obviously pursued a career as a destination wedding photographer, which naturally expanded into a fine art baby portrait photography, botanical photography has long been my heart’s passion. Being in a botanical garden skimming over the flower beds looking for the sweet faces that are looking right back at me, unabashedly, so comfortable in their own skin, asking me to take their picture, is heaven. My experience with botanical photography is akin to boudoir imagery. Sensuous, soft, brazen, delicate, powerful. So many soft and intricate layers. A boundless array of forms, shapes, colors, sizes, details. How could you possibly say that one type of flower is prettier or better than another? Each one of these images, and the hundreds of others I have in my collection, is a picture of absolute perfection. It is my joy and my bliss to create these photographs. I can’t imagine that you could adore them as much as I do, but I hope you do enjoy them.