Briana stopped coming to tap class. She let us know that she had a lot going on with grad school & planning a wedding. We were bummed not to see her anymore, but we were so excited for her!!
Bri, unknown to me, was following me on social media. She started liking my posts and commenting. Then, out of the blue, she asked if I did maternity photos. OF COURSE!!! At this point, she had been married about a year, and we hadn’t seen her or heard from her much, so we had some things to catch up on!
When she filled out her questionnaire, I found out that she had been quiet about her pregnancy because she had previously suffered loss–twice. She was very nervous and strictly following doctor’s orders by taking walks regularly, being very careful about what she was eating, and of course, putting her trust in the Lord during this trying time.
It is hard when you have suffered a loss. You constantly doubt that you will be able to experience the joys of the blessing you have been waiting so long for. You expect loss to happen again. It has the potential of putting a damper on all the hope and joys that are in front of you. We do this as a defense mechanism, of course, and its very much a part of our human nature. And yes, it does protect us emotionally to some extent, but it also makes it hard to find joy in the present.
That being said, I was so humbled by Bri and Justin’s outlook. They quoted scripture, stating that many times, the Lord tells us not to fear. So they were doing their best to release it. It is oft repeated because, I believe, it is one of our tendencies to hold onto fear as if it were our greatest possession, because we often think it will protect us from experiencing pain. I know I struggle with this, absolutely, and so zero judgments over here!! I’m just saying I get it, ha! So it was a beautiful lesson and reminder for me!
After doing Bri’s maternity photos, she also allowed me to be in her sacred birth space and capture the images of Alan’s birth. I was so grateful that she allowed me to be there, and surprisingly, I was the only other person there besides her and Justin! I felt so honored and again, humbled, that she would trust me to be there. And because I was able to spend time with her during her maternity session, it allowed all of us to be more comfortable around each other during birth. And hearing her story gave me that much more perspective and understanding, and I was able to approach her birth knowing what this meant for them.
Justin was such a support to Bri. He did hip squeezes, lifted her belly with a cloth, and held her during almost every contraction. He cheered her on the entire time, and you could see the excitement in his face as it became more apparent that Alan would be here soon. So even though his back was hurting pretty intensely, he stood by her side and put her needs above his own. Good job, Justin 😉
I’ll be honest, sometimes part of me feels a little guilty knowing so many intimate things about the people I am photographing. Almost like I am just peering into their life, ha! But at the same time, I have to remind myself that when others are willing to open up and tell their story, I can better give back to them exactly what they are looking for–photos that represent the emotions, connections, and experiences that they are going through–a true documentation of their life. Yes, its raw. Yes, its not always pretty, but its real, and its all so incredibly beautiful.
We all want others to remember us. We want to make a mark on the world in some small way. There are so many reasons people choose to document their stories. Sometimes it is for healing. Sometimes it is for posterity. Sometimes it is for social media (we all do it! ha!). But regardless, you will NEVER regret documenting your life, especially those pivotal moments, no matter now you choose to do it!
When I pulled up to their house for Alan’s newborn session, their home was so deep in an orchard that I almost didn’t find it! I was immediately awash with the comfy, cozy feelings of being at home. The day was perfectly sunny, their house was incredibly comfortable and cute, and I was so happy that Alan’s grandparents were able to be there.
We found some lovely light, everyone was able to relax, and Alan did fantastic as we moved him around and shushed him back to sleep. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day :). And yes, he did wake up quite a bit, but that is completely normal. When babies normally sleep, they aren’t being moved around or changed, so of course, they are going to wake up. We just do our very best and we still get beautiful photos, whether they are awake or asleep!
Personally, I love both awake AND asleep photos! You get to see their eyes, their movements, etc, and those are things you are going to want to remember, too! All the little imperfect things you will someday cherish!!
I am so grateful that I was able to be present for Bri’s pregnancy photos, Alan’s birth, and his newborn photos. I feel like we are real friends now, and its so nice being able to come full circle and see everything from the start, and be a part of the whole process .Thank you, thank you, Bri and Justin, for trusting ME to be the one to document this amazing time of life for you!!