While editing James' newborn photo session, one thought was running through my mind.. "I really wish I had photos like this of my boys". The truth is, I don't. I have a few here and there, mostly when my boys are a bit older.. but I have no great images of me with my babies. Nothing I would feel comfortable displaying in my home, no whole-family shots, and certainly no siblings together (which is one of the hardest images to get, btw).
All I have are iPhone snaps. Dark, grainy, and low-resolution photographs of my babies sleeping during those first few weeks, when I had a couple of minutes to myself. I have some photos that my parents took that first day after birth with their point and shoot camera, when I looked sick and terrible and my baby looked red and blotchy. I didn't need photos documenting the hardships of that first week, I needed something that actually looked GOOD. I wanted photos that showed my babies how I saw them - beautiful, flawless, and mine.
The truth is, I am a pretty good photographer and more often than not, I'm inclined to do things myself. I didn't think I needed someone to show up at my door and photograph me with my newborn. But even more than that.. I didn't feel comfortable trusting someone to make me look beautiful. Because I didn't look beautiful. I hardly had time to take a shower. I had trouble adjusting to my "new life". And the last thing I needed was to worry about looking good for someone else.. But.. there's no going back. I can't return to that time and decide that hey, maybe this is pretty important. It's too late for that.
But about a month in, things get easier.
That's why I insist that my clients take their time that first month with their baby, and we usually schedule a session about 4 weeks after birth. More than anything, I want Mom to feel like she has a good grasp on her new daily routine. I want her to feel comfortable with her new baby, and with herself too. I am not embarrassed to admit that I use Photoshop to retouch the images, because I would want that for myself, too. And the scheduling is always super flexible, because I think a photography session is really NOT the top priority after having a baby.
So here is James. He apparently has a permanent baby mohawk (which is totally adorable!). A big brother who will undoubtedly teach him all about baseball. And two amazingly loving parents, of course. But most of all, he will have GOOD photographs documenting the first month of his life. Photographs showing how much his Mom loves him and how much she cares. And for that, I am so grateful.