In my last post I mentioned that I’ve been a few newborn shoots as I’ve been starting to focus photographically on areas I enjoy the most. I wanted to do a personal post to share why I feel drawn to the genre of newborn photography, to give you an insight into why I do what I do & maybe to give myself an insight into where my photography journey might be headed.
Thinking about it I realised I never really had much exposure to babies growing up. I held my cousins once or twice as a teenager, but swiftly handed them back when they started to cry or when I wondered “what is that smell?” It wasn’t until my nephew was born 4 ½ years ago that I got to really witness that precious time when a new life comes into the world & everyone is in awe at the wonder that is a newborn baby.
It wasn’t all excitement & happiness however as my nephew Jack was born 10 weeks premature, weighing only 3 lbs 2oz when he was born. Nobody got to hold him straight away as he had to stay in an incubator. Even when we could hold him he had to spend seven weeks in St Thomas’ special care baby unit. He was so, so tiny. All we could do was sit helplessly, glad he was here & willing him on in his fight for life.
Of course it is impossible not to fall into a daze looking at the little fingers & toes of newborn babies, but watching Jack in his first month of life I was completely overwhelmed & fascinated. I didn’t want to blink. I’d often forget to breathe whilst holding him. It really was a huge reminder to me of how sacred life is & I wanted to always remember that.
Though I wanted to photograph his every move, I was soon to embark on a study year abroad so I sadly had to live vicariously through relatives as my first year of being an Auntie- cooing over him through Skype instead of in person. (Thank God for Skype!) I’ve since made up for missing out & I photograph him A LOT though he much prefers to be my assistant & insists on carrying all my equipment …
It truly has been such an adventure watching him grow up. Though he has asthma as a result of being born with underdeveloped lungs, you’d otherwise never know of the problems he had at birth. Such a little brainbox with, in his own words, a “massive imagination,” he really is full of life & energy. Absolutely one of my favourite people of all time.
I was already passionate about photography, taking my camera everywhere even before Jack was born, but watching him grow up has been a big inspiration. It has taken my photography to a different place & is one of the reasons I adore working with children, capturing their little quirks & personality traits as they become little people & mini adults. Jack reminds me what it is like to be a child- when you see the world through eyes of hope & wonder- it makes me strive to always see the world like that- with an open heart & mind. For that I will always be thankful.
Well now I am energized & ready for action as my second nephew is due, on Christmas Eve would you believe! I cannot put into words exactly how excited I am to begin that journey all over again, capturing those little fingers & toes, laughs & smiles & special moments as he grows up. I find myself wondering what kind of person he’ll become and what a great brother Jack will be. As we sit & await his arrival all I know is that this time around I will be here for the first year & plan to make the most of that, with Jack as my assistant I imagine.
Thanks for reading,
Lauren xxx