Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sweet Baby J

I'm sure you can imagine the emotional complexities of me in any kind of birth setting.  If you've been reading my blog for a while you know the journey Eric & I have been on and the toll it's taken on our hearts, and you'd understand my hesitation towards most anything to do with babies.  So it's a little funny that God has guided my steps towards birth photography.

I mean, what do I know about birth photography?

Heck, what do I know about photography?

And babies?  They're the one thing I've avoided on this planet more than spiders.

But I do have a desire to work with pregnancy & infant loss on a bigger scale (I don't know exactly what that means yet), and to maybe become a 'Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep' photographer.  So that means, I have to start somewhere.  

I'm not sure that I could have put myself in a more ironic situation if I tried.  I sure do love God's sense of humor. 

I have a close friendship with the owner of Little Hoots Birth Services, she's a loss-mom like me and we did our Stillbirthday doula training together.  But other than that, she just gets me.  You know those kinds of friends?  The kind that just get you, you don't have to explain anything to them because they already totally understand?  The kind of friendship that is just easy and fun and understanding?  Do you know what I'm talking about?  Yeah, that's her.  Well there's actually four of us, and I don't know what I'd do without them!  But Christina owns Little Hoots Birth Services, and she was so kind in asking me if I'd like to take pictures for two of her clients she had lined up for this summer... and then equally encouraging when I had mini-freak outs in anticipation of the births.

But sweet Baby J came into this world in 7 minutes!  7 minutes!  So there really wasn't anything to freak out about because she came so fast that even Daddy missed her grand entrance!  And obviously, that meant me too.  Baby J was perfect and healthy, but 4 weeks early, and with a 7 minute delivery there was no time to contact me in time to capture her birth story.  From the sound of it, her entrance was a breeze.  And by the looks of it, both Baby J & mama were stunning!

Big brother was totally diggin' his french fries and new baby sister!

Sweet Baby J came so fast that she didn't even have a "It's a Girl" card with her stats on her bassinet yet!  But she was warm and cuddly in her blanket, she was happy and content, and she was gorgeous!

The problem with never having done any kind of professional picture-taking, is that I had absolutely no idea where or how to start.  I just jumped in with both feet, and didn't take a breath until I had taken over 600 pictures about two hours later.  
I bounced between the aperture & shutter setting on my camera, and went to manual when I knew I could slow down a bit and pay more attention to the exposure.  I was careful to change the ISO depending on which area of the room I was standing in, but left the white balance on auto.  I was also sure to open the curtains to let as much natural light in as possible.  
And the family let me do whatever I wanted- they darn near let me hang from the ceiling to get the pictures I wanted!  
But, I struggled with how fast I needed to be, how little room I had to move, and how few angle choices I had.  

I went overboard with the number of pictures I took in hopes that I got something good.  I hear that that is a typical "rookie" thing to do, but that's exactly what I am, so whatever. 

Look at that chin!! 

Still eatin' his french fries! 

He wanted to share his french fries with his sister.

Guys, I wish y'all could have seen this Daddy's face!  He just adores his family!  I wanted to get him a big "proud daddy" button to wear, but I don't think he even needed it, you could read it all over his face.

Aaannnd now an apple.  Good gosh, he was just adorable!

I made a super sad face when I noticed that I didn't get Baby J in this picture.

I have been picking these pictures apart for the last three days and there are so many things I wish I had done differently.  I've compared all of my pictures to Pinterest and all of the professional photographers that I know of, and I'm making myself absolutely crazy. 

Mine are fine.  They aren't professional, but I'm proud of them.  

But you know what?  I am more proud that I went into a happy, healthy, blissful birth setting and I came out okay.  I can't tell you that I didn't think about my own birth stories for a minute while staring at one of the most beautiful babies I've ever seen, and I can't tell you that my heart didn't hurt just a little bit knowing that that is something Eric and I will never have.  But I did it!

And another Little Hoots Birth Services baby was born just 24 hours later.  Stay tuned for that....


  1. Beautiful! You did an amazing job girl! I am so proud of you!

    1. Thank you! For a first timer I'm really proud of them! See you tomorrow!

  2. You're pictures ARE professional. They are beautiful. Embrace it, if that is Gods calling for your life. <3

    As for the term, "loss mom" I choked up because I had never heard of that term before. Both of my children were high risk. I had my son 7 weeks early and I had to be on bed rest with my daughter for 6 months. They were both born healthy and I got to raise them and make sure they were successful by teaching them right and wrong and their ABC's. However, they are now adults and refuse to have anything to do with me. I sometimes think awful things like it would have been easier to have lost them at birth, but I know that's not true. At least I got to experience raising them. Experiencing watching them age into their 30's and beyond is just not what God intended and I have to let them go. I have to focus on being blessed with a lot of years to say goodbye.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Your images lack nothing.

    1. I am so sorry that you are feeling a loss in your heart right now, I can't imagine how hard that must be for you. And I'm terrible at knowing the right thing to say, but please know that I am sending loving, peaceful, & healing vibes to you right now, and I pray that your children's path leads them back to their mama's arms.

      Thank you for the encouragement on my pictures! I'm my own worst critic and it's nice to hear that they're not that bad from a professional eye!