This session was everything my soul loves.
This mama reached out to me after seeing one of my posts about postpartum photography. She was really excited about the idea, excited after reading through my website and getting to know me and my work.
Some of the words she shared with me:
"I want to document the details of my sweet baby, of my postpartum body, of our bonding... in a beautiful and timeless way."
I feel like we accomplished that here.
The emotion during this session had us both leaking magic and tears. We took our time, connected heart to heart. She shared parts of her story through words and expressions and love.
After struggling with endometriosis, infertility and failed IVF, this family pursued foster care (a long time dream of theirs even pre-infertility awareness) and adopted two sweet boys.
A few years later, Mama thought she was ill upon returning from a vacation, visited the dr and discovered this sweet little boy making room in her life and her womb. Her little miracle baby was so happy and full of personality when I met him.
He was so curious about my camera, about the world around him. His smile was contagious, and his eyes were so bright and intelligent.
We played and chatted while he got used to me being there, then he sleepily snuggled up with mama for a nursing session. Dad couldn't help coming in for a few photos, adoringly doting on his wife and newest child for a moment. I loved those moments!
Mama rocked her miracle baby to sleep in the spot they share every night when the rest of the house is sleeping. The newness of the journey was symbolized all around them. A new baby, new stretch marks and scars, new milk, in a new house still being constructed. She shared with me how special it was to experience motherhood in so many forms. How happy she was to have photos of these moments, how longingly she wanted to document and preserve this magic. The magic of every day, of nights running into nights and hours passing by.
She softly carried her baby to her room. She admired him in the light settling through the curtains, illuminating their skin and their story.
This part of the session grew quiet and tender. She curled up on the bed and they lay in the light. The vibe was all honey and lavender. Warm and floral. Elegant and raw and real. It tasted like summer and home to my soul.
Baby softly woke up to play and smile and nurse. Mama talked about nursing, how it had become one of the most beautiful surprises of experiencing biological motherhood.
In these moments we documented soft tears and soft skin. The beauty of her cesarean scar, the ways her body had changed to make room for more life.
Soon we moved to my favorite part of the session, the falling water moments. Falling water sessions are symbolic, meaningful, and always so amazing to witness. As humans, we are water. We are made of water, and moved by water, and nourished by water. We birth, bathe, connect, cleanse, and drink. The waters in our wombs become the waters of the earth. Water holds us, holds our children safe and warm, and if we let it- it can teach us too. Teach us how to be keepers of space, to remember the past while embracing the moment we are in. Learning to fill the spaces we occupy and change based on the weather. It can remind us of our mortality and our eternal. Our humble fragility and our power. It can connect us to nature, to earth, to spirit, and, to one another.
In this water mother and child existed. They existed in this moment and this moment will stretch on an on through these photos. They played in the water, and smiled and laughed. They let the water work its magic in nourishing, soothing, and creating a memory. All of the best memories are created in water.
We ended the session with some snuggle up moments that gave us beautiful images of milk drops and postpartum bellies and sweet soft laughter.
This was my favorite image from the session, something about the milk drops, the baby toes, the mama belly to baby belly moment, the cesarean scar, the stretch marks, and the belly ring that echoed the milk dripping. It was raw magic.
If I wished anything for 2023, it would be for more sessions like this. With mothers and children who recognize the magic of reality, and want to exist in it together. Who want to document the making of memories. Want to remember and cherish those bodies and bellies and laughter.
Life is imperfect and messy, motherhood stretches your mind and body in ways you can not express with words. Life is hard sometimes. We must make room to slow down, to connect with one another, to cherish the soft still moments. When we learn to live in this way, or at least to exist in this way sometimes, when we can- everything else will be easier to bear.
Traditional photography can get so wrapped up in choosing the right outfits, a perfect location, and posing just right. In the attempts towards "picture perfect" we loose some of the authenticity, and much of the magic.
This is why I strive to do things differently with the way I work.
Postpartum sessions echo the beating of my heart and all of my passions.