I barely remember the hours after I gave birth to our 18 month old. I remember being ecstatic, relieved, energized, dazed. I didn’t quite recognize our little boy, who’d been hiccuping in my uterus for months on end. He wasn’t extremely familiar, but he was precious and beautiful and present. I remember holding him and sobbing for the first few minutes after birth, but after that, it was a blur of hamburgers and breastfeeding and visiting family and nurses in and out of the room.
A few pictures exist of those first few hours, but not the kind I crave. I want to see the intimacy and exhaustion and bursts of emotion. I want to relive those first moments when we became a family.
It’s always been a dream of mine that my photography and my business be a mechanism for capturing authentic joy. Connection. Attachment. Love. And in service of that mission, I’m beginning to offer Fresh 48 sessions. Sessions that take place in the first 48 hours after birth, and ideally in the first 3 or 4.
And so it begins. Baby Harper was born at 1am Saturday morning, and I made it to the hospital in time for her older brother to meet her for the first time that afternoon. Needless to say, it was a perfect day.
When I asked Bethlehem if she was excited for her two older children, ages 3 and 6, to come in and meet her hours-old newborn, she said she was thrilled. Her children were getting ready to meet their new lifelong best friend, she said.
There was something so beautiful and simple about the way the children interacted with each other. They seemed completely relaxed, happy to be there, and happy to be near their new sister. They wanted to be near the baby, to touch her, to feel the texture of her hair, and softness of her arms and legs. They were gentle and cautious, but also confident. This new person is their person. To hold and love and adore.
It’s one of the mysteries and beauties of family. An additional person doesn’t subtract, only adds: love, affection, joy.
Victoria and Vaughn are one of the most energetic, loving, and charismatic couples I’ve ever met. Victoria laughed and cheered through the entire wedding, and Vaughn looked at her with such admiration, such joy. And the sentiments were absolutely contagious.
I second-shot this wedding with Anna Wu in the middle of Northern California at the Ruby Hill Golf Club.
This day. This shining, bright, beautiful Atlanta day. I arrived at the Park Tavern in Piedmont Park already filled with the kind of anticipation and joy that only comes with knowing that the bride and groom of the day are so perfectly matched, so beautifully aligned and in love. Menucha and Austin are two of the most genuinely loving, gentle, kind-hearted and wonderful people I know. It was so much fun seeing them come together on their wedding day, surrounded by the boundless love of their communities. A truly beautiful modern Jewish wedding, this event had it all. It’s impossible to say which was my favorite part. Was it the bedekken — where the bride and groom saw each other for the first time in days — surrounded by the dancing, singing community? Or maybe it was the ceremony, where Menucha and Austin so lovingly held on to each other, and read their wonderful vows? Or maybe it was the dancing after the ceremony. So. much. dancing.
I feel so lucky that I got to be there, let alone be inside so many intimate moments of the day.
From beginning to end, this wedding, which I second-shot with Sorella Muse Photography in Los Angeles, was all about joy and love and happiness. The bride and groom were consistently so sweet, so appreciative, so loving — and not only with each other, but all of their guests and strangers they passed on the street. It was a real treat just to be near these two on their big day.
It’s the kind of celebration that kind of knocks you over — I laughed — and occasionally cried tears of joy — through the whole event.
The more time I spend going to visit families just after birth, the more I feel it’s just where I’m meant to be. The energy is quiet and electric at once. A whole new person has entered into the world, and that’s almost hard to process. These parents, these families, have been immeasurably changed, and being one of the first witnesses to the process is fascinating and beautiful. There is a kind of relief in the air that speaks to something beyond the end of the physical pain of childbirth. It’s a relief to finally know this person who is meant to change and form your family forever. This person you’re so ready to love.