One of the greatest honors that I have as a photographer is to witness the growth of a family. As a parent myself, I know how quickly a baby grows in the first year. It is a time to truly cherish. I take many clients each year who commit to between 3 - 5 sessions throughout their baby's first year. The baby planner series can look different for each family, but ones like this are among my favorites!
For the second time, I was invited to capture this family's baby story from maternity session through first year, including their birth story. I had the honor of doing the same for their son a few years prior and was delighted when they hired me again to document their daughter's. Being welcomed into such a transforming time in a young family's life is humbling to say the least. We met just a few weeks ago to celebrate their daughter's first birthday with a smash cake and family session.
Cue the tears!
It must come from having been through this with my own kids, but I can't fight the sense of completion and the small pang of disappointment as a series comes to an end. As they dive into their smash cake, I will catch myself thinking about how little they once were. I will find it hard to believe how expressive they have become while I bribe them for a cute smile. I even think about what will be ahead for them based on my own experiences with my kiddo's milestones. It's my dilemma as an empathic person and what I know makes me good at my job, but watching these babies and families grow is such a joy for me. I love sharing my talent and ability to freeze time in a beautiful and creative format. I hope they cherish these images and share them with each other always.
This has literally been over a year in the making, but I'm so excited to share an example of a full baby planner series. Enjoy!
We couldn't have timed their maternity session more perfectly. A warm fall morning allowed them time to engage with their son while apple picking.
Their sweet little girl arrived midday at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. None of us knew just how quickly she would arrive after spending some time snuggling with big brother. These last moments as a family of three just pull at my heart. Literally at the edge of change right here.
Baby girl's arrival was fast and furious! Even the hospital staff didn't have much warning. As a photographer I have to thank her, because we had such gorgeous lighting in the room. Natural light is such a treat to have a birth. Mom was simply shocked when she delivered her beautiful girl after such a short, intense labor. She and Daddy enjoyed a snuggle in the sunshine from the rocking chair before they headed to the recovery room with Mom.
After everyone was home from the hospital, I joined the family at their house for a fun newborn session that paired lifestyle photography and some posed images together. Big bro was getting used to having his little sis in the house permanently and sharing his parent's attention. I think he enjoyed being in the spotlight for a portion of the session.
A six/seven month session brought us back to fall. A full year since their maternity photos! The colors were gorgeous for this session and baby girl was going through some separation anxiety. She did not want to be away from mom for long and we employed the divide and conquer approach with both kiddos. The thing I love about this family is they truly allow a go with the flow attitude and in doing so enable me to get some really authentic images.
First Year Milestone Session
Rounding out the series with the biggest milestone of all- the ONE YEAR session means that we have a fully mobile baby with a fully developed opinion! This is when it's great fun to reminisce about baby's birth and how far they've come as a family unit in such a short time. Happy Birth Day!!