Party of Four: Welcoming Parker | Mandeville Birth Photographer
“A single day, or even a handful of days, when you aren’t mom of the century won’t make or break your kids. It’s the intention to do well that will see them through. It’s the lessons in grace and self-care and realistic expectations, where you teach them about what you’re capable of, that will truly serve them later on.”
Girl, Wash Your Face - Rachel Hollis
Erin is one of the most humble and graceful women I've had the pleasure of becoming friends with. We first met when she contacted me to photograph her new family of three a few years ago. As I've photographed Erin's family, I've gotten to peer into a little more of the heart, soul, ups, and downs of their day-to-day, as we keep up with one another via social media, our shared love for artistic outlets, and much of those girly feelings-forward things I blab about on my Instagram regularly.
Knowing what mundane life looks like or the passions or experiences of those I'm photographing allows me to approach their session with a particular authenticity. Photographing births, as you can imagine, has taken that authenticity and connection to a whole new level.
Watching a woman labor and then sit starstruck at that new life.
Watching marriages exhibit teamwork, love, and support in such a raw + natural way.
Watching baby become familiar with mama.
It's golden and breathtaking and the most natural of human experiences, and I cannot believe that I'm invited to document all that encompasses it.
Here's a little bit of Parker's birth + newborn journey...
Erin entertained my idea to do a Skin-to-Skin Newborn Session, and I just find the images we got from that day to be so enchanting and peaceful to look at.
Speaking of peaceful, I joke with Erin and tell her that her delivery room was like a yoga studio.
Every birth is different and inherently beautiful, and hers couldn't have fit the calm, nurturing energy she exudes more. I arrived to the hosipital in the very early morning, and when I left a few hours later, I remember stepping into my car, taking in a big, deep breath, and thinking that I'd felt as if I'd just left yoga class. I'm sure I sound super crunchy saying it, but I left thinking, "Geesh, that baby just entered into such a calm, peaceful, loving environment."
This was among one of my first births. Still, a few births later, I've left every one of them, no matter how different the experience, feeling so at peace with what I'd just witnessed. Anyone is welcomed to come pick my sappy pile of hormones up off of the floor now...
A few more snapshots of my favorites from Parker's Skin-to-Skin Newborn Session...
Erin, thank you for inviting me to document such a monumental experience for your family.