Because there had never been anyone like you ever in the world
Several months prior to his birth, I received an email from his mom – a wonderful client whom I also am blessed to call my friend:
Random musings from my shower this morning. Do you think we could figure out something a bit more out of the box for his first pictures? I’ve been jumping around on Pinterest and I keep seeing everyone post newborn pictures that, while gorgeous, are all kind of the same. I don’t know if this is an impossible request, as he’ll be 5-10 days old and, really, what can you do with a 5 day old that isn’t somewhat limited?
Don’t get me wrong, I still want to capture his tiny, baby, cuddliness, the little toes and sweet chub …. but I’d also love to figure out a new fun “thing” if that’s possible? I don’t know if you’re familiar with the book “On The Night You Were Born”, but it is one of my favorites. I love the sentiments in it, that a child is special and unique and all of that is important and worthy of note, and I keep trying to figure out if there is a way to translate how that book “feels” to photography.
Never one to back down from a creative challenge, I read her email many times that night and my wheels began to turn.
A few of very favorite lines:
“So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain that they whispered the sound of your wonderful name. The sound of your name is a magical one. Let’s say it out loud before we go on.”
“Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.”
So I let my ideas marinate, emailed her a few more times to confirm whether her desire was more literal or truly just more “feel”. She said she wasn’t sure, but would know it when she saw it … that she trusted me completely to run with it. I have to stop here and say that is one of the highest compliments anyone in the creative industry can receive.
A little over a year ago, I had also fallen in love with the images created by a gifted designer and new mom, Adele Enersen. Her blog – Mila’s Daydreams
– and images went viral showcasing the insanely creative, magical compositions she would create each day while her baby girl, Mila was sleeping. Using fabrics and items found around her home, Mila went on amazing adventures all while sleeping. Enersen now has a bestselling book, “When My Baby Sleeps” featuring those images.
If you’ve read this far, you might imagine where my brain was going with this one. So off to the fabric store I went inspired by this page from the book:
The night before our session, I laid the composition out on a 5×5 piece of plyboard that I use for floordrops sometimes when shooting. I knew I needed to have it all laid out prior to the session and off to the side of the studio so it would be ready to go when we were ready for those shots. This is the “before” shot:
I have to admit, at the stage of layout, prior to even placing baby in position, I thought it looked a little like a rudimentary school project. But I knew the vision I had in my head and that 50% of the “art” would happen in digital editing.
At the post-processing phase, I cloned in additional fabric to the edges of the frame, and added several layers of textures, musical notes and bars, as well as two beautiful lines from the book:
You are a miracle.
You are the one and only ever you.
This is the final image – one that took my breath away when I thought about it being displayed in his nursery:
I plan to share more from his and other newborn sessions soon, but couldn’t wait to share this one.
Until next post,