The most wonderful thing about having the opportunity to photograph the same people repeatedly is seeing how they change and grow. As I have mentioned before, recording the changes children go through during their first year is amazing but there is something even more special than that: recording people becoming parents.
With my maternity and newborn packages I have the privilege of photographing a period of momentous change. Parents-to-be are excited and nervous, discussing baby names and birth plans but with no real idea of what to expect. The physical presence of the bump is a constant reminder of what is about to happen and the expectation of how their lives will change. Watching them proudly and gently touch the bump shows the bond they already have with their unborn child and that they are already becoming parents.
On the next shoot, when I meet the newborn it is a magical moment. Since the last session I’ve been working on the pictures of the bump on the computer, seeing it over and over again. To finally meet the little person that was inside is an amazing experience. Subtler, but no less amazing, is to meet a new set of parents. To meet a couple that are growing as parents in front of my lens. To see the competence with which they carry out tasks that were completely alien a few days ago. I remember commenting to the father of a ten-day-old baby on how quickly he had changed his nappy, to be told, “I have done it over a hundred times already”.
In the month or so between a maternity shoot and a newborn shoot the lives of everyone I photograph change immeasurably, and being witness to this is incredible. Thank you to my most recent new parents for inviting me to experience this again.