Black and White Series: Welcoming Baby J
Join me on this photographic journey of a lovely couple named Samantha and Troy, who already have two sweet, thoughtful, and smart daughters, as they welcome a little baby boy into their lives. This journey was also special for me, as I was fortunate enough to get to document their second daughter as a new baby and was welcomed back again for this little guy. How special to see their family grow within two years!
This family treasures lifestyle photography - which is when a photographer captures real moments that happen in your real home for you to look back and remember how life really was. Even though we frequently get dressed up and go pose on a woded path with our children, I always feel that these lifestyle types of sessions hold so much more truth, vitality, and tenderness so that when we find the photographs years later, our senses will rush forth and we will get a glimpse back into how it all was.
Later Newborn Sessions
Many newborn photographers actually have rules that they don't like to photograph babies after 14 days of life. I never turn anyone away. Those photographers are often known for their styled newborn portrait sessions and it does, indeed, get pretty difficult to pose a new baby when they are much more awake and aware at an older age. However, I did realize that with lifestyle sessions, it doesn't matter nearly as much because most shots are of the family holding, loving, feeding, changing, playing with the baby - and age doesn't matter for those sorts of activities. What it actually did was give the girls time to get used to being big sisters. Baby J was 5 weeks when we did this session. The girls were more adjusted to the new baby schedules and were more comfortable in front of the camera and holding him than many families are in the first days. It was pretty perfect!
How This Family Inspires Me:
When these lovely people live their lives - they do neat things! They don't just play with toys - they teach their children to play musical instruments! Though its not his current profession, Troy is a musician and actually leads music and helps coordinate music at a local church. His education is in music education. Samantha is in research at a local university. These folks are smart and thoughtful - and so they do wonderful things like teach their little girls to play the ukelele. When I arrived at the house, the girls brought a book to me and I sat down with them and read to them. It was immediately recognizable that their past-times are activities that they do with loving, caring adults in their lives. How much of a testimony to their family life, love, and parenting is that!
This family teaches their children to play the ukelele at an early age!
And then they had a tickle session...
and a dance party!
If you know me personally, you've probably heard me mention the wonders and personality predictors of our birth order. My friend, Brandon, has heard it enough that he joked when we adopted a kitten if I had yet figured out the kitten's birth order! So, that certainly tells you that this thought process is a big part of my life. :)
I started reading about birth order through a book by Dr. Kevin Leman called The Birth Order Book. As the oldest female with two younger brothers, I am classic a first-born. My middle brother is a fairly classic middle child (with some first-born traits since he is the first male) and my youngest brother is quite a classic "baby" but with a few "second child" characteristics since he is the second male. That has made me ponder the switch to parenting two children to parenting three - as this family is going through right now.
Adjusting to a new baby is maybe the most shocking experience because every single thing is new. Becoming parents to two children has its difficulties, but many parents feel more comfortable because they've already been through it. But when we get to three children, many parents have to make new kinds of changes, like switching to a larger vehicle, maybe figuring out where everyone needs to sleep, and certainly being out-numbered!
But, just as the switch to 2 might be easier because parents are more confident, the third child, and the baby of the family in this example, receives even more of that parental confidence, gets to be loved on by even more family members and is often one that will provide laughter for the family for years to come. However, this little guy is a bit of a first-born since he is the first male. He will very likely grow up to also be pretty responsible and have really specific goals he is working to achieve as well as being a bit of a people-pleaser and a believer of authority. Dr. Leman himself is a baby in his family and tells how he instinctively became aware of how to always be "the cute little" one in the family. He says, "The youngest may have been born last, but he has a sixth sense that tells him he's not going to be the least!" and goes on to say that "youngest children are typically the outgoing charmers, the personable manipulators. They are also affectionate, uncomplicated, and sometimes a little absentminded. They are often brave in front of crowds- comfortable being the school mascot, etc. and offer up laughter to others by their carefree personality.
It will be so interesting to see what baby J becomes as he grows. Dr. Leman's book isn't full of hard and fast rules, but teaches us how we become who we are through the lens of birth order and, if you read it, how to understand others around us and why they make decisions or behave in certain ways. Its quite interesting. But for baby J, no matter what his birth order is, his parents are so loving and purposeful in their parenting and just do such a great job. Their arms are full of love for all three. Read on for more images of mom and dad loving on their little guy.
These are the shots that I can't leave without. I love to get the photographs of a baby in his parent's arms. But, I also love to photograph the details that make him unique...his footprint lines, the way his fingers curl around mom's finger, the wrinkles in the backs of really tiny babies, the way his hair grows in a curving pattern on his sweet little head. Join me in holding on to these precious baby details!
This little boy is just so bright-eyed and full of life. I was so thankful to get to capture these moments to help Troy and Samantha remember what these days felt like when they first became a family of five.
Many blessings to you, Troy & Samantha. Thanks for letting me be a part of your life for a morning. :)
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