I have lots of photos of tiny baby Brodie, lots and lots. Photos of his tiny body in slumber, in the bath, kicking his tiny feet. Some of them are even in focus.
I have some photos of Greig with baby Brodie, including the two of them watching a football match together at about 3 days old.
I don't however have many photos of me with Brodie. As much as I remember those days with the kind of crystal clarity which only happens when your life changes irreversibly overnight I'd love to have some more photographs of the crazy, lovely, blissful days.
My friend had a baby on our wedding anniversary and months before the baby was due I asked if she would like me to come and take some photos after the baby was born. I wanted her to have the photos I don't and I know the way to grow and improve my skills is to move (a teensy bit) out of my comfort zone. Although admittedly spending the day with a treasured friend and her adorable brand new daughter are hardly akin to a day spent at the coal face but you take my point I hope.
Luckily she agreed and a few weeks after the baby was born I arranged to visit with my camera, brand new reflector and a metre of black velvet fabric last seen here. You know someone is a real friend when they hand over their firstborn within seconds of you walking through the door (after you've washed your hands obviously) and don't ask for them back for a good hour.
One of the first things Vivienne asked me with her tongue firmly in her cheek was whether or not I would be putting the baby in a flowerpot to take the pictures which made me laugh. I'd spent a few hours on Pinterest and whilst I'm completely fascinated by the skill it takes to get those posed photos of newborns in flowerpots wearing ridiculous hats it just looks all very uncomfortable. And you can only take those kind of photos when babies are mere days old, because any older and they are likely to complain vociferously which is hardly surprising. So we were both agreed, no flowerpots.
The kind of photographs which capture my heart are always what is called 'lifestyle'. Usually captured at home or in a suitable location not in a studio. Taking note of those little details which make us and our relationships truly unique. That's not to say a photographer doesn't direct or coach those photographs or choose and edit carefully but there is a hard to define quality which makes my heart quicken and that's what I want to do to.
So this is what happened. I'm pretty happy with what we got. It helps to have a friend who is beautiful, an angelic baby and a light filled conservatory for sure. It also helps that I wasn't flustered or in a panic even when I realised the batteries in my speedlite were drained (rookie error), but in the end I didn't need it. Proud Daddy and handsome big brother got in on the action at the end of the day when the best light was gone but we still got some keepers.
In reflection I shot 'too wide' in a lot of the shots so the focus isn't tack sharp. I didn't pull back enough to show how truly tiny Corrin is, I forgot to get the whole family together, some of my whites are blown and I forgot to take any pictures of the nursery - something I wish i had - but none of that really matters.
It was a truly satisfying experience, both as a friend and a fledgling photographer. I know that I will look back on these photos and see not the technical snafoos and cringe at my amateur mistakes but I will be reminded of the gift of a new baby in the house and the celebration of my friends welcoming a baby daughter.
Thank you for letting me share these Vivienne, Craig and Marcus.
#babyselfie couldn't resist.