Oh the plans we had in early 2020…
I had been looking forward to photographing Mr. Franklin since the moment his mom told me she was expecting him. I worked with Amy for over 11 years at my former job at Temple University, and photographed her engagement session with her husband Steve. Like most of her co-workers, I was soooooo excited when she told me she was pregnant. I worked with her throughout most of her pregnancy, and loved every moment she would wander into my office asking me if a certain ache or pain was “normal” or what she needed to register for.
We planned a Fresh 48 session to take place in the hospital after he was born, and I was secretly so happy to be one of the first people to see him for myself and witness Amy and Steve as parents. I couldn’t wait to hear all the stories about her labor as I took photo after photo of this long-awaited beautiful boy.
Then, Covid happened, and you know the rest. In early spring, we changed our plans from a Fresh 48 session to a newborn session. Then, a few weeks went on and we realized a newborn session wasn’t remotely safe. And when my business wasn’t allowed to operate at all anymore, we put our plans aside and I started to talk her into a 6 month session in the fall.
“It will be beautiful! The fall colors! He will be sitting up and smiling! Six months is the best!”
That’s all true, by the way, but I was heartbroken for these first time parents – and friends – to miss out on photos of their newborn baby. As well as a simple family shot together.
You see, all of their family lives out of town, and after Frankie was born they couldn’t even visit until he was 2 weeks old since they had to quarantine for 14 days prior to visiting. Amy told me that after the birth, she was so overwhelmed that they forgot to even ask a nurse to take a photo of the three of them together.
Ugh. Being new parents is so stressful as it is. I can’t even imagine having to do it right now. All you parents out there expecting during Covid have my complete and utter respect.
Two weeks after Frankie was born, I remembered I had a baby gift I had to drop off. Since I was driving out there, I asked them if they would like to step out on their front stoop and I would snap a couple of quick shots from the edge of their driveway. Although due to state regulations I wasn’t offering front porch sessions, I needed to give them something. They quickly agreed, and on a bitter, windy day, they got themselves together as quickly as new parents can (and looked pretty good too!) and I managed a few quick shots of them together. Finally.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Frankie is now 3 months old and we were asked to come by just for a visit and to meet him. I told them I was bringing my camera and a long lens, as I wanted to snap a few more for them while we were together. I just couldn’t resist capturing this baby boy, his joyful (tired) parents, and that tongue of his.
We love you Frank-the-tank! See you guys in October!
I thought finding out the gender of our baby was going to be the biggest surprise for us when Franklin was born, but instead it was learning I would give birth during the height of a pandemic less than two weeks before he arrived. I feel like no amount of planning can prepare you for a newborn, but bringing a baby home during such an uncertain time was a special kind of challenge and it shaped our whole experience into something vastly different from what we had initially envisioned for our journey into parenthood. There would be no family, no friends, no outings and no photos to document what was the most joyous occasion of our lives, even when the world around us was falling apart.
I have been doing a lot of searching for the silver lining lately to try see the positives in an otherwise scary, difficult and confusing time and Laurel’s photos are that silver lining for us. Eventually we had visitors (after a 14 day quarantine) and eventually we got out of the house to get some fresh air (with masks on), but the one thing we didn’t have was something to document the three of us as a new family, in the new normal. They are not just pictures for us. They are reminders that we went through something totally crazy and came out on the other side. And that there is still good in the world. People like Laurel who will drive to your house and take photos outside in the cold, during a pandemic, to capture our story, so that one day we can tell our son he was born during one of the most trying times our world has ever seen. And then he can tell us how old we are and that we know nothing! Thank you, Laurel, for capturing our little bit of sunshine on a cloudy day. We will cherish these photos forever.
Wow. This is seriously one of the nicest comments I’ve even gotten on my work. Thanks for trusting me to capture this moment in time for you guys. You’re an amazing mom!
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