About 2 weeks ago, I had the opportunity to document a fellow photographer’s newborn baby girl, just hours after she was born, in a Fresh 48 (or Just-Born) photography session. It was so awesome! Tracy found me on my personal Instagram account and contacted me all the way back in the beginning of the year, so I was really excited to finally meet her and her family in person.
I love that I’m so close to two wonderful hospitals with amazing birth facilities in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Normally, I find myself photographing newborn babies at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital of Ann Arbor, but this time I was able to journey back to University of Michigan’s Mott’s Children’s Hospital and up to the 9th floor’s Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.
The light on this Monday afternoon was just perfect, despite the cold and overcast weather, and it filled Tracy’s hospital room beautifully! And the moment I locked eyes on her gorgeous baby girl, Amelia, the magic started. I whipped out my camera and began photographing Amelia in her hospital bassinet over by the window so the light could shine on her sweet face. Amelia’s dad was there, too, and I was able to capture one of my favorite moments – when a father lays his hands on his newborn child. It’s one of the (many) reasons I’m a documentary family photographer! There’s just something about the juxtaposition of masculinity and newborn baby…I remember that being one of my favorite things when my son was born, before I ventured into this genre of family photography. I love my job!
Anyway, back to the session. I spent some time photographing and filming Amelia in the quiet hospital room as we anxiously awaited the arrival of her two big sisters, Annabelle and Adeline (Tracy, forgive me if I’ve spelled their names incorrectly!). It was peaceful and relaxing, which you can definitely feel in the first 30 seconds of the short film I made. But man! The second those girls entered the hospital room you could feel the joy and excitement, and even a touch of nervousness. I have a picture that I didn’t upload here (because, dang, it was really hard to choose the perfect images to share the Tabor family’s Fresh 48 story), where the younger sister has the sweetest yet so cautious look on her face, while the older sister is like, “Show me the baby!”
My finger didn’t leave the shutter of my camera for at least 5 minutes once those two were through the door – and did you see those pictures?! Yet another reason why I chose to focus on documentary family photography. What a genuine, heartfelt, perfect response these two had for their baby sister. If I could capture moments like this for the rest of my life, there would be no greater gift for me as a photographer!
Once the girls had enough bonding time with Amelia, it was Dad’s turn again. But as it turned out, the sweet girl who had been so cautious when she entered the hospital room just couldn’t get enough of Amelia! So these two shared the spotlight for some time while Tracy talked with her oldest about their day (because even when you’re only a few hours post-cesarean, you still need to make sure your 4 year old isn’t forgotten – what a great mom!). Speaking of this great mom, I was so impressed when she got herself out of bed to cuddle up with her girls! Ensue even more beautiful photographs, with the light shining in through the hospital window. Wow! Ann Arbor, Michigan weather, as crazy as it can be during the winter, did me proud that day, that’s for sure.
Just look. at. this. family!
Of course, I made sure to photograph Tracy alone with her newborn baby girl as well, once the girls left and we were back to a quiet, very calm environment. Is there anything more precious?
I couldn’t be more pleased with how this Fresh 48 newborn photography session turned out. I was able to provide more images than I ever have before! I can’t wait for the opportunity to go back to the University of Michigan Von Voigtlander Women’s hospital again for even more baby-loving with my camera. It was a pleasure to have the Tabor family as new clients, and to provide them with these pictures to serve as memories and legacy of Amelia’s first day in the world.