One thing that I regretted with Monsieur was not getting professional photos taken when he was a newborn. It wasn’t something that I prioritised because I thought that it would be an unnecessary expense considering that I could take good photos of him. Also, most newborn photography seems formulaic and really does nothing for me. Babies in flowerpots, or sleeping peacefully on folded up towels – they make very cute photos but don’t really say anything to me about the family, how people might have been feeling or even anything about the baby, other than the fact that they are very poseable when asleep.
This time I wanted to find someone because I knew that having the skill to take good photos is completely irrelevant when stacked up against sleep deprivation. Apart from a few grainy iPhone photos (back when the iPhone camera wasn’t anything special), I just didn’t take any photos of Monsieur while he was a newborn. It took six weeks for me to get my camera out, and I had to ask a friend to come over and help me do a photo shoot of him. I still didn’t want the “pretty” newborn shots. I wanted someone who would look for the moments and capture them. Basically someone who would do what I wanted to do but knew I wouldn’t be capable of. It was also really important to me that a photographer be on hand when Monsieur met SnuggleBub for the first time at the hospital. I really wanted his expression captured.
Fortuitously, just before Christmas I got to talking to a friend of a friend who was setting up his photography business. When I looked at the galleries on his website, I was excited to see that most of the family photos were of moments instead of classic poses. I booked him to come to the hospital the day of SnuggleBub’s birth, as well as a week later once we were home. One of the benefits of having an elective c-section – I knew exactly what day and time our son would be coming in to meet his new sister and could book Robert in!
Robert took some gorgeous photos which I am thrilled to have. It worked really well too on the day. SnuggleBub had to be under a heater for several hours so she was out of reach from me. When everyone came in and crowded around her bassinet, I couldn’t see anything. I certainly couldn’t see Monsieur’s reaction to her; but I was relaxed about not being fully part of it because I knew that Robert was taking photos and I would get to see everything later on. I wasn’t worried that I was missing out on witnessing important moments that I would never get a chance to see again.
I also asked R to take his camera in to the hospital so we could have photos of SnuggleBub’s birth – only one support person is permitted in the OR so having a photographer present for the birth was not an option. R unexpectedly took photos of Monsieur’s birth last time and was a bit traumatised by the experience (the OB told him to peer over the curtain and take a photo; he was expecting to see a fully birthed bub, not bub coming out of my stomach) but I love love LOVE those photos so much. I look at them and get such a rush of love and awe and All The Feelings. I didn’t want to put R through that again, but I really wanted those photos this time as well. I said that we could ask a nurse or the anesthetist to take them (last time our anesthetist took R’s camera to take photos of all three of us), but R took them on the day. My hero <3
These are some of my favourite photos from SnuggleBub’s birth day. All but the first photo are by Robert Wagner, of Robert Wagner Photography.