While most of the photo shoots I feature here are fashion editorial style pieces, I just couldn't resist this adorable baby shoot, which was submitted by photographer Holly Gardner. I fell in love with the unique angles and lighting, the fact that the majority of the shots were candid rather than posed, and also the story that went along with it. I asked Holly to share a little about what made this particular shoot special, and to tell us about the day leading up to it.
"This session was different from any other that I've done because it is my own child! Six days before I went into labor I was shooting a wedding in a walking cast because I had two stress fractures in my foot. The day that I went into labor I spent the day running errands, painting with my daughter, and chatting with friends. As I watched my daughter paint in the kitchen, I kept awkwardly stretching and breathing, praying it would be the time. Several hours later my husband came home and I nervously said 'yeah, I might be in labor. But probably not. But I might be.' We went to the hospital just to be safe, chatting the whole way there about how we were sure we were going to be turned back. The conversation with the labor and delivery nurses was light and breezy, and I could tell they were mentally preparing to send us home soon. Once I was hooked up to the monitors we learned that my contractions were 1.5 minutes apart. Doh! At this point I was allowed to take my walking cast off, thankfully. And less than seven hours later, our beautiful son was born. After all the months of sickness and worry, he was finally here. And he was perfect."
Then comes the part where the photographer in this mom instinctively takes over! Holly went on to explain. "As soon as they grabbed him to check him out I reached for my camera – which resulted in a look of 'are you crazy, lady?' from a nurse. I took several images from my hospital bed before collapsing from exhaustion. Throughout our stay I tried to pick up my camera when I had the energy, making sure I savored every moment alone with him, smelling his baby hair and sweet baby breath. I treated this 'session' as I would a live-in session, keeping my camera nearby and taking photos when I saw something worth documenting. Very few of these images are posed, and I believe they show the genuine love and emotion. All of the photos were taken within the first two weeks of life. It was definitely a challenge to document this time in our lives while recovering from delivery, but I'm so glad that I did!"
I love that this shoot, although done by a professional photographer, was truly done through a mother's eyes. So special! Thanks again to Holly for sharing these sweet images (and your equally sweet story) with Bubby and Bean's readers. You can view more of Holly's work on her website and Facebook. You can also find her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
FILED UNDER: photography