Before I get started with this post, I want to let everyone know that my session offerings for mid-late August – mid-late September will be very limited. As I have already booked newborn sessions for this time period, if you are expecting during this time and want me to photograph your growing family, please make your appointments now. This is why my sessions will be limited……..my sister is having a baby!
I’m posting images of someone I love today. These images are from a small maternity photography session held just a few weeks ago on Folly Beach, SC. Our whole family is overjoyed that my sister, Amy, is expecting. And as happy as I was at the idea of photographing her, I was equally nervous about the results. That may seem silly, since I specialize in newborn and maternity photography. But there is something very different about photographing someone you know so well. And a photograph tells a story of not only the person in front of the camera, but the person behind the camera as well. When you know the person you are photographing, all that history is with you when you take in the scene, when you are composing your images, and when you give direction. The apprehension I had reminded me of how I felt when I photographed her wedding 2 years ago, even though I had a better reason to be nervous back then, because……I am not a wedding photographer! But I would never allow this fear of mine to get in the way of taking the opportunity to give her something beautiful…….her own reflection at this amazing time in her life.
Me and my sister have so many things in common and yet we are very different people. We were playmates very often when we were young and we both had big imaginations! We came from a family where the arts were extremely important. We both loved to dance, we were both pretty gifted vocally/musically, and we both loved art. As you can imagine, we LOVED to put on a show!
We would announce to our parents that they were invited to the big performance, which of course meant they must stop whatever it was they were doing, bring a chair into the den, and watch us with awe and rapt attention and we sashayed, sang, and carried out dialogue thrown together in the 3 minutes of planning just prior to this production. My little sister, ever the clown, was just happy to have an audience and didn’t much care about sticking to any kind of plan. She would twirl around with her long red locks flying everywhere and it seemed she always “accidentally” ended up sprawled out in the middle of “the stage” for some reason or another. As long as she was getting a few laughs, everything was golden. I, on the other hand, with my detail-oriented, perfection-seeking, a-type personality, was always dismayed at my sister’s refusal to follow “the plan”. I was happy to have a creative partner but for heavens sake, could she please not make everything into a farce?!
And my parents encouraged both the beginning and the ENDING of each performance with their enthusiastic applause and cheers of BRAVO, as well as carrying their chairs away when our antics ran a little long, as they often did.
I haven’t always been close with my sister. Not nearly as close as I wish now. But I love her more than I could ever express. I wanted to tell this story because as I was editing these images, I was struck by how much some things change and how much still remains the same. Here is my beautiful baby sister, about to become a mother. She is a gifted singer/songwriter who still loves to put on a show and still has a whacky sense of humor. Even during our very moving maternity shoot (both of us were quite emotional), she still pulled out the vavavoom poses and fierce faces to keep it from getting too serious.
And then there is me. I chose the camera as my means to express myself artistically. And I still approached this shoot from my perfection-seeking personality. But instead of feeling dismayed and wondering how I am related to this strange red-headed creature who wanted to goof during her maternity shoot, I just laughed and thanked heaven for her. I marveled at her joie de vivre and I admired her grace. And I tried like hell to find a way to capture that with my camera.
And my parents are still yelling Bravo…..for both of us.