Cutest Newborn of the Year
I met Shelbi at one of my brother in law's swing dancing events a few years ago. She was kind, sweet and had a great sense of humour. I felt like I instantly clicked with her. We became easy friends, and I always sought her out to chat with at any social gathering we were both attending.
Fast forward a few years, and I have had the honour of photographing her engagement and wedding photos, along with some very exciting baby announcement photos about 9 months after that. When Shelbi let me know that little Jack was finally here and ready for his photographic debut as pretty much cutest newborn of the year, I was elated. I counted down the days to Shelbi, Adam & Jack's session with the anticipation one might have knowing Christmas is coming.
This baby had changed his heart
When I arrived at their home, I eagerly walked up the stairs to knock on their door, only to be greeted by Adam opening the screen door with a big smile on his face. I could see already how much this baby had changed his heart, he was absolutely beaming with love and a fatherly pride that warmed my heart. Somehow he actually looked well rested for a new dad, too!
As I entered their front door, Shelbi greeted me warmly, and was just as cool as a cucumber. I remember when I newly had my first baby, I felt like a baby deer learning how to walk. I felt certain that I looked awkward and clumsy, clearly having no idea what I was doing. Shelbi didn't have an ounce of that though, her entire presence exuded a new confidence I had not seen her have before. Motherhood had changed her heart too.
Something the movies have failed to articulate
Seeing how Shelbi carried herself, with a newly found purpose and a gentle grace, made me catch my breath. I was witnessing something the movies have failed to articulate. I was seeing the beauty, the strength, and incredible oneness that is motherhood, here standing right in front of me, in my friend Shelbi. She had transformed from just a woman to instantly a mother right in front of my very eyes, and it was breathtaking.
The way he looked at her changed
I could see that Adam could feel it too. I saw the way he looked at her, before this shift it had been somewhat sheepishly, playfully, like a puppy in love. Now that look had changed to one of admiration, gratitude, and a deep love and trust that I felt honoured to be able to photograph.
He was the one they had been waiting for
As we carried through our session, moving at Jack's pace, Shelbi and Adam cared for him as effortlessly as breathing. He was the one they had been waiting all this time for, he was the perfect fit into their family, and I could feel it. They say that true love is your souls recognition of it's counterpoint in another, and it was so easy to see that they were truly in love with Jack and cared for him on the deepest of levels.
Motherhood makes your heart double in size
Watching a friend become a mother is like watching a soul be reborn right in front of your eyes. The person you used to know is no longer there, they are replaced by the most beautiful version of themselves. I think that's why it's easy to get lost in new motherhood, because you are just as new as your baby is to this life. While it is hard, certainly one of the most difficult paths to travel on, it also comes with the greatest rewards, the happiest of joys. Motherhood is something that makes your heart double in size with each child you have, and it was a joy to see just how much Shelbi and Adam's hearts both have grown as new parents.
So Shelbi and Adam, if you're reading this, thank you for asking me to capture this most precious time in your family's life. I feel truly honoured every time I get to work with your family. I am so grateful to walk next to you and document you both on this journey and watch you grow into the beautiful human beings that you are.
P.S. If you'd like to follow along on my journey, I publish weekly blog posts that share my gratitude and love for working with clients in all walks of life. Press subscribe to join the journey!