I thought it would be fun and a good self-reflecting activity to look back at all of my portrait and birth imagery and very thoughtfully choose my favorite 20 images from the past 12 months. And just so you can know how difficult this was for me- I started with "my top 5" which turned into my top 10 and then I just couldn't make it work so here we are at 20. And I could still keep going.
But I won't. For your sake.
The images I have selected are ones that move me and speak to me in some way or another. All for different reasons. They are not necessarily "perfect" images, artistically and photographically speaking, but art is subjective after all, right?
What matters to me most is that my images mean something to my clients and to the audience who sees them.
So without further ado, here they are- in no particular order:
1. The gaze in her eyes along with the strong, yet soft lighting screams strength, resilience, and peace to me. It's shockingly beautiful.
2. We often think about birth as being mainly a woman's journey. But when I see that tear rolling down Daddy's cheek as he looks at his newborn son for the first time and marvels over his wife after all of her hard work, I am reminded yet again how significant a role Dad's play in their children's birth all the same. And did you also notice the super happy midwives in the background? When your birth providers are just as happy for you as you are for your own self, that's when you know you've hit the jackpot.
3. This image of Ms. Gayle brings back a flood of emotions for me. When I look at her, and as I heard her life story, I am/was reminded of my now-deceased-grandmother. Gayle has been through quite the life journey and every ounce of her being radiates through this portrait.
4. Oh, those precious first few seconds and minutes you have with your newborn child! That first embrace. Tears fill my eyes as new mama strokes all the features of her precious baby's tiny face...as she goes over every little detail, soaking it all in. And see how her baby is looking straight back at her? Gets me every time.
5. Everything about this image fills me with awe. Firstly, it's just such a classic portrait. A masterpiece. Full of class, grace, elegance, beauty. Her skin so buttery smooth and her connection so strong. She says to me, "I'm woman- bold, brave, and confident. I know what I have to offer the world".
6. I mean, what is there not to say about this image? It's gorgeous- plain and simple. I love applying movement in my portraits. Movement brings life into an image and even more depth and meaning. Her baby bump is still front and center and the highlight of the image, but the combination of her pose and the added movement, it forces the viewer to find the beauty in everything.
7. "Hi Mom!" This one seemed to be a crowd favorite this year! I received so many comments from other c-section moms (and moms in general) who wished they had also gotten this shot from their birth. I wish I had something similar from my own c-section birth!
8. Ok, not everyone is going to agree with me on this one. It has a very acquired taste and it borders on the style of avant-garde. But before this image came to fruition, the vision I had in my head was an outwardly symbolization of how her baby is literally cocooned in her womb. We all subconsciously know thats how pregnancy works but we don't always sit down and really think about it. Being with child is the only and last time your child will ever be physically connected to you and protected by you from the outside world. I wanted an elegant portrayal of just how amazing and complex, and of course, how beautiful that really is.