When my daughter was very young we began taking her to the local library for toddler time. They would read stories to the kids, then they could all be “social” and play with the train set and puzzles with the other kids. Plus, this was networking gold for the other moms (and occasional dads). But as any parent knows keeping a newly mobile toddler in place to listen to a story is not always easy. Velcro on the butt crossed my mind a few times. I even suspected it of some of the other more crafty looking parents. I was always fascinated by the attentiveness of one of the girls there, Willa. Over time we got to know them and I had the pleasure of photographing the family when their 2nd daughter was born last September.
Born with the same thick head of black hair as her sister Serafina immediately began hearing the constant reoccurring comment of “oh my! she has so much hair for a newborn!”. But today while we sat in their comfortably warm and well lit home, it felt more like a window into how they sit with eachother and enjoy family time together than a photo shoot. Brad happily pulled out his guitar to add some nice background music to soothe the baby, and I of course brought some candy incentive for 4 year old Willa.
Willa and my daughter go to school, and dance class together. So even though she knew who I was (Natalie’s dad, or, guy-who-always-has-camera) I was still in her space and she withdrew a bit. It was a lot having a brand new sister in the house.
But ultimately she quietly accepted that I would be there for just a short while, and when she didn’t think I was there could be caught being “Willa” and having conversations with her folks. Then she overcame all of her shyness to have a picture taken of herself, her new baby sister, and her equally raven haired mother, Tanya.
I was excited to be asked and incredibly honored, to come and do more family photos when Serafina approached her 6 month birthday. Watching her growing personality at dance class while my daughter and her sister were in practicing they arabesque, there was now a chatty, happy, jet black haired little girl.
Trip 2 to the house for photos showed Willa a much more confident older sister. Not only wanting to be in the pictures, but helping in trying to get baby sis to smile!
It quickly moved from a 6 month old shoot to a very happy and fun sister shoot!
Since the guitar had been such an integral fixture in the first shoot we thought why not incorporate it this time too!
We’re not going to discuss here what happened while she was in there, but I think I owe them a new lining.
When she was a newborn the shoot was broken up with feedings, naps, diaper changes but this one was just a happy smiley baby the whole way through with a confident sister by her side the entire time.
I feel honored and privileged to have been given the opportunity to document this important moments in this family’s life. I hope these pictures act as a reminder of this time with their little girls at their house at the beach.