2019 was our first year in births, and what a remarkable year it was.
I was overwhelmed by the responses I received when I asked for volunteers for my Hello Baby! project in the spring of 2019. I knew the Hello Baby! series was a unique idea, but pairing that with the entire concept of families letting a complete stranger come into their lives for one of the most intimate moments ever was a lot to wrap my head around. And the fact that SO many people wanted to participate blew my mind.
Because I worked a completely different job during the week (Monday-Friday, for 30ish hours), and had several wedding clients in 2019, I decided to only take on three Hello Baby! clients. But reading through the e-mails and messages I received from these expecting families really touched me and I decided to add a fourth client because I consistently bite off more than I can chew (but also REALLY wanted to add this client – and to be honest, I wanted to add ALL of them, but I couldn’t film over twenty births for free).
From gender reveals to maternity sessions to family sessions at home baking cookies and playing the guitar and celebrating older children’s birthdays and baby showers, I got to spend time actually getting to KNOW my clients. I got to learn what they liked, what made them laugh, what they did for a living. By the time I was actually filming and photographing each delivery, my clients were now my friends; we were comfortable with each other in a way that we wouldn’t have had the chance to be had we not spent time together throughout the pregnancy.
I’ve already written all four birth stories and posted them to my blog, so while I won’t go into them all over again, suffice to say they were all extremely different! But that’s kind of what I love about it. The question I got asked the most this year regarding my Hello Baby! series was, “Doesn’t it make you crazy? The anxiety and anticipation of waiting to get the phone call?”. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Yes, absolutely, but that also adds to the excitement and ritual of it all! The adrenaline rush is real, you guys!
Being able to be there and document the arrivals of those four babies for my four families this year provided me with a sense of inspiration and total peace. Reflecting on each birth, it seems so obvious to me now that this is what I’m meant to be doing. Providing families with these captured memories, but building a rapport and relationship with them in the process—it’s been unreal.
I’m taking 2020 clients now in the greater Sydney area, but will always have a special place in my heart for my first four Washington babies: Smith, Libby, Matthew, and Vera.
And without further ado, my favorite Hello Baby! photos from the year.
Okay, okay. I'll stop.