Babymoon


This photo is part of a series taken by Shaun (pronounced Shan), a friend of ours, in the week after Grace was born. Shaun and Gerard go way, way back and both played in legendary Hobart band, The Reserves (but not at the same time). I don't think that I would be speaking out of turn if I said that I have been a little harsh towards Shaun on occasion. One particular bar-b-que, where large amounts of alcohol were consumed by almost everyone but me, comes to mind. Anyway, the fact that things were awkward between us for some time makes these photos all the more special.

Shaun arrived with his camera one unseasonably hot afternoon as we were lazing about with Grace, eating, cuddling, talking. You know, that really special time with a newborn, before the sleep deprivation really starts to take it's toll and everything has this rosy glow. And you think that you are just so clever and she is just so beautiful and little and precious (which I still think).  At least that's how it was for us.  Anyway Shaun more or less just stayed in the background for a few hours and snapped away. A couple of weeks later he dropped by with a big pile of mostly black and white photos, and the negatives.

It was such a lovely, thoughtful thing to do. And as time goes on I am more and more grateful, because apart from a few messy hospital shots and one of me breastfeeding Grace in the bath (none of which are suitable for the public gaze), there are very few photos of me with Grace in those first few months. There are loads of photos of just Grace, loads of Grace and G, loads of Grace and her other relatives. But not with me. For such a long time I have been really camera shy and have much preferred to take photos at family gatherings, rather than be in them. This has a lot to do with my fat issues and my longheld belief that I don't photograph well. However I have come to the conclusion, especially after becoming a mother, that I don't want to be invisible in my own history. And I want Grace to be able to look back and see pictures of us together. In twenty or fifty years no-one will care whether or not the pictures are flattering because, for the most part, that's not why we take them. So as a bit of a dare to myself, I joined  Self Portrait Challenge and at first it seemed quite a scary thing to do. But in less time than I could have imagined, not only am I learning alot about taking photos, but I am starting to feel more comfortable in front of the camera and with images of myself in general.

This month's theme has been "with someone" and I have found it compelling. A few posts were so sad and moving, that I cried. Others have made me think. Many have been full of joy and laughter. What a rich and complicated world we live in...  Visit all the other SPCers and their special people here.

12 comments:

  1. This could not be a more perfect photograph. I love how you are gazing down at Grace with that look of pure love...and what a beautiful child she is. I think the black and white effect makes it even better than a color shot would have.
    Just wonderful. And your words are something I can relate to. I was the photographer far more than the photgraphee. I was self-conscious because I was so terribly thin for many, many years. I am happy you have come to realize that it is important for there to be a record of you with Grace. She will appreciate it.

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  2. That's a beautiful photo - so soft and dreamy and intimate. And I love what you say about being present in your own history. Years from now, your daughter will be so happy that you decided to move to the front of the camera from time to time.

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  3. One of my greatest mothering regrets is not having any "real" photo sessions done like this. So incredibly artistic and lovely...how baby is lit and mama is more shadowed is so true of this stage of infancy.

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  4. I love this photo. I love the sentiment. I love the idea. I am so excited for a friend to have a baby so I can show up, take photos, and give them as a gift!

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  5. What an utterly beautiful photo. I'm so glad you shared.

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  6. What a beautiful, beautiful photo. It captures this radiance around you both. What a special gift, this grace-full moment of you and Grace.
    And I recently came to the same conclusion about not wanting to be absent from the photographic record of my life. Thank youf or the reminder. And thank you for your kind words on my spc.

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  7. What a fantastic thing for him to do for you!!! I wish I had more pictures of me with the little ones... I always felt so ugly after having them that I refused to be in pictures... Looking back I wish I had not done that.
    This picture is BEAUTIFUL!!!

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  8. Oh I have tears. That is such a beautiful photo. So amazing. We've been talking about getting someone to take some photos of us as a family and this is very inspiring.
    That time you have with your first baby (it didn't really happen with Una, when we had Feral Beryl belting around) is so magical...and this photo so perfectly captures that.

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  9. Oh god, I need to learn this lesson! It breaks my heart how few moments of my history live to be told again. Crazy!

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