On Seeing, A Journal. #436

“Love At First Sight”

Tuesday, June 8, 2021



Reviewing my previous studies of pregnancy, 
many of which were published in my book WITH CHILD
And my studies of newborns originally published in the book NEWBORN
I reedited my large collection of images of new mothers 
with their newborns photographed just days after birth.
For those interested, a note about the photography:
Since each mother had been to the studio a number of days or weeks prior to these “sittings,” for the pregnancy shoots, they were very comfortable being here and with me. 
I made certain that the atmosphere in the studio was warm, relaxed, and slow, with soft gentle music playing.
I  informed everyone (mothers and my assistants) that we were in no hurry and that the essential needs of the new baby were primary and vital.
We provided a clean fresh changing area and a darkish place and soft chair where the mother could nurse.
Slow, quiet, unhurried.

When the mother and infant were comfortable we helped her to the studio’s shooting stage with the baby’s diaper on but unpinned. The “stage” was covered with a fresh, clean black velvet drape which was placed over very a soft cushion covered with toweling. New babies extrude bodily fluids and whatnot repeatedly, seemingly constantly, and we provided items necessary for continuous “clean-up.”
Strobe lights had been prepared and set and my two assistants were ready to move them according to the mother and baby’s position and my direction.  We never passed any object (camera, lens, light meter, light, etc) over the mother and child.

I explained to the mother that the first few flashes might disturb the baby a little but that after a few flashes they would be OK.  This is true.
We stopped shooting immediately if the child was expressing any unhappiness.  In some cases I suggested that the mother leave the set and nurse her child.  I said, “when the baby becomes “bored” with nursing we could then slowly and quietly return to the set, I never allowed “time to dictate behavior.

These photo sessions were filled brimming with tenderness, affection, happiness and immense, flowing love.

I really felt that every occasion was a gift from mother and child to me.