She birthed her prince right there in her own living room - in the home they will share together. Her grandmother, her sister, her doula, a photographer and three midwives in attendance. She swayed on the waves of labor, breathed her way through. And when it came time to surrender to the utter intensity of it all she did so with the support of the many women around her. She worked and she pushed and when he arrived, she held the greatest miracle in her arms. She is his whole world. She brought him here. And with the same fortitude and courage she called upon in birth, she will guide him through this life. Together for always - mother and son.
Being nominated as one of Seattle's Favorite Family Photographers has got me reflecting back on the almost 4 years I've spent in Seattle and what a pleasure it has been to meet each one of these families. I am so grateful that people invite me into some of their most joyful and vulnerable times in life. It's my absolute pleasure to make art that means something to people. Thank you thank you! For hiring me, for nominating me, and for being an integral part of my business.
To vote for Hardie Photography as Seattle's Best Family Photographer visit the Parent Map Golden Teddy Awards and find my business under the shopping + services category. It's easy, spam free, and you can be entered to win a number of prizes. But most of all, you'd be doing a huge solid to this small business owner. Thanks everyone!
Sweet Evangeline was born so fast I didn't get many images on the night of her birth - but we more than made up for it with her newborn session. I LOVE this gorgeous family - their graciousness and their honest connection with each other. This shoot sums up my approach to photographing newborns. The images are relaxed and REAL and they include all the sweet details of diaper changes and breastfeeding and family snuggles. I feel so honored when families invite me into their postpartum bubble to capture these memories. I'm excited to watch this family grow together for many years to come.
A birth story - annotated.
Evangeline's mama knew she could do it. She knew that the women who came before her had done it and she knew the same power they exercised lived within her. LeAnna knew how to listen to her body, and to let it guide her through the contractions. Russell also knew she could do it and continued cooking Christmas dinner while she labored in their apartment. Upon arrival to the hospital LeAnna heard that she was completely effaced but not yet dilated. Still, she knew. She knew her baby was coming. It was less than two hours later that I got the call to come to the hospital. I could hear all the hustle and bustle in the background as Russell told me they were checked into their room and I just KNEW delivery was imminent. I was going to miss it.
No one could have guessed that a first time mama would dilate so quickly. That her baby would be born 35 minutes after my phone rang, 10 minutes before I arrived in the delivery room. But LeAnna knew she could do it and Evangeline knew exactly when and how she wanted to be born. This little Christmas miracle - this speeding bullet of a baby. She was welcomed by her parents, a breathless doula and smiling midwife. The strength of her mama (and the mothers before) brought her earthside. We all knew she could do it. And she did.
A new website, a new blog - two months into a new year. It's a lot of change. I've been away from any real blogging for a few years now. It started to feel like too much work to live my life AND present it in some beautifully packaged form. I edited my words and my photos mercilessly until they just wouldn't come anymore.
It was also a huge burden to keep my business blogging so divorced from my personal thoughts and the events of my own life. As though these things could ever be neatly separated. Being a birth photographer, a woman, a mother, a creative - it's all intimately connected.
So now I return to blogging with a promise to myself: That it doesn't have to be perfect. That it doesn't have to match some ridiculous notion of what "professional" looks or sounds like. I'm declaring this space to be about connection over perfection.
I give myself permission to show up imperfectly.
I give myself permission to play.
I give myself permission to explore creativity for the pure joy of it.
I give myself permission to make mistakes.
I give myself permission to claim this small corner of the internet as my very own. A place to connect with my people - to talk to my people.
Are you my people? If so - Welcome! I'll be showing up here the best that I know how and I invite you to do the same if you'd like. So tell me, friend, what are you giving yourself permission to do in 2018?
*Photo by Courtney Holmes Photography