On a cold and rainy Friday I pulled up to a cute row of condos in a quiet, green neighborhood somewhere in south St. Louis County. The day had started well, the new Mom Nadina confirmed our appointment earlier that morning, moving it slightly to accommodate the still irregular sleeping and feeding rhythm of baby Adem. One of the main factors for having a relaxed and successful newborn session is realizing that they dictate everything, and adjusting accordingly. The newbie needs to be well rested and fed (that includes taking breaks during the session for feedings and/or cuddles with Mama) in order to endure the new reality of everything that is a photo shoot. The priority is the baby, not fixed appointment times. Flexibility is the key, and that is why we never book any other appointments on the day before, the day of, and the day after the scheduled newborn session.
I was greeted with a duet of barks before I even entered the warm and inviting living room. Stella, the big, gorgeous, lady of the house with shiny, black coat did not like the idea of this new human with the big backpack at all. Protective of her family, but intrigued at the same time, she was ambiguously sniffing and growling, approaching and backing up. Her brother Bolt on the other hand, a tiny, white, fluffy fur-ball of love and joy, couldn’t get close enough. I haven’t even met the man of the hour and I was already in heaven. This can only get better, I thought to myself, and I was right.
Snuggled in his Mama Nadina’s arms was Adem, twelve days young and cute as a button. Nadina was radiating with the new mom glow, without the aura of sleepless nights and the stress of having your life turned 180 degrees. The huge smile on both parents seemed permanent.
We started our session in the nursery, after Bolt was half way satisfied with cuddles and after Stella gave me her lick of approval. Gentle, neutral tones had a calming effect, the nursing chair looked really comfy and the carefully chosen stuffed animals could brighten up the gloomiest of moods. There was a lot of love in that room. Dad Irfan kept making sure that everyone else’s needs were met (even if that meant cranking up the heating for the naked photos and suffering in the process).
Between chatting, exchanging kid-related stories, and lots of laughter, we took some photos. And then some more. After what felt like an instant (and in reality was more than two hours), Adem was done and I had enough photos to help the new family remember this exact moment in time for years and years to come. Sending me on my way with homemade sweets from one of the Grandmas they definitely made sure that I wouldn’t forget them either. As if I ever could.