Happy International Babywearing Week! I have been planning on doing some fun things on my blog to celebrate and participate in International Babywearing Week (Oct 4-10). For those that are not familiar with this, International Babywearing Week is a week-long opportunity to celebrate, advocate for, focus media attention on the many benefits of babywearing, sponsored by Babywearing International. People all over the world wear their babies and this is a week to tell people how much we love it and share the benefits of wearing your baby.
So I put out a request to see if anyone would be interested in doing a mini babywearing photo-shoot to celebrate babywearing. I figured it would be a fun, small way to get real moms from the local community involved in a international event. I had such a wonderful response and my week soon filled up with mini-sessions of moms and their babies. Let me tell you, this has been one of the most fun weeks I’ve had in a while! It also got me thinking. I walked into this project hoping to learn more about photography, but I learned so much more than some photography skills when I was out there taking pictures of these moms. I talked with the moms, I listened to moms, I played with babies, and I did so much more! I realized early in my sessions that this was no longer about babywearing, but about moms.
Moms NEED community but for some reason (time, family, work, etc) never seem to make it a priority. Moms need to be around other moms. We need to know we are not alone. We need to know that its normal to feel what we feel as moms of little ones. As I was doing my sessions, I cannot tell you how many times I heard how long its been since they got out of the house, or put make-up on, or just enjoyed the outside with their little ones. I don’t have the answer because I am guilty of not making this a priority, but it was very clear that community is important to being a healthy (and sane) mom.
Moms with their little ones are beautiful. I don’t just mean beautiful on the inside, because let me tell you. ALL the moms I photographed this last week are immensely beautiful on the inside. (as well as on the outside, but I’m getting to that) Moms with their babies are beautiful (Did I already say that?) Every single mom that I shot had a negative comment about her own appearance. Every single one. While some moms were concerned about lingering baby weight, others commented about their hair or skin not being perfect, but as soon as they got in front of the camera with their little ones, they were glowing, radiant, confident moms. I hope they see the beauty and confidence in the pictures that I saw during the photo shoot.
These babies are happy. Let me explain what I mean. As moms we are always second guessing ourselves. Are we doing the right things? Are we raising our kids the right way? Is this what is best? My answer to these moms is YES! It was so obvious to me that all these babies are so love, so cared for and it shows. These are happy babies. I have had many photo sessions with babies and they are not easy. I’ve had newborn sessions when the baby refuses to sleep, toddler sessions where cooperation is just not happening, but these sessions were the EASIEST baby sessions I have ever done! These babies love their mamas and I think that is a great testament to how wonderful moms they are!
It is not about the photograph, it is about the story. I went into these sessions hoping to capture some precious mommy and baby moments, but I soon learned that I was capturing a story. With each session as I took pictures and listened, I learned about each mom’s story. I learned an amazing story about how one baby got his name. I learned about how a new baby restored confidence in one mom as a mother. I learned about some of the hopes and dreams these moms have for their precious bundles. Every time I walked away at the end of a session, I was filled with joy that these moms would share these stories with me.
I would do photography for free. No, seriously. Photography has been a passion of mine since I was little and helping my dad in his dark room. I had so much fun capturing moments and making memories with these families that I would feel bad charging people for me to do something I love so much. I think that’s why I offered to do these. It was my project, my ideas and these moms were so gracious to go along with it. I want to thank these moms for taking time out of their busy lives to let me take pictures of them and tell a little bit about their lives!
Want to see more babywearing pictures? Check out the beautiful babies in my Babies of Babywearing post!