The wisdom of our elders... | San Francisco Bay Area Newborn Photography

I am often asked what draws me towards the art of photography. My answer is very simple - it's the people. One such example is my photoshoot with little newborn Melody a few days ago.

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Unexpectedly, upon arrival at Melody's house, not her mom or dad, but instead her grandmother opened the door and welcomed me into their very clean, beautiful, bright, warm, and spacious place. I immediately felt comfortable - although unsure why I felt such an emotion - but I would find out later why!

 

 

Throughout our photoshoot, Melody's grandmother was full of incredible wisdom and always knew just how to make her little granddaughter comfortable and peaceful. She knew when to step back and when to help.  She cuddled with little Melody, wrapped her tightly, and always had the right soothing technique at hand. She knew how to calm her and heated her little room up to very warm temperatures - and little Melody absolutely loved it and slept right through our session! A photographer's dream come true!

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Many newborn photographers will tell the parents to sit away from their baby while they handle the dressing and posing almost entirely by themselves. I feel very differently - to me a newborn is intimately connected to its elders by beautiful strings of love. More than any grown person, a newborn is still so close to her mom's body and the care of other family members in so many ways. As the photographer I strive to capture these ties of love and need - even in those photos that only show the newborn. It does show! In the photoshoots, in which the mum or dad wish to be part of the photo, these ties emerge even more intimately and prominently.

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The reason for me to focus on the loving bonds in my work is that I believe what we really seek out with photography and the related memories is not a specific pose or headband our little one was wearing a few days after birth - more often than not instead we would like to remember what emotions we felt back then, and what emotions our little newborn felt. We long to remember the love and tales of new life - and capturing them often resonates so very strongly with us through visual storytelling.

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In almost every photo session, it is inevitable to feel my own emotions - I love working with people and that with all my heart! First of all, the awe of seeing new life grow and thrive is a unique experience for me each time I work with a newborn. But beyond the feeling of witnessing a wonderful moment this particular session had me fully immersed in yet another story of life - the one of an incredibly caring and wise grandmother. Even though I was the photographer, obviously one of the key persons in the photo session, I couldn't help but halt and watch the love and wisdom that Melody's grandmother brought into the moment and into the photo session - and to life in general! 

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My own childhood was one that was strongly shaped by my grandmother's love. I spent a majority of my time with her, and she was an example for me in ways that I couldn't grasp until I grew old enough to start being an example to younger individuals myself. The love of my grandmother was the one of a fierce and strong woman who did not accept when something or someone was trying to bring her down. She had overcome incredible obstacles in life, yet she had never even once given up. As a true Austrian mountain die-hard, she'd say things like "The bad weeds never die, just like me!" - and without realizing it early on, she was the reason why I was never afraid to succeed as a woman - or a human, in general. Because she did succeed, always, without the blink of an eye. But more importantly, at the right moments, my grandmother knew how to complement the strong and fierce work and life ethic with her capacity to send love and comfort to me and the world around her. She knew how to cook my favourite foods, she dried my shoes on the heater in the basement when I had played in the snow for hours, and she knew how to hold me when the tears were rolling after I had done one of my little acts of mischief again, like running in circles around our house guests who were trying to relax in the sun. She knew how to be fiercely loving.

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Melody's grandmother reminded me of that female strength and wisdom - the intuitive knowledge of when to be strong and when to send out love and warmth, and how to integrate these complementing qualities into a personality of integrity. She was calm and peaceful but exuded an incredible amount of longstanding wisdom and experience likely coming from many things lived throughout life.

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I feel immense respect for people who are older and wiser than us, and I hope we can connect in an abundance of ways that channels their wisdom towards us and younger generations to come after us. One day I would like to be able to offer just that to the world - all the experiences I have collected throughout life, to those who sometimes struggle and don't always know yet that time passes and flows through our souls like a river to heal and reshape our wounds, stories, and more. That day, Melody's grandmother taught me a lesson of wisdom - and I hope to teach it myself one day.

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And this is an example of how photography goes for me almost every time I work with clients. The business of taking a client's portrait very quickly develops away from a work assignment into telling the story of people, of their life, their immemorable moments, their connections. It quickly reminds me of my own experiences and connects me in vast ways to our large community of humanity. It reminds me why we are alive, why we need love, and that we all are the same underneath a multitude of circumstantial layers - we are all created and alive by means of love and emotion.

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Happy Wednesday! <3

 

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Newborn and maternity photography - little Melody with her family and her loving grandmother!Newborn and maternity photography - little Melody with her family and her loving grandmother!Newborn and maternity photography - little Melody with her family and her loving grandmother!

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Hi, I'm Simone,
I'm your new photographer!

I capture moments of raw life and beauty in a new form of storytelling!

I believe what sets me apart as a photographer is a passion to transform a bare photoshoot into a relaxed moment full of happiness and memories - the opportunity to spend personal quality time that is captured visually by an artistic professional! You deserve this unique treat!

Let's write your story together!

 

 

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