Little Tommy Townsend, 2, recently welcomed home his baby brother, George. George was born on May 27th to parents, Dave and Tina May. Though he doesn’t quite remember meeting me, Tommy and I go way back – back 2 years, in fact, to his newborn portrait session when he was fresh out of the hospital. In fact, that was my first photoshoot with the May Townsend family, and when Tina learned that baby George was on the way, she contacted me to set up her second appointment.
Amid the mommy network in any city, tales of “the terrible twos” and older sibling jealousy abound, but little Tommy showed nothing but love and laughter when getting to know the latest member of his family clan. At age 2, Tommy is now bubbling with personality and mom and dad were really pleased with how his personality shined through in the photos. What I didn’t expect was that catching him in a candid moment, involved nearly catching him from rolling off the end of the bed. Tommy was fearless in his exuberance and clearly unaware of the dangers of falling two feet to the bare floor, but thankfully Dave kept a sharp eye on him the whole time while still allowing him to be silly and playful. In my opinion, partnering up with the parents in this way is the perfect strategy: they focus on safety, I focus on shooting.
Half way through the shoot I spotted the family’s gorgeous farm-style dining room table. It’s the kind of furniture piece that sets Pinterest ablaze and sends moms running for the nearest Pottery Barn. I carefully folded up George’s swaddle cloth and placed it under him, which provided both a soft spot to rest his head and a roll-resistant brake pad of sorts. Though at this point, George was more interested in stealing some shut-eye than anything else.
Throughout the morning we snapped dozens of beauty shots and newborn portraits, but this one has to be my all-time favorite. I used a wide aperture to soften the background and let the setting fade away, leaving a sleeping baby George as the center of attention. I’ll admit, rarely do I ever lay a newborn on the kitchen table for a portrait, but this one was an unexpectedly beautiful spot with delicate light and subtle textures.
Tina and Dave are really passionate about filling their family home with newborn portraits and beautiful photographs of their two growing boys. In the past we used Tommy’s portraits to create a wall display of gallery wraps that hang above the master bed. But as the family grows, the decor has to shift. Now a single framed photo of George will hang above the bed, while each of the boys’ bedrooms is adorned with framed portraits.
As a mom to a young son, it was especially wonderful to work with this family of four and create a handful of newborn portraits that commemorate George’s initiation into the May Townsend tribe. Outnumbered 3 to 1, Tina certainly has her hands full with a house full of boys, but the love that this family shares is palpable from the first frame to the last. I wish them all the best as they contend with late-night feedings and innumerable diaper changes!