Colic, Crying and Rose Tinted Airbrushing
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
I booked my Newborn Photoshoot, on a whim, days before D-day, for about three weeks in, when things may have settled down.
As a new mum, I had no idea what I was in for.
My son was born by emergency C-section after a long labour, dominoed into hospital visits, delayed milk, problematic breastfeeding, weight loss, breast pump misery, more hospital visits and lots and lots of tears. Both his and mine.
By the time the shoot was imminent I had a tired, underweight 17 day old, adjusting to combination feeding, with a colicky stomach, red baggy eyes and pimpled raw cheeks from all the stress and discomfort of crying. I was gutted. He just wasn’t on track yet and I couldn’t imagine how this could go well, or look good.
Kathryn arrived to a chaotic house and screaming baby but, although sympathetic, kind and interested, wasn’t phased at all.
As a truly impressive amount of equipment, furs, rugs and knitted items sprang out of her Mary Poppins style case and a full studio materialised in my living room, I made tea.
By the time my first hot tea in three weeks was drained, she had a calm baby, gently cutched up and sleeping in a bundle of cloth, in and surrounded by thoughtfully placed soft woollen accessories and blankets.
I wouldn’t say he never cried or stirred, but he had breastfeeding, burping, crying and cuddling breaks along the way and slept for most of the shoot, which was never rushed, stressful or even difficult.
I was so relieved how the morning had gone I only wished that the face peering from under those woolly bonnets wasn’t so tired and mottled with pimples. And then felt insanely guilty for thinking something so shallow about my lovely boy.
A week or so later my gallery link arrived via email and I called Kat.
It was perfect. Flawless.
“You airbrushed his skin..?” I said, afraid to sound too pleased. She answered yes, and was that ok...? a little unsure. I answered yes!
l’d only worried that I would sound like a perfectionist Insta-happy mother had I asked her to! She laughed and said “oh don’t worry; you’ll only want to remember his perfect face and not the few spots he happened to have on that day”....... and isn’t that exactly right and exactly the point...... ?!
I mean the first two weeks of his life were probably the hardest of mine, but over time my memory will airbrush out all of those details to form a rose tinted vision of my perfect son when he was so new and tiny and precious.
And now I will have the photographs to match those perfect memories. Photographs of how he looked sometimes, mostly, how he looked on his good days, how he should have looked every day.
On what was, in reality, one of our toughest weeks she created and captured one of his “good days”, for us to keep, forever. I won’t remember the stress, worry and sleep deprivation or his red eyes and pimpled cheeks. I’ll remember what mattered; that I had a perfect little baby boy with big, bright, inquisitive eyes and chubby pink cheeks happily filling out and learning to smile.
And for that, I am so very, very, grateful.
Thanks Kat x
For those of you reading this from a little further a field, my friend and fellow photographer Natalie Moss, offers Baby Photoshoots for families in the Woking, Surrey area. Have a read of her latest blog about October half term in Surrey.