She looked right down the center of my lens, as though she was peering into my soul. I snapped a few frames before the moment escaped us and then looked at her mama with my eyebrows raised. It’s unusual to get that kind of eye contact with a newborn — something far beyond a simple gaze, and vibrating with intuition and lustre. Her mama smiled proudly at me, and I shook my head, amazed.
Twenty-seven days. That’s how long we were in Europe this summer, re-learning the art of appreciating stillness, of really tasting our food, and seeing new places and things through the fresh eyes of our ten month old. It was restorative to leave behind typical worries, even in exchange for new ones (like how to get a month’s worth of luggage and a baby in a stroller over the dozens of steps and bridges to our hotel in Venice). And although the entire trip was a luxury, the real richness for me came in slowing down just enough to really watch our son develop, to see how he blossomed when both of his parents were there with him, day and night. It was the abundance of time that felt really indulgent — and I would trade it for absolutely nothing.
It’s a beautiful morning in DC: the sun is pouring in our windows and the city’s trees are swollen with lush, pink blooms, leaving a faint fragrance to perfume the air. As my son sleeps soundly in the next room, it strikes me as an ideal time to look back on a lovely evening session I did last summer at the National Gallery of Art that seems especially “DC” to me.
Oh, 2014. You were an epic year, truly, both personally and professionally. Within the span of your sweet seasons, I grew a mama’s heart, a beautiful baby boy, and a fulfilling business. As I write this first blog of the year following your abundant beauty, I admit I do so with a touch of nostalgia, wondering if it’s possible to see another year filled with such richness. Yet, even as I write these words, I am energized by all the potential, conscious of the near perfection that is surrounding me, just five days into this new year: here I sit with my cup of tea, baby giggling in the background, warm afternoon sunlight on my shoulders, as I pursue this little dream of mine. Not a bad start. So, here’s a toast to the possibilities, to a promising dawn to a new year.
Some babies are just meant to be in front of the camera. Niklas, with his sapphire eyes and infectious, tug-at-my-heart-strings giggle, is most certainly one of them. The morning of our session, it was all I could do to keep up with the cuteness each time his face lit up in response to Dora’s slobbery kisses or his parents’ snuggles. Not that I’m complaining (wink); he made my job rather easy. Needless to say – and I think we can all agree on this – Lauren and Eric have a little darling on their hands.