“There’s nothing quite like photographing first time parents. Welcoming your first child is incredible – you instantly learn a love like you’ve never known before. Yet at the same time, it’s overwhelming, exhausting, and somewhat terrifying. Being allowed into this intimate time in clients’ lives is truly a privilege.
The Haly family was a very special family for me to photograph. We had never met before our session, but they were those people with whom I connected instantly. Maybe it was partly because we have some similar interests, experiences, and attitudes towards life, but I believe it was largely because of how clearly I could see Morgan and Phil’s love for their daughter, Gracelyn. They are parents in love, overwhelmed with tenderness for their sweet girl. If only every child could be born into families who love like this – the world would be a truly happy place.
I remember bringing my firstborn home from the hospital. I remember the pain, barely being able to walk, struggling so much with nursing, the guilt that came along with it, and the few broken hours of sleep each night. I remember the depression that started to set in, as I tried to adjust to life with a little person who I loved so incredibly much, but who threw my life into chaos. I remember how much affirmation I needed, as I embarked on a journey that often consists of comparison and failure to measure up to other moms.
When I photograph a new family, I think of these things, and I try to be the voice of encouragement that I know I needed to hear when I was there. Not because I think I have all the answers – not even close – but because I remember becoming a parent and what got me through. I remind new moms how great of a job they’re doing, how amazing they look, what an accomplishment it is to have grown a new life, and how the sleeplessness ends someday. If the time is right, I share about my own struggles, and remind them never to compare themselves to other mothers or their children to other children, but to follow their gut as they make important decisions about raising the little human they’ve been entrusted. I strive to leave each client I interact with feeling encouraged and celebrated. It’s this relational aspect of my job that makes it truly fulfilling – it’s not just about creating art, it’s about supporting and celebrating mothers and families.” Hannah, Photographer
HANNAH MANN | Canon 5D, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Sigma 35mm 1.4 art