Mama and Baby Photography

When I saw these photos it was a ‘drop everything moment’. These pictures defy so many of the traps of child photography and manage to look serene and intimate, while also being very editorial and capturing all the key aspects of a beautiful photo. Angelina, the model (who happens to be a friend), is a stunning girl – no doubt about it; but here she also looks so alive and in the moment with her handsome little man, Dario.

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Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

The pictures speak for themselves. She beams as a new mom and looks as natural, confident and beautiful as I’ve ever seen her.  Their connection is so sweet that my heart just melted.

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers.
    Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers.
Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers.
Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers.
Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.
Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.
Angelina in Paradise!
Angelina in Paradise!

To be honest, I tend to get annoyed with self-righteous perfect parenting captured by baby bloggers and equally so with baby-as-accessory type shots where parents use their babies as an excuse to take and photoshop their own faces. I grew up in the era of Anne Geddes plaqued photographs of cherubic babes in butterfly wings, held in hands or popping out of flower pots, so I get it… photos of babies will always be a ‘thing,’ but WELL done infant photography is so rare. Often they are too calculated and a bit weird, or too guerilla style (‘a dingo ate my baby’), or too raw, like…(no offense) I really don’t want to see the inside of your body still stuck to little angel’s face.

Ooh Ooh Darling’s photog catches all the sweetness in a way that time capsules the highest high of joy on his face, his curiosity and expression, and what is interesting about his mother is not that she is gorgeous, because she is (that’s clear), but that she is completely smitten with him and her devotion is clear.

Here, Angie looks ethereal and peaceful, bonded with her baby and looking so ‘now’ in a bohemian goddessy sorta way, while also looking like a pre-Raphaelite painting.

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.
Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

Motherhood, by all accounts, is messy and crazy. But there have to be records like these to prove that all those tears and sleepless nights balance out against the possibility of this kind of joy. I want this. I want even half of this.

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If ever there was a photo that spoke a billion words, even if one of the tiny subjects doesn’t yet speak them himself, this is it.
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My favourite of the bunch: Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.
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Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.
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Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.
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Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.
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Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

For more of Photographer Christin Carruthers’ work, check out her website: http://www.oohoohdarling.com/mama-and-her-little-guy/

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Lesbian Commune

We joke that we will start a lesbian commune. We’ll jet adjoining properties in a rural area, close to the city, and our houses will back onto a common space with a hobby farm, animals and gardens for kids to help raise and grow and care for, with a pool and playground in the middle, a forest for walking and hiking, a tennis court and sports areas, for the basketball fan (my wife). We will have date nights where our children stay with other couples and their kids for the night, so we can have quality time together. The kids will go between houses and play in a community of wild young things who aren’t afraid to get dirty, but hear equity and kindness from the mouths of their mothers (and maybe a few fathers).

Is it that far fetched? How lovely would it be to have kids stay out til dark, in the fresh air, and have close relationships with their neighbours? They would learn to care for the environment and living things by helping to feed animals and plant veggies. Safety and freedom, curiosity and independence, balanced with responsibility.

So many kids that I teach are clearly thinking towards their futures, but they are thinking ‘titles’ like doctor and lawyer, business school … to make money, to sound important when my parents tell their friends. So few are articulating that they want to love what they do and be inspired. They want new cell phones. They want to take a great selfie.

I heard some stats on midwives recently: there are too few to meet the huge surge in demand for their services. More women and couples are interested in having a partnership with a midwife and the kind of pregnancy that relationship might bring.

Kids, if you want to be employed (and in demand), to do something meaningful, something challenging and skilled, to be self-employed and to contribute positively to changing lives; Train as a midwife. Old is new. I want my kids to have a slightly vintage childhood. There is something so appealing about stepping back towards the better parts of the past. This article had amazing things to say about “The Farm”: a community in Tennessee that seems to embody so much of that philosophy.

http://matadornetwork.com/life/farm-tennessee-countrys-oldest-intentional-community-real-story-deliver-babies/

Comedy of Errors

When trying to have a baby, so many things can go wrong. And not in the Rom-Com, ‘Ooops, we knocked foreheads or teeth’ kind of way.

So, you get the call. Surge.

Eeeep.

Call. No answer. Message. Make plans to try and set up the timing.

Success.

Sample obtained.

Ready to go. Dim lights. Set up. Giggling/upper lip curl about the whole ‘procedure’.

What could possibly go wrong? Imagine, between each false start, getting settled again, timer still going, poised and ready to start… try, try again. But…

-Lights need to be dimmer, or brighter

-Music playlist throws you for a loop with some hilarious reggae song

-Someone isn’t comfortable

-You have a giggling fit

-Syringe comes apart

-Air bubble removal results in messiness

-Cat tries to jump up onto bed to cuddle while you are in the ‘hips up’ position

-Remove cat from room

Foiled at oh so many turns.

Try.

-My phone rings. Put it on silent.

-Bark indicates that voicemail has been left

-Your phone rings.

– “Is it your mother?”

Sigh. Wash hands, wash this, wash that. Try not to think about the film 2 for 1  we just saw at Inside Out Film Festival.

Try. Smile. Remember, it’s going to be worth it.

Are we?

Pregnant yet?

The first thing I thought about when I got in the car after dance last night. You picked me up, same smile as always.

I looked at your belly, wishing for it to be true.

I kiss you differently. I kiss with a wish on my lips.

I woke up this morning and saw you sleeping there. I want to know if you are becoming pregnant, right now, as I think this. Or rather, a little while ago.

We will try again tonight. Will it be this time?

My co-worker and I had extended talks about the difference between parenting one vs. two children. Baby names. Our other colleague just had her little one, Owen. Born on Saturday. Our V.P. came in, one week into his second child’s life, to chat about mornings and sleepless nights.

Any sane person would want sleep and rest and life as usual. Not us. I am ready for this. Some trepidation, after sadness, but knowing more than ever

that I want this for us.