Andrew and Jen are very enthusiastic Table-Mountain enthusiasts and appreciative of the natural beauty of Cape Town. They were both regularly climbing/walking/running to the top of Lions Head during Jen's pregnancy - right up to a day or two before the birth of Susara (who is named after a beautiful hybrid protea.)
Here are some photos I took in their home when Susara was just 5 days old. She was amazingly alert for such a little baba.
Anton and Carey were at varsity with me quite a few years back during our wild and carefree days. Times have changed a bit for us all and now they are parents to the most gorgeous and easygoing little girl, Chloe, who was 15 months old when we did this shoot.
I completely love the innocence and deliciousness of babies and baby Chiara is particularly edible. I couldn't believe how much she had grown since I photographed her when she was a tiny baba at ten days old.
We started the shoot at Greg and Vanessa's home in Seapoint, headed outdoors for a while and then back home to capture some bathtime and 'nude' shots. Greg and Vanessa are such smitten and doting parents, it is so beautiful to see.
I absolutely love the preciousness of the first few weeks of a little life. For me, photographing this time is as much about the love of new parents and this beautiful connection as well as photographing babies themselves.
I could have stared at Thomas all day, he is perfect.
I spent a bit of time on Blouberg beach with Lou, her sister Lisa and their families. I find it quite overwhelming photographing 2 families together as there is always so much going on but it's also great to see interations between everyone and how people fit together.
The late afternoon light became so beautiful, my favourite time of day on the beach.
I spent a bit of time with Kathy and her family at Tokai forest in Cape Town. Sophie is 3 and Tom is 6 and they are the most gorgeous kids and were so sweet together.
I nearly took the last family shot out - Sophie is sucking on her thumb and Tom is pulling a funny face - but that is what three and six year olds do and I love capturing life the way that it is and with a little less 'cheese'.
I did a maternity shoot with Lara a few months back when little Ryder was a neat little bump. When she asked me if I would come to the hospital soon after her baby's birth to take some shots, I thought it would be a great idea. I personally have very few images of my babies during this time and there is something so precious about the first few days after birth. Lara sent me some images that she loved from some other shoots and I was really excited at the prospect of doing a shoot in hospital with a baby so brand new.
As with so many other things in life, the reality is always completely different to what you have in mind. When I arrived at the hospital on a cold and rainy Cape Town winter's day, Lara was in huge pain from a brutal Caesar op, she hadn't slept in 48 hours and little Ryder was unsettled as he was struggling to feed due to a tongue-tie. The last thing she really wanted was photos being taken.
But I stayed to take some shots anyway, so aware of the vulnerability of a mother to a new baby who is completely different from any other baby; the combined wonder and terror of getting to know a new little creature and sustain and nurture it relentlessly - all while your own body has been ripped to pieces.
Thank you Lara for allowing me into this sacred space and for letting me stay with you for a little while and observing your beautiful mother-heart.