MOTHERHOOD / PHOTOGRAPHY

At home with a new mama

04.12.17

copyright mollybalint.com I always kind of thought I’d have five kids. I’m not exactly sure where that number came from but it was always sort of settled in my mind. I grew up as the baby of four. My dad is the oldest of fifteen. I love big families. Four seemed do-able but five seemed wildly fun. 

But here I am happily settled in with my little pack of four. 

I never had that “I am so done having kids” moment. Neither did Dan. We are both baby crazy. But I did have a really hard recovery after Birdy was born. I’ve written about my postpartum depression a little bit and I think that is probably one of the biggest factors in my feeling settled where we are right now. Those out of whack hormones are a beast. And they still like to bubble up every now and again. (Which is another conversation I really want to have here.)

I was at a one-day photography workshop this winter that focused primarily on wedding photography. In case you didn’t know, wedding photography is not my thing, but it was an opportunity to hear from a photographer I admire in a really intimate setting, small workshop-style class, so I knew I could still learn a lot by being there. 

As we were going around to introduce ourselves at the beginning of the workshop we somehow landed on the topic of newborn photography. There were several women in the room who loathed photographing babies. They were done with that stage and had no desire to revisit it, even in their work.

When the conversation finally got around to me, feeling intimidated by the caliber of photographers in the room with me, I introduced myself as a storyteller. 

Though I haven’t always worked at honing my photography and making it available to others, like I have been lately, I’ve always thought of myself as a storyteller, as someone who peels back the layers of things to reveal the story that’s there inside. I do it with my writing. With my work in social media. In the way that I decorate my home. And in the images that I take. I’m always looking for the story. 

So it’s no surprise that a little bit of my story finds it’s way into my photography. I am still madly in love with motherhood. Several of my friends are still deep in the trenches of birth and new babies and sleepy newborns nestled in to their chests. 

I am in love with the little details and the wide angle view. The things you want to remember about every baby. The rolls around their wrists and ankles. The curl of their lips when they are milk-drunk-asleep in your arms. They way you run your fingers down their forehead and over the bridge of the nose and it makes them fall asleep. They way their feet fit perfectly into the palm of your hand. And the view of you standing at the kitchen counter, swaying with a sleepy baby and putting together sandwiches for your other little people. 

So when a friend invites me into their home to take photographs, it feels like a gift I’m able to give them.  Every time I get to be in the background, capturing the beauty in the every day details of motherhood, it also feels like a gift to me. A chance to savor those moments I look back on with such joy and to gift my friends with the telling of their stories as well. 


These photos are from a few weeks ago when a friend invited me into her home. When I first photographed her family at Christmas she made a comment to me about getting all awkward in front of the camera. Obviously, we can see that is definitely not the case. Beautiful. Inside and out. 

 

 

 

 

13 comments on “At home with a new mama”

  1. I very much admire that you have found a way to continue to experience those stages you love while continuing to express yourself and share in someone’s joy. It shines through in your work. I feel honored to have been on the receiving end of your joy giving.

  2. Oh My Gosh Molly! You are so inspiring — with your photograhy and your words! The photos are so real and natural and beautiful and they do indeed tell a story — what a GIFT you share with us! Love you!

  3. You always seem to put into words everything to be said. I have been a “fan” of your stories for so long. I absolutely love this. ❤️

  4. Having photos like this to look back on is such an incredible gift to your friend. We have baby pictures of my oldest, of course, but with our second (and last) baby a friend of my MIL’s came over and took some beautiful photos–of the baby, of me with the baby, of us as a family. I still love looking through them and remembering those tiny details that somehow get lost in the fog of day-to-day life, like how red he was, or how sweet and tender his big sister was with him when he was new, how tiny he was. I could have had one more baby, but my husband felt pretty strongly that we were done, and so, done we are. I still miss the baby stage sometimes though!

    Your pictures and stories are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them here with us!

  5. molly… i have looked at this post several times and kept saving it to come back to… the words and the images both are so moving to me. it’s the details – yes. the ones i’m not sure i noticed when i was overwhelmed with motherhood – the ones i notice now about little ones and mothers – the ones i cherish with my own teenagers now that i know to be present.

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