NH Birth Photographer | Portsmouth Regional Hospital

Maybe it’s because I am a Mom myself. Maybe its because it’s such a emotionally charged event. Or perhaps it’s just because I am a giant softie, but photographing a birth is one of the most special things for me to be a part of.  Being asked to be present for what is very likely one of the most exciting and highly anticipated moments in a parents life means a lot to me.  I take it seriously; I cant sleep the night before; I usually cry at some point during the birth…its just how it goes for me! 🙂

The first birth I ever photographed holds an extra special place in my heart, and when I just saw his Mom post on Facebook that he turned 2, (wait, what?! where did time go?!) I knew I needed to go back through my archived photos and take a walk down memory lane.

When I arrived at the hospital at OHMYGOODNESSITSEARLY o’clock, I got to share in the excitement that was palpable in the room. I am not sure Mom loves looking back and reminiscing about having an IV placed but its part of the day! And the smiles of relief when it was finally properly placed and she got a break from being a pin cushion is a happy sight! 2019-02-28_00022019-02-28_0001

If you’ve never had a caesarean, I will tell you there is a STREAM of people that you are visited by prior to heading to the OR; 4 million nurses, the delivering Doctor(s), the anesthesiologist, a lab tech to draw blood…it feels endless. But before you know it…its just you and your support person, and its time.2019-02-28_0003

Sometimes at a birth nerves are high. Some people prefer quiet and I am happy to just fade into a wall, but sometimes people want someone to talk to, either to pass the time or release the nervous energy. After Michelle was taken into the OR for prep, Marcus and I started chatting. I was able to learn a little more about what brought Michelle to the situation of having a planned c-section, and how her first labor had progressed (or more accurately NOT progressed) during the birth of their first child. Hearing the pride in his voice when recalling how strong she was during her first delivery, and the excitement over what was about to happen, gave me a glimpse into how strong the bond in this family was.

After what felt like forever the OR nurses came out to get Marcus, and we went in to join Michelle who was fully prepped to meet their little man! Marcus sat next to Michelle and they chatted quietly. Having been in her spot 3 times myself I remember how much better it felt once I was joined by my husband; waiting for the familiar face to sit beside you can be a hard few minutes ‘alone’. 2019-02-28_00052019-02-28_0006

The hospital staff was phenomenal at keeping Michelle and Marcus up to date about what they were doing, and how much longer it would be. Even the anesthesiologist said to me ‘ok its almost time and its going to happen fast, are you ready?’.  OH I WAS READY!2019-02-28_0008I’ve given birth to three beautiful children via c-section, and so while I never really saw what was happening behind the screen, I knew that once it got a little quiet, and the Doctors started leaning in a little closer to Michelle, that baby was about to make his entrance into the world.2019-02-28_0009.jpg2019-02-28_0011And in one of the most surreal moments I’ve been blessed to witness, suddenly this new little life was here, and we heard a cry.2019-02-28_0010

The smile under Dads mask at hearing that cry went right up to his eyes…it was a moment to remember.2019-02-28_0014Again if you’ve not ever had a c-section birth, you get a quick peek of the baby, and then the baby is scooted across the room for a little cleaning, and some vital sign evaluation, footprints etc. And while Dad escorted the new baby, I was SO happy to be there to take those photos so later Michelle could see those moments she wasn’t directly involved in. 2019-02-28_00152019-02-28_0017

The baby definitely enjoyed testing out his lungs during some of these moments…until Dad held his tiny hand…and then silence. Babies know their Moms and Dads the instant they are born, I just know it.2019-02-28_00192019-02-28_0020It was finally time to make his way back to his Momma for a snuggle!2019-02-28_0021Being a spectator and not the patient was so incredibly different. Seeing how much is going on constantly while you are in there was amazing. The team working together to take care of Michelle was busy keeping her comfortable while Marcus and I were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Baby…and it was such a beautiful moment to see Michelle have her son finally resting on her chest so she could fully take him in.2019-02-28_00242019-02-28_00222019-02-28_0023After a few moments of snuggling Marcus, and the baby (and I 🙂 went to the recovery area for the rest of the ‘baby review’. Weight, measurements, first visit from the pediatrician all happened in there, and again I was SO happy to capture these things for Michelle while she was in her final stages of being cared for in the OR. 2019-02-28_0033

The pediatrician came by for the very first Doctors ‘appointment’ 🙂 Spoiler alert: she said he was PERFECT! (and he was!)2019-02-28_0028.jpgAnd finally…some alone time with Dad. I left the room for a few moments so that these two could bond while they waited for Mom to be brought back into the recovery room with them. 2019-02-28_0031When I popped back in a few moments later, Michelle had made her way back to her room and she was already snuggled up holding her new baby. 2019-02-28_0032Being a part of this day for this family is something I will never forget.  No matter how many births I am lucky enough to photograph I will always remember this first one!

Fantasy Photoshoot | Haunted Overload at DeMerritt Hill Farm in Lee, NH

It’s no secret that I love to “play photography”, pushing the envelope, trying new lighting, lenses, posing, and editing techniques is just the type of good clean fun I like to have in our off-season.  What’s the saying, “Champions are made in the off-season”? ..well that’s how I feel about photography – our creative pursuits makes us better photographers in every possible way.  Even if we never ask you to flip upside-down and walk down the stairs of a creepy haunted house, we would know how to shoot it if you requested such a photo.

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I have some friends who have been trying to get me to go to Haunted Overload for years. However, there is a teeny tiny problem with their plan, 1) I’m afraid of my own shadow. I’m literally a baby when it comes to all things scary. Like I run up the stairs from the basement, not for the cardio (like I tell the kids), but because there’s an invisible zombie behind me.  2) I’m out flat all fall. There is no time in my schedule for fun and games – which is also the prime creep season.

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But my friends are clever and resourceful. This winter they wrote with “an idea” that I couldn’t resist. A photoshoot at Haunted Overload. Sure it was closed and boarded up, but they had permission for us to use the location as well as props and outfits. I was in.

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The only actual problem was that it was 2 degrees outside. I told them I was in once the weather warmed up. Then I checked the weather forecast, and miraculously I saw a 55 degree day in the extended forecast. We all circled that day on our calendars. It was ON.

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Then a thing happened. I was struck with bronchitis. I mean, it hurt to breathe. I’m not exaggerating, breathing felt like I was swallowing knives. Very sharp knives. But I knew my friends had put so much effort into the shoot, even taking the day off of work, and it’s not like 60 degree days come along often in February. So I drank some tea, warned them that I had no voice, and wrapped a scarf around my mouth and nose to buffer the cool air and somewhat contain my germs.

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What happened next was pure magic. Maybe dark magic, if I believed in such things. I got through the 2+ hour shoot without any knives in my throat. I believe the adrenaline of shooting heals all things. I felt nothing but pure bliss while we shot.

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The location was absolutely freaking amazing. I have never seen anything quite so glorious. Creepy? Yes. Even boarded up. Even without the “characters”. Even with snow on the ground. Even in broad daylight.

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But also gloriously cinematic.

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And our models were perfect. I have photographed Marina and Emalee many times before, so I knew they were going to bring the magic. Plus THEY LOVE SCARY CREEPINESS, it’s like their thing.  They didn’t need my non-existent voice telling them to do creepy poses and expressions, they just brought it.

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Then for the rest of the week while I was recovering I had these images to play with in Photoshop.

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Creating different scenes and giving each picture it’s own story and vibe was such fun.

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Thank you Obycs for such a fun day. I love you ladies.

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Erin

 

A Peek Into Your Livingroom

Via our livingroom.

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When we families to sit on the sofa and pretend we’re not there for a few minutes, we get a glimpse into their livingrooms at home.
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That was the vision behind the studio livingroom set – that we could peek into our client’s sofas at home, and capture those candid moments …only at our studio.
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Having posed family pictures is great, but having those fleeting moments of laughter, play, and snuggles are even better. As time passes these are the things you’ll long to look back on.
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For most families, the sofa is where they hang out, watch tv, laugh, play, snuggle, tickle, and gather at the end of each day together.
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Families being families is one of our favorite things ever.
-EM

New Hampshire Fresh48 Family Photography | Most Photogenic

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, photographing Fresh 48 hospital newborn sessions is so special to me. When I am invited into such a new and sacred space in peoples lives, it means a lot. It was actually the father of the Mommy to be that reached out to Mercy Street Studio to inquire about us photographing his new granddaughter; he lived across country and wasn’t sure he was going to make it out to be here the day she was born and he didn’t want to miss anything! Go ahead…you can say  ‘Awwww!!!” 🙂 I mean how sweet is that?! Once the Mommy to be and I were in contact with each other I realized that she was already overdue with baby! So I got to play the baby waiting game with them, checking my phone every few hours (aka minutes :)) and wondering when this little lady would make her grand entrance! Once she arrived (over a week late!) I was thrilled to finally meet the whole family at the hospital for her first photo session.2018-08-29_0008

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This little lady was so photogenic. I’ve never photographed a 2 day old who didn’t make a peep, and made a point to look toward the camera each time I lifted the camera. I could not stop laughing at her little face turning toward wherever I positioned myself. I was lucky enough to be photographing this Fresh 48 newborn session while Auntie and Grandma were there too, and they told me that she gets all her cheekiness from her Momma! 2018-08-29_0012

Wherever she inherited being a photogenic little ham from…she sure loves her Mommy!2018-08-29_0004And because there are few things that make me melt more than a new Dad falling in love with his baby, I can’t resist sharing these sweet photos. I’ll just go ahead and start the chorus of  ‘Awwwww’s!!!” 🙂2018-08-29_0007

I knew that this family also had an in studio newborn session planned with Sarah, our newborn photographer, for the following week and I was so excited to see more of little Chloe the next week…and I think even at only 2 days old, she was excited for another photoshoot!2018-08-29_00142018-08-29_00102018-08-29_0006Thank you again for inviting me to photograph your new family. Fresh 48 newborn sessions are one of my favorites to photograph, and I was honored to get to know your new little family of three!

 

York Harbor | Maine Family Photographer

After a week of frustrating ‘is it going to rain or not?’ weather, I was so happy I was able to meet up with this family at York Harbor for their family photo session on the beach. It was cloudy and humid, but there was no rain! We headed down to the grassy area near the boat ramp, mostly so that their little guy, Grayson, could run off some 2 year old energy! Oh what I wouldn’t give to have even an ounce of a 2 year olds energy! We managed to coral him for some quick family photos, and boy does he have a 1,000 watt smile!2018-09-25_00022018-09-25_0001

I could tell that we needed a little break from stationary pictures as evidenced in the image on the left below; Grayson was attempting to make a getaway and so I said to Mom and Dad ‘lets let him run, and I will grab a photo of just you two.’ No sooner had I paired them together to take the picture when Grayson decided he wanted IN. I swear that is always how it it! There is nothing that makes a child want to be in a photo, like telling them that they aren’t in this photo. It makes me laugh every time!2018-09-25_0003I only spent an hour with this family, but just in that time I could tell there was something special about them. This little guy made me laugh (and chase him) so much! 🙂2018-09-25_0004 Once we tired of the grass we headed over to the beach to take some photos of Mom to remember her pregnancy by. They decided not to find out this baby gender, and it was fun to chat about her pregnancy and life in general.  2018-09-25_0005We took plenty of breaks to run, run, RUN, and spot boats in the water, and take a nice sit on the soaking wet sand. (well, only one of us did that! 🙂2018-09-25_0010

I feel so lucky that I was able to spend some time with this family before they welcomed their new baby into their home. I feel even luckier that I am able to go and meet their 2 week old baby GIRL (eek!) during their in home Fresh 48 session this week. Thank you for trusting me to capture some memories from your last days as a family of three!

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