I have a new niece! My big sister Dell gave birth to my newest niece about two weeks ago, Elyse Isobel Christine.
Isobel is named after our wonderful Nanna (or Nanna-Bel, as she is known to her eight great-grandchildren), and Christine is after my brother-in-law’s mother, who sadly passed away from cancer only a very few months ago. A little sister for Madeleine.
Elyse arrived about two weeks early, and in a huge rush. Dell, a la her youngest sister (ahem), didn’t realise she was in proper labour until she was in LABOUR, and only just made it to the hospital on time. James had to choof their way to the hospital, at one of those times when you wish a police car would pull you over so you can have a police escort to the hospital. Dell was veritably assuming a delivery position in the car while James sped along, and was starting to push as she made her way to the delivery room!
Her midwife even took the time to start filling the bath up, to which Dell let her be known the bath would not be necessary at this time, thanks all the same. I’m pretty sure she was that polite too. Thirty minutes after they left home, Elyse made her appearance, weighing in at 3.4kg.
In Dell’s and my defence, birthing educators really should make it more clear that not all contractions are only felt across your stomach. It is possible to only feel them in your back. Husband had to convince me I was in labour with Alex because it didn’t feel how I was told it would feel.
So we travelled down to meet our lovely new niece (I now have five nieces and one nephew), and I got to do my first newborn photo shoot. I absolutely loved it. My photos aren’t fantastic, but I’m reasonably happy with my first effort. I have to say, I’m a little addicted now. I simply can’t wait to do another. It was a little difficult to keep Elyse asleep while I posed, particularly in a house filled with five other little ones running around. Ideally, I would have loved a quiet space with a heater going and perhaps some white noise.
The processing was a huge challenge for me. I’m still a photoshop novice, and lobster-red newborns need some serious photoshopping to look “pretty”, so to speak. From what I could glean from my extensive internet research, a lot of newborn photographers seem to simply buy actions and use them to process their shoots. Which I may do in the future. But I really wanted to learn what the actions were actually doing, so wanted to learn how to do it from scratch. Processing in colour took some work, and I still don’t have it down pat yet, but getting there.
I actually preferred processing most of them in black and white, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t learn colour processing also.
Let’s just say I have a new appreciation as to how and why some newborn photographers are expensive…
I have two more newborn shoots lined up so far, and I might put the call out to find some more willing practicees soon. Favourite photo shoot yet.