Making friends as an adult is a funny thing. Unless you have a job with a super awesome work/life balance (I don’t think there are very many out there), chances are most of your friends are the people you work with. When you have a job with pretty much zero work/life balance at times (read: public accounting), becoming friends with your coworkers is not only inevitable, it’s necessary to survive.
I met Rikki five-ish years ago when I first started my Big 4 career. Over the next four years we would end up working very closely together on the same audit subject. I looked up to her so much (still do) because she’s super smart and has a killer fashion sense. We became good friends over walks in the middle of 15 hour work days, business trips to Reno and covert coffee runs during 80 weeks. I remember one dinner with Rikki and another good friend of ours during a trip to Reno, and all three of us emphatically stating there was no way in hell we were going to become parents anytime soon.
Just two years later, I was on maternity leave after welcoming Bernadette to the world. Life’s funny sometimes.
When I made the decision to leave the Big 4 world and try something different, Rikki was one of the few people I really lost sleep over when I wanted to tell her. We had become each others lifeline (well, she had become mine) as our other close coworkers had already left the firm or transitioned to other groups. Unsurprisingly, she was incredibly supportive and willing to listen whenever I needed to talk to her about it...even if it meant crying to her a TON over the final few months I was with the firm (y’all know that story, I will spare you from reliving it). We promised each other that we would stay in touch even after I left, and I was confident we would.
A few months after I moved into the world of full-time photography and stay-at-home motherhood, Rikki was offered her dream job at a different company and started a new adventure there. Soon after, they shared that they were expecting their first baby. :)
One of my favorite books ever is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is one of the few that I have read over and over again...I have several pages earmarked and key phrases or ideas highlighted. When writing about her time in Italy, she introduces the phrase “Attraversiamo,” which means “let’s cross over.” It is a phrase that she mentions a few times in the book, and this phrase comes to mind when thinking about witnessing good friends make the transition to parenthood.
Baby Hudson was born a little over two months after our Madison was born, and just shy of two years after Bernadette. I was honored to have the opportunity to spend some time with Rikki and Danny during Hudson’s first week and capture a few moments.
Perhaps it was because I was also in the throes of newborn-hood at the time or maybe it was just my heart exploding as I watched the three of them interact (probably both), but I drove away from their session feeling all sorts of grateful for how our lives have transformed since when we first met.
Guys, it is no secret that welcoming a little one to the world is exhausting and trying at times. When Bernadette was born, we laughed at the idea of having the hospital photographer come into our room and snap some photos. During Bernadette's first few weeks of life we were so overwhelmed with the transition to parenthood that I barely picked up my camera and when I did, I couldn’t capture the moments I wanted to because I was trying to deal with my own new-mom feelings and physical limitations. The thought of having a photographer come to our house was non-existent. As a result, we have very few newborn photos of Bernadette and that makes me sad.
As a photographer and a mom, I need to have a soap box moment. No matter how exhausted and emotional you are feeling, it is so important to take the time to capture a few sweet moments of your new baby while they are still fresh and before they start growing. The newborn stage, while somewhat traumatic for new parents, is also super short. You’ll never get that time back and I guarantee you will never regret having photos to look back on when they’re older and going through things like toddler tantrums, potty training, and being a teenager (haha).
Also, a word on in-home sessions. One of the most common comments I get from parents when suggesting an in-home session is that their house is not nearly clean or big enough. To this, I would like to quote one of my favorite bloggers, The Nester: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. No one with children under the age of 18 has a clean home, and that is okay. I love in-home sessions because that is where the family is most comfortable. Small spaces or messes don’t bother me. As a professional photographer, I would rather have a messy home that reflects a loving environment. It gives younger children the chance to play with their own toys, and it gives new parents solace in knowing that if the baby starts crying they can just run upstairs to the nursery for a pacifier or not worry about trying to find a quiet place to nurse. In-home sessions are intimate and where some of my favorite images have been captured, when everyone is just being themselves and interacting with each other. I guess I would just say, if you have a young family and are thinking about having family photos done...consider having an in-home session. Again, the moments we’ll be able to capture are ones you will be able to look back on with a smile for years to come.
Thank you, Rikki and Danny, for trusting me on this and letting me come to your home for a session. I’m excited to share my favorite images with you all, and hope they bring joy to your heart.
Before I forget, I wanted to give their house a shout out! Again, working a bajillion hours with someone you hear a ton about their personal life...many of us knew about the trials Rikki and Danny went through to find the right house in Seattle. I was so excited to finally see it, and it did not disappoint. Rikki's amazing sense of style is present throughout the home, with customization at every turn. I drove away wishing I had spent more time photographing the house itself and pray that its personality comes through a bit in the photos.
Hope you all have a great rest of the week! :)