In my work as a maternity and newborn photographer, I see lots of couples and families. My work with them takes me into their lives at a pivotal point, where changes are being made not only at the familial level but at an individual level. I have to say, it can be so profound witnessing the dynamics at a time of such enormous growth, such intense pressure, such massive change. Welcoming a baby into the world is an astonishing time of beauty and awe and realization of untapped instincts. It can be stunningly wonderful and heartbreakingly awful all at the same time. Yes, I said it. Becoming parents isn’t all roses and butterflies all the time. It is hard and stressful and aggravating and gut-wrenching. The love you feel for this tiny, helpless infant is all-encompassing but it also introduces you unequivocally to the fact that life will never be the same and that raw changes are happening in the framework that you have spent your life building. In response, I say: Be Kind To One Another.
The person that you chose way at the beginning of this life journey is the person you are relying on most heavily right now. That person has seen you at your best and at your worst and, if we’re being honest, bringing a baby home can definitely bring out some of that worst. Be kind to one another.
When I was a teenager, I babysat a family who was so lovely, you almost wouldn’t believe it. The husband had a pet name for his wife that was so adorable that I think of it now and smile. It was a name only for her and when he spoke this name, his utter devotion to her shone out. They were so funny together. He had this sarcastic humor and the tendency to let adult words come out which, to me as a teenager, felt like a privilege to be trusted with. She would just roll her eyes and smile, almost as if saying, “this crazy man” but she doted on him in return. You could just feel their rock solid foundation. Their relationship impressed on me the goal that I would make my marriage the primary relationship in my life, after God. Children would come and be loved but nothing would top the relationship between husband and wife. With this solid foundation, it should be easy to be kind to one another, right?
However, so often I have seen couples become parents and their children ultimately become their world. Everything revolves around the bebes and the marital relationship stagnates and withers. I have seen too many marriages end in divorce because of this and it is not at all the goal my husband and I have for our marriage. Our children know they are number 3 (God, Marriage, Children) and I mean that in the best, most loving way possible. If your foundation is shaky, nothing long-lasting can be established upon it. That’s not to say that our marriage has always been glitter and sunshine. It hasn’t. We’ve been together for twenty five years (and before you start counting, our relationship started in high school and we were together 10 years before getting married – our wedding day was actually our 10 year anniversary) and of course that’s enough time for growing pains and blisters to form. But, for us, our marriage has mattered more than any of the noise and we have sustained our closeness despite the very real and normal hiccups that every marriage experiences.
So to all of the families who grant me the privilege of capturing your most personal, precious moments, I say again: be kind to one another. Remember what’s really important and block out the static.
And now, please enjoy the gorgeous Mr Cruz. He was a dream during his entire session and, afterwards, his parents and I sat and discussed some of these very topics – they impressed upon me how important it is to them to work as a team, especially now that they are parents and I really enjoyed getting to know a little bit of their hearts after working so closely with their sweet baby boy. Thank you, Jessica and Casey, for the pleasure of your company and for sharing your little boy with me 💙
Liz Viernes Photography is based near Fulton, Maryland, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.