I was so thrilled when Shawna got in touch with me about newborn portraits. She was expecting her 4th baby and something about her emails were so warm and relaxed that I couldn't wait to meet her and her family. Plus, 4 babies! In the weeks that led up to Caleb's birth whenever I thought about our hospital session coming up, I would turn to my husband and say "4 babies! I'm so excited." Of course, they're not all babies, but the chaos and fun of that many kids in one family is totally fun to be around and inspiring to photograph.
I was not disappointed. I got to meet everyone at my holiday open house a couple of weeks before Caleb's birth. The Beckman kids were so fun. The oldest, Jane is incredibly sweet and went out of her way to include my daughter and the other kids in their play. Shawna's husband John drew an awesome skull in our floor to ceiling coloring room.
A few weeks later, I got the call that Shawna was going into labor and we would get to do our hospital, newborn session the next day. I arrived before the rest of the family and had some lovely quiet time with Caleb and Shawna. Then the whole family was there and everyone was so excited to examine little Caleb and claim the hospital room as their personal jungle gym. Jane had a stack of "Happy Birthday, Caleb" cards to read from her kindergarten class, Elaine's foot got cut as we rearranged the room for pictures so she needed lots of hugs and Sam seemed to be fascinated by the new baby. Finally, there is nothing so heartwarming as a dad, lovingly cradling his new baby, a moment totally amplified in this case by quiet of father and son with the chaos of older kids swirling and bumping about around them.
Truth be told, I loved this family, and scooped them up and try to be a part of their chaos as often as I can.