“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before.
The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
Life often turns out a little differently than we imagine it to, doesn’t it? I think when we’re young and in our late teens through our early to mid-twenties, we do so much changing and evolving that changes (though they may be unwelcomed) feel more expected. At least that’s how it was for me. But when you get married, start creating a life with your partner, and everything becomes more predictable and comfortable, the unexpected changes are more startling, more shaking. Sometimes we can make a solid decision against something (like choosing to never have children, for instance) and then a few weeks later find out that very thing is happening.
When Lauryn reached out to me about photographing for her and her husband Bob, I was only a few weeks into grieving my mother’s death. She was very forthcoming that the feeling of “right time” to have children never happened for them and their pregnancy was unexpected. Life was changing and moving in different ways than she had imagined, which created a feeling of grief of her own, but a new sense of hope too. The picture she painted of what she aspired to achieve with these photos, the symbolism of leaving one life behind to welcome a new life, created a swell of warmth for my own hurting heart. Though our situations were very opposite, for me it also felt somewhat kindred and I couldn’t have been more grateful to them for reaching out to me to capture this for them.
They were on the verge of leaving a very beloved apartment in the SW Portland hills to move into a recently purchased home. The sense of the unexpected, the unknown was very strong for them, but also the love, the hope, the expectation of a new beginning and joy–these feelings were all very important to document, and of course in this beautiful space they adored so much. I dearly loved spending this winter afternoon with Bob + Lauryn, and I feel as though it was as beneficial to my heart as I hope it was to theirs. I’m incredibly thankful to them for inviting me into a very personal and intimate space in their lives, for sharing their beautiful and honest love with me, and baring their vulnerabilities with me too. True authenticity is an incredible privilege to witness.
I have a strong inclination that are going to be wonderfully amazing parents and that their daughter is going to be one of the most abundantly loved tiny humans in all of SE Portland. Congratulations to this new little family! =)
I created all of Lauryn + Bob’s maternity lifestyle images on film using a Contax 645 and Canon 35mm with Fuji 400H and Kodak T-max 400 films.
Marla Cyree of Simply Splendid specializes in film photography based in Portland, Oregon as a wedding and portrait photographer. She photographs throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.