I was eight months pregnant with my son when Izzy Chan asked me if I would help her document the increasing trend of women becoming the primary breadwinners of their families.
She had statistics and facts for this new role reversal that painted a pretty dismal outlook.
As the primary breadwinners of our own households, we were not satisfied by the statistics so we wanted to learn more.
We wanted to hear from real families…
From both sides of the story…
From real dads, husbands, men…
And from real moms, wives, women…
Who have very real needs, dreams, responsibilities…
And that lead us to Bonnie and Chip and their family of five, soon to be six…
We spent a Sunday…
And a Monday morning…
…following these two around, asking questions, listening and watching.
We have just gotten started and already we have learned a lot from the Wan-Rees family, and from the other five families we have followed.
Our goal is to share how real families are making it work in the Modern Home Front, so we can all learn how to move through these new gender, family, cultural changes as successfully as possible.
So we are currently in the middle of editing a sneak peek of their story, to help us raise money so we can go back…
And capture the next chapter of their story…
To (hopefully) be continued soon.
And finally some good news, from a very sad day…
We picked a winner for our Farm Photo Workshop giveaway!!!
We are happy to announce Margaret Albaugh Photography, from Oklahoma, is the winner!!!! (She improved her odds by sharing the link three times.)
We are overjoyed that we get to bring someone from Oklahoma to our part of the world.
Thank you so much for sharing our link, Margaret, we can’t wait to meet you at the farm next month!
And thank you to everyone who shared the link. We wish you all could win!
But there are still a few spaces, so it is not to late to join the fun.
Click the link to learn more: http://farmphotoworkshop.com/
I have thinking about it for years… and this year I am finally making it happen, with a little help from my friends, Jude and Morgan. There are a few spaces left so please spread the word…
If you, or someone you know, is a photographer who would enjoy spending a weekend on an amazing farm playing with cameras, lenses, reflectors, models, food photography, barns, bouncing lambs, chicken coops, oak trees, grassy fields, wood-fired pizza, and campfires then please click the link to learn more: http://farmphotoworkshop.com/
If you asked me how my home birth was, you would not hear me say, “My home birth was beautiful.”
Instead I very honestly would tell you, “It was extremely long, incredibly painful and very, very messy. I can understand why drugs were invented and why people take them.”
Between endless hours of back-breaking contractions, I kept repeating, “This is ridiculous. How can there be 7 billion people on the planet.”
I couldn’t see why anyone would voluntarily choose to do this more than once in their lifetime, let alone 7 billion times.
People told me eventually I would forget and the hormones would win again, but I refused to believe that I could ever forget what that day felt like. And I announced that I was quite happy with one.
Yet here I am, one year and 5 months later, just like everyone said, wondering… if, maybe, should we?
So I was excited when Rose sent me an email asking if I would photograph the birth of their second baby girl, who would be born at home some time in March. It would be a good test. How would it feel to see someone else go through labor? And what was a home birth like the second time around?
I was also excited because I have never seen a human being born. I have seen cows, sheep, and dogs… but not a human (I had my eyes closed the whole time during HAH’s birth.)
And I got a small taste of what it must feel like for doctors and midwives. For once in my life, I had my cell phone almost always charged and I almost always knew where it was. And at gatherings with friends, I would announce, “I can’t drink tonight, I’m on call.”
But then it didn’t happen. The due date came and went. I started filling up my calendar. I had photo shoots scheduled every day. Arann got sick, so I was working all day and on solo parenting duty at night. Until finally at the end of day two of photographing flowers in SF, I got the texts:
4:12pm “I think we are in early labor, midwife is coming over. Will text again.”
4:57 “Come now!!”
I was in San Francisco.
The family was in Oakland.
For those of you not from the Bay Area, 5pm on a Thursday means… Fat chance.
I only had to drive 10.5 miles.
It took me one hour.
When I finally arrived at the house, Rose’s mother let me in and said, “The baby was just born, come on in.”
And this is what I saw…
While I was disappointed to have missed the birth, it was probably for the best because I got to experience all of the joy and none of the work. Which means I can confidently say that it was the most beautiful home birth, I almost saw.
Thank you, Rose and Jonathan, for inviting me to be a part of this amazing moment in your lives. It was such an incredible honor and I am so excited for your family. And, as Rose said to me after the birth of HAH, “Have fun falling in love.”
When I was working on photo shoot yesterday, for an exciting new book with Lila B, I met another photographer who asked me what I photograph.
My quick reply, as I was standing behind my tripod with my camera pointing at an arrangement of flowers,”I photograph people.”
Photographer man: look of awkward confusion.
My addendum, “And lately, flowers.”
While I do love, and probably prefer photographing people, I am willing to photograph almost anything if the people I get to work with are amazing.
And as I start work on my second flower/plant arranging book, I can confidently say I have nothing but love for flower people and I will happily work with them any time.
Huge thanks to Morgan Bellinger for being an incredible assistant and shanty town builder.
Seana first contacted me on November 10th about family photos. We had three or four scheduled dates to meet but each time it just didn’t work out… thanks to conflicting holiday schedules, bad weather, the flu, and even an epic battle with poison oak. But we didn’t give up. We waited until schedules calmed down, the weather was just right, the poison oak went away and everyone one was feeling healthy, relaxed and ready to play…
Thank you for not giving up, Seana.
It was so worth the wait.
Lou is HOME and purring on my lap right now! Yesterday we walked by our old house, one last time, and there he was meowing in his tree… so, so hungry. Luckily I happened to have some ham in my pocket.
Thank you so much for the support. We will keep him indoors now, so hopefully we will not be doing this hunt again.