They say it is good to answer the question… ‘why are you who you are?’ – I’m not sure who ‘they’ are, but I agree, it’s a good question. I have been thinking about writing this for a while, but just haven’t made it a point to actually sit down and type it out. For some reason today seems like a good day to sit and ponder.
So the question… Why am I a newborn photographer? I never planned on becoming a newborn photographer. Heck – I never planned on becoming a photographer. I went to college to become an accountant (actually the first three years of college I planned on becoming a speech pathologist). I got married, graduated, got a job and had my first baby. Then God said – ‘Plot Twist’ – I was laid off from my job. Little did I know this would become one of the biggest blessing of my life.
My husband and I decided I would stay home with the baby and we would make things work. We didn’t eat out much, I drove a car that cost $6,000 and our vacation that first year was to Birmingham (only 3 hours away). But we didn’t need all the fancy stuff. We were happy and I was able to stay home. Along came baby number two. I did go back to work, but only one week out of the month.
Life was going along great. Six years later we were surprised with baby number three. Another Plot Twist (thank you God) – you see, the middle child was getting ready to start school so I was thinking it would be time for me to start looking for a job. But once I found out I was pregnant, I knew I would be staying home for 5 more years. If this third child would have never come along I feel certain that I would be working as an accountant and I would have never gotten the opportunity to become a photographer.
Somewhere in those five years – my husband bought me my first DSLR camera (a big girl camera). I studied that thing front and back – I even read the manual. I started taking a few pictures for friends here and there. Not really knowing what I was doing, but it was fun.
In 2010 – I started Hope Davis Photography – charging only $50 for a session including all the images on a CD. I knew nothing about a business and making money. I was just having fun. Over the years I studied how to run a profitable business and I learned more and more about the art of photography. But I was also getting burned out. I spent my days on the computer editing and my nights photographing families, seniors, children and even a few weddings.
Then in February of 2014 everything stopped – my dad passed away.
I took the remainder of the year off and only shot for myself. I took pictures of what mattered to me, my family. It was a growing period for me. I learned that my family comes before my business. I learned that there is a time to work and a time to turn everything off. I learned how to become a wife, a mom and a daughter again. But I also learned, that I missed my photography business.
So in the beginning of 2015 I decided to start back up but with some major changes. I didn’t want to work as much as I had in the past. I asked myself a question… If I could only photograph one thing (other than my family) what would it be? The answer was easy… Newborns.
But why Newborns –
Yes, they are sweet and cuddly.
Yes, I can photograph them during the day when the kids are in school.
Yes, I loved photographing my own children as newborns.
But the real why…. I have no newborn pictures of myself.
The earliest picture I can find is when I was about 9 months old. I am the youngest of 4 girls. By the time I came around, life was simply too busy. Pictures just didn’t seem like a priority. I don’t blame my parents for not taking pictures of me. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I had those pictures. Believe me they made up for the lack of pictures in so many other ways. I was cared for by the most loving mother and father. But what I wouldn’t give to know what I looked like when I was a week old. What color was my hair? Where my cheeks big? How did I stretch and yawn? What did my sleepy smile look like? I will never know these things about me, but I can make sure my little clients will.
I want to give parents and especially children a return ticket back to a time they can’t remember. Parents are so sleep deprived that it makes those first few months extremely fuzzy. While children simply can’t remember how they looked. Photographs have the power to freeze time and I am giving families the opportunity to look back at those first weeks of life and see all the details of their baby’s flakey skin and sleepy smiles. These are treasures they will never lose.
So that’s my why story – what’s your why story…
I thought it would be fun to see my Newborn photography journey. So I have included a few pictures of some sweet babies.
2011 – My very first newborn clients. Not sure why I thought starting with twins would be a good idea, but they were so good to me. Anna Lola and Katherine
2012 – Hollis
2013 – Warner
2014 – Maddie James
2015 – sweet little Laiken has gone dance with Jesus.
2016 – Edie
2017 – Easland
2018 – Chamblee
Trust me when I say, you’ll want to pause these moments.