Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christine & Gareth

Christine and Gareth have been together for five years, and although they had not planned to start a family just yet, Grayson Max was ready to come into their lives. So the couple embraced this new stage of adventures to be shared together and did everything they could to prepare and welcome their baby. The shoot at Southlands and the beach were the ideal locations, for the expecting parents feel there is a strong energy in the beautiful banyan trees which grow so close to the sea. This connection to nature was the perfect place to explore all aspects of they mystery of pregnancy and birth in a place where they felt closest to the elements.They wanted to do a maternity shoot to capture this journey they were on together and the forest and beach settings capture everything about how they view life, their connection to the earth and to one another, and how they were choosing to birth their new addition.

As a trained doula, Christine was already passionate about pregnancy and birth. They spent 9 months planning their home birth and it was truly amazing and everything they expected. After a few short hours of labour, they pair had Grayson Max Bayley on a night that the moon and sky were clear and looking down upon them. Hours after the birth, the family of three were snuggled up in the comfort of their own home together and marveled at the miracle that had just occurred. The minute Grayson was with them, it was as if they had already known him for a lifetime, the same way Christine had felt when she first met Gareth.

I simply adore these next two images...

So much so that I had to include them in black and white as well.

As you can see, I adore this image below too - this is another variation of the first photo.

This is one beautiful baby bump - and the beads just emphasise both the beauty and the bulbousness of that perfect belly.

The couple not only spent 9 months planning the birth itself, but also lots of events to celebrate this time in their lives. They hosted a belly painting party and did a belly casting just days before the shoot to have a special molding to show little Gray as he grows up. Christine wants to paint the cast with symbolic pictures to depict what the pregnancy was like and incorporate aspects that are unique to Max (they call him Max too!).The expecting mama was also given a special Blessing Way to celebrate motherhood and being a woman, in lieu of a traditional baby shower. The new parents have since held a Blessing Way for Max where they planted his placenta beneath a fruit bearing palm in his grandparents' garden. They had family and friends write special messages welcoming him to the world in celebration of the earth, their connection together as humans, and his soul joining theirs on their journey together - just beautiful.

Christine, Gareth, and now Grayson Max - thank you for allowing me to share in this special time in your lives - I do so adore photographing pregnant bellies and you really captured the intensity and beauty of it all. I wish the three of you so many happy times together and perhaps I will get to photograph Gray when he is a bit more grown! Blessings xxx

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