I first met Shalina at a friend in common baby shower. You know it goes, once you pop out a kid, you're in this loop forever. She was about 3 months pregnant (the bliss!) and still wondering what life was bringing her.
By her third semester, she reached out to me to have a newborn documentary session. We planned the session 3 weeks ahead her due date, I usually wait until the family has had time to settle a bit more at home and the baby is a tidy bit more alert. I mean, settle is a strong word for a first month, but you get the picture.
Time went by, life happened and we had to reschedule the session, so we decided to wait until Mila was 3 months old. Then the baby had hear head shaved - a tradition in Shalina's indian culture - and mom wondered "should we wait until the hair grows again?" I was like... no way! Let's embrace it! If it's part of your culture, it can be part of your photos.
So first things first, morning-baby-shananigans:
I gotta be honest. I know babies are adorable and all, but one of the things I enjoy most in these sessions, is seeing the couple partnership. The feeding around the clock + diaper changing doesn't stop. They have their hands busy all the time, and they are having fun with it. Tiring fun, sure. But a strong foundation like that carries over for years.
Sometimes parents get shy around the streets for these type of photography - it might look like I'm a paparazzi with permission but it's like jumping in a cold pool. Once you get in, the experience and results are worth it. So off we went to morning coffee and neighborhood walk.
Shalina owns a henna company, MiHenna, go check because it's amazing! They sell in-home henna kits with really cool designs. She gave me a bunch of samples to try on - my son has been tattooing himself for over a month now. I can't stop him. Ok, but I was saying... This badass mama has an incredible facility operation to run the business. She's got the power! And support from her husband and daughter - who overlooks everything from the counter: