A Mother’s Body | Rebecca’s Story

The “A Mother’s Body” project is a photography project aiming to normalize, highlight and celebrate mothers’ bodies of all sizes, shapes and stages of motherhood.

  Welcome to Year 3!

No one prepares you for the kind of exhausted and frazzled you feel when you’re home with your first baby. When George was born, I felt a huge amount of anxiety. I saw mess where there wasn’t any, tried to keep the laundry basket and sink empty. I breastfed for 6 months (it hurt), I bottle fed (he hated every bottle I tried), and he was a terrible sleeper (Is he sick? Is this colic? Is he too warm or cold? Is it too early to start the day?) You question every little thing you do! Is he teething? When did I give Tylenol last? Am I giving too much Tylenol? Is it time to start solids? Am I brushing his teeth enough? Do you have to floss them? Some days were just overwhelming.

I called my mom a lot in those first few months. Morning, noon, and night. Sometimes just to talk to another human that wasn’t crying. Sometimes to get her to come hold him while I took a much-needed bath, or rock and sing to him when he was inconsolable. I would go stay the night at her house just so that I could get a little rest, or eat a meal that didn’t consist of a granola bar and coffee.

I don’t know what I would have done without my mother. But because of her, I was (and am) able to re-group, put on my big-girl pants, and parent whole-heartedly. I thrive on providing for my son, and try to teach him how to be a good person. He is so vibrant and happy; he’s turned me into a morning person, because I can’t wait to start the day with him. It’s easier to go full-tilt into motherhood when you know you have back-up from a seasoned pro. I only hope I can provide George with that kind of support if he gives me grandchildren one day.

Thank you Rebecca (and George) for sharing your story!

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Sweet Baby Colin | New Brunswick Newborn Photographer

Last month Colin came to visit me in the studio and let me tell you, I won’t forget about him anytime soon! One, because look at his FACE and blonde mohawk HAIR, it was the sweetest, and two, well because this little guy was having a rough day (week?) and was not thrilled about sleeping or photos or being touched or anything other than eating and nuzzling/napping on mom. Mom (former bride Katie) was so patient with me/him though and as I always tell parents, you never need to apologize for your baby, every single little person who comes to visit me is wonderful and I’ve been doing this so long now that I try to just laugh and work through the more…challenging…ones, and in the end it all works out.

(I won’t lie, I had to take a nap after Colin though, he wore me out!)

Everyone meet sweet baby Colin.

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ANJ & COLIN | Frozen Lake Winter Wedding [McAdam, New Brunswick]

The wedding season got off to an early and unexpected start for me this year; when I first got Colin’s call last fall asking whether I would be free for a small wedding in March, I was curious and a bit confused…who gets married in March in the Maritimes? It’s not exactly a typical wedding month, but after getting to know Colin and his love Angela (Anj), I quickly learned that there was nothing typical about them.  They had a totally unique and magical day suited to them, and I’m still thinking about how special it was.

The entire day was centered around (literally) a lake on the outskirts of McAdam (where Anj is from-and so is coincidentally my husband Dan!) They wanted to get married ON the lake, outdoors in a place where they spent so much time as a couple, and everything else would just revolve around that. Bad weather? Change the date. No ice? Do it on the shore. Guests too cold? They can watch from indoors. They had a vision for what they wanted and I’m so happy that it all worked out for them; not only did it work out, it was probably the most magically ‘winter’ day you could ever have asked for! Not too cold, not much wind, with a ton of beautiful, huge fluffy snow falling on and off all day long (it was the week/weekend of those 3 crazy nor’easters we got, but the timing was perfect for guest travel).

They kept everything super simple but added their own special twists on the day, incorporating fun old-world traditions (log sawing and drinking from a 2-cupped goblet), and modern fun (snowmobiles and tractors abound!) Family and friends gathered, simple food was served inside a warm and cozy cabin while snow fell on the lake…and these two, oh how these two love each other, above all else that’s what I noticed. Totally head over heels, giggly and cuddly love, I couldn’t have asked for a better group to spend the day with.

These are the kinds of days I want to photograph, over and over and over again (as long as I have a good pair of boots.)

Couple: Anj Sangster ad Colin Gandy

Ceremony Location: Palfrey Lake, McAdam, NB

Reception Location: Palfrey Lake Lodge, McAdam, NB

Photo Locations: McAdam Train Station & Palfrey Lake, NB

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Amanda and Scott | Norton, NB Engagement Photographer

First engagement session of the season, yay! Amanda and Scott are getting married in June in their own backyard not even 5 minutes away from my house here in Norton, and I’m so, so excited for it! Since it was a typical early March day (gray and cold) for their engagement photos, we decided to do a few photos in their home with their pup, then headed out for a few chilly photos on Scott’s family’s 100+ year old homestead (gotta love the country for things like ‘old family homesteads’, and for ‘Belleisle locks’, as Scott put it). It was a teaser for things to come this summer, and I can’t wait.

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Personal | At 35

35. The age I’ve been secretly screaming about inside my own mind for awhile now has come, and whether I’m ready or not, it’s here and I am it, I am thirty.five.years.old. Age is a funny thing; it’s slow and progresses at a pace that you can kind of understand, but then it also seems to just come out of nowhere and slap you in the back of the head saying “Hey! You are middle aged now! Here are some random body pains, screw you!”

Honestly, I’m in a bit of a funk right now. It’s the time of year I know I it, which might be why I’ve never really celebrated my birthday, because the end of March is just…dull. I feel dull. So if this post comes off as a little less upbeat than usual, you can blame the muddy snow outside and the lack of consistent work. But, while I was thinking about what I wanted to say this year about my current state of mind and life, one word kept popping into my head, one word that sums me halfway through this third decade of living, and that’s:

Unapologetic.

 

If you’re younger than I am you probably read that and think ‘oh, that’s not good’ or ‘wow, that’s harsh’, and if you are my age or order, you probably read that and think ‘hell yes’! As I wrote about last year when I turned 34, the best thing about getting older is feeling more confident in yourself and feeling comfortable in your skin, and so in the past year I’ve become a bit more…hardened?…in my decision to just live my life and to not apologize for my decisions. Don’t like how I dress or that I bare skin? Fine. Don’t like how I parent my kids or treat my husband? Ok cool. Don’t agree with my business practices or how I act online? Sure. I won’t engage and I won’t defend myself anymore, you either like it and accept it or you don’t, but it’s not going to change who I am or how I’m living my life. Now of course as I’ve become more assertive in my convictions, I have to be careful not to become closed off to new ideas or criticisms (in fact that’s something I really want to work on going forward because I have not been great at it historically), but when it comes to my own happiness, I’m not compromising and I’m not apologizing. We only have one wild and precious life, I’ve said it many times before, I and I refuse to waste it changing or adapting for people who don’t really matter (aka most people). You do you, I won’t judge, and I’ll do my own thing over here.

Now, this isn’t to say that there isn’t a certain malaise to getting older too. I still crawl out of my skin from time to time (though way less than I did in my 20s), and I still have moments of doubt and sadness, just like everyone else, but I am fortunate enough that I am mostly in control of my own life at this point and that I am free to do what I want (something many people are not fortunate enough to have-choice). I still want to try new things, be open to new experiences despite (or maybe because of) the routine and steadiness of my life, and I want to continue growing as a person. The changes between 25 and 25 have been huge, I can just imagine the changes that will happen from 35 to 45 and beyond!

Hello 35, let’s do this (but let’s slow it down with the gray hair, shall we?)

 

 

 

(Pardon the random terrible portraits, I had good intentions to attempt something a bit more professional but couldn’t muster the motivation, but this is me most days at 35, in my workout gear-no sleeves ever-unbrushed hair and tired eyes.)

Kim - You are beautiful and i love the self portraits…so simply natural and radiant!! You are brave for sharing your thoughts. I agree we should be more comfortable in our own skin and not care so much of what others think we should be.Our thirties just creep up on us and before we know it, we are have way through them. How does that happen?? 35 and thriving for many more adventures…

Anj - What I love about you is that you area a Real Person, who captures Real Life and Real Moments. This story says that you can also speak to and write about the real moments – the ones that are simple bliss that make us feel spiritual – and the ones that are raw and remind us of our human existence. Real life personified.

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