I’m a baby photographer and a mother. Looking back at my childhood, I can see signs of both. When my youngest sister Marisa was born, I was 11 years old. I was still scared of the dark, but those moments when I would rock her to sleep in a dark bedroom, I felt fearless. I was the oldest, and I felt a kind of fierce protection for my brothers and sisters. Those were the first stirrings of the mama bear in me.
When Marisa was a baby, my 10-year-old sister Sarah and I used to dress her up in cute little summer outfits, prop her up under an umbrella, and put a sun hat on her head. We would pretend the tan carpet in our bedroom was the sand of a beautiful coastal beach, and we’d take dozens of pictures of her with an old slim 110 camera. I went into my teenage years with a Polaroid camera (and a lot of that 90′s teen drama), and we took hundreds of pictures. My friends’ pictures were taped to everything – my notebooks, my locker, my bedroom walls. In college I decided to take a darkroom film class, and I loved the dim light, the chemicals, and watching the images appear by magic on paper. My sister Sarah had her first child around that time, and I took dozens of pictures of my 1-year-old niece for my class final project. Taking pictures of her felt like a faint echo of my childhood.
Today I have three children (and counting!). I want to hold onto the joy, the laughter, the chubby cheeks and fine baby hair. I want them to be able to look back and know what their childhoods were like, full of love and innocence and possibilities. I want to watch and remember the CHANGE. I love how they are growing up from pink-faced giggling chubby babies, and growing into their distinct personalities. I want to remember the seriousness and the look in their eyes where I can see new ideas taking shape. I want to remember them running into my arms for ferocious bear hugs. I want to remember their smiles and tinkling giggles and roaring laughter. And so I photograph.
To read more about me, visit my Personal blog entries: http://leahjentphotography.com/blog/category/personal/