Birth Photography | Samantha Graham

“We do not remember days, we remember moments”

The birth of your baby is one of the most life changing, pivotal days in your life. Definitely filled with moments to remember forever. Definitely worth getting a photographer for, specifically for that “moment of birth”. Right?

Wrong!!! Yes, you want a birth photographer at your baby’s birth, but to get permission from some hospitals and doctors allowing your photographer access can be a nightmare. I often get the question from prospective clients about access at hospitals, and I have to admit, I love capturing the whole thing but it’s not a deal breaker. There is so much more to your baby’s birth story than the actual moment of birth.

Here is Samantha’s birth story, we knew from the start that I wouldn’t be allowed in theatre. Normally I wouldn’t post the images the dad or staff captured on my website, because it’s not my work, but I decided to show you what is possible, even though I was not in theatre…..

I think we pretty much still “GOT” the birth 😉

Here is her birth video, you decide …..

 

A note from Michelle to her daughter Samantha;

“My liefste Samantha

Jy is al twee maande oud ! Dit voel nogsteeds onwerklik dat jy nou elke dag deel is van ons lewe!! Elke dag is net n blessing!

Jou geboorte storie :

Jou oorspronklike geboorte datum was die 10de aug, maar dr.laker het besluit om jou vroeer uit te haal omdat jy nie gegroei het soos jy moes nie. Ek is toe al die maandag hospitaal toe sodat hulle vir my steriods en magnesium kan inspuit om seker te maak jy is mooi gesond. Die drie dae voordat jy gekom het,het maar vir my baie lank gevoel en ek kon nie wag vir donderdag nie!!

Donderdag het finally aan gebreek! Pappa was al vroeg die oggend daar en ons het saam gewag in opwinding! Dit was die langste paar ure ooit!! Finally was dit ons beurt!

1uur was ek in die teater in. Ek was maar bietjie bang omdat alles so nuut was. Maar ekt geweet Liewe Jesus is by ons en dat alles perfek sal wees! Die nakootiseer het die spinaal gedoen, die inspuiting was bietjie seer, maar dit was glad nie so erg nie. Daarna moes ek gaan le en hulle het my begin prep. Die dokter het in gekom, toe was ek bang ek is nie heeltemal dood gespuit nie en dat as sy sny gaan ek dit voel, maar die volgende oomblik toe kyk sy vir my en se “knyp knyp” , ekt na haar gestaar en gese “huh?” , toe  haal sy n knyp tangetjie uit en se “ekt jou geknyp, het jy dit gevoel?”

Dankie tog ek het nie. Die dokters het gesels oor hulle vakansies en langnaweke terwyl ek en pappa baie anxious wag. 10min later (13:13) is jy gebore.

Wow wat n asemrowende gevoel! Die pediater, dr.angela colquhoun het vir ons die fotos geneem, sy het net aanhou se “aah, sy is so mooi!” ! Ek kon jou net so vinnig oor die lap sien, toe het die dokter jou gevat en pappa het langs jou gestaan en jou bekyk. Later op die fotos was dit vir my so special om te sien hoe hy saggies, met liefde aan jou koppie vat. Hy het toe jou umbilical cord gesny en hulle het jou bietjie in die broei kas gesit om warm te word. Na so 5min het hulle jou bo op my kom sit en ek kon bietjie na jou kyk. Die nakootiseer het toe n medisyne gespuit wat maak dat my baarmoeder weer terug trek, dit het my bietjie duislig gemaak. Ek was toe bang jy val van my af omdat ek jou nie meer so mooi kon vashou nie, die suster het jou toe weer in die broei kas gesit. Pappa het langs my gesit en my hand vashou en my verseker alles is oky.

Toe hulle my klaar toe gewerk het het ek vir so 10min in die recovery saal gele, jy en pappa was nog saam met my, pappa het jou vas ghou. Toe het hulle my saal toe gestoot en jy en pappa is na die baba kamer. Hulle het my gou kom was. Daarna het jy en pappa weer terug gekom en jy het so bietjie gevoed, wat amazing en special was, en ons het lekker skin to skin gedoen terwyl Sam (ja ook Sam, how cool!) vir ons stunning fotos geneem het.

Ouma tutti en oupa charles was eerste by ons. Dit was vir hulle so lekker om jou te ontmoet, en ek is so bly hulle kon hier wees. Oupa sam , ouma lorraine en jou ouma grootjie ella het toe ingekom. Hulle was so bewoe. Ons het toe ook vir die eerste keer vir ouma lorraine gese dat jou tweede naam raine gaan wees . Sy was heeltemal onkant gevang en so surprised. Dit was so special.

Daarna het ek so bietjie gerus en pappa het gou gery om boris en linka te voer. Maar hy was gou gou weer terug, haha. Jy het heeltemal jou pa se hart gesteel!!! Ekt so bietjie pyn gehad en vir die susters gevra vir iets. So, daai ietsie het my heeltemal deurmekaar gemaak, en die res van die dag is bietjie n blur, maar

Ouma lorraine, oupa sam, ouma ella, oom louis, oom stephen, tannie carien en tannie vicky het die aand kom kuier. Oom louis was heeltemal in awe met jou! Oom stephen was sommer afgeskrik omdat jy so klein was, hehe (nou dat jy bietjie grooter is, 2 maande, hou hy jou baie lekker vas) hulle het nie lank gebly nie omdat ek nie heeltemal by was nie, maar pappa het tot laat gebly en jou vas gehou terwyl mamma op haar trip was 😉

Die volgende dag het ek baie beter gevoel. Ekt vir die suster gevra om die kateter uit te haal sodat ek kan gaan stort. Die stort was maar bietjie moeilik, ek was maar seer. Note to future daughter – drink eers n pyn pil voordat jy gaan stort! Tannie jenny, vicky en lene het ook vir jou kom kuier vandag. (Oom ruan, danie en tannie karen het die saterdag vir jou kom kuier. Asook oom wynand)

Die vrydag aand in die hospitaal kon ek jou nog in die baba kamer gaan los dan sou hulle jou elke 3 ure bring om te voed. Ekt jou die aand gevat. Oh, by the way, daar was 9 babas gebore op die 3de aug 2017 in kloof hospitaal!!!! So… Toe ek jou vat toe is al 8 al opgeline en ekt jou in die que gesit, my hart het alklaar gebreuk! 2 ure later , (nadat  ek vir 2 ure luister na verskillende babas wat nou en dan huil ) het ek besluit, nee wat ek gaan my baba haal!! Haha ekt jou gaan haal en jy het die hele aand op my bors geslaap, selfde met die volgende paar aande in die hospitaal! Dit was so lekker en ekt geweet jy is veilig en gelukkig.

Die volgende paar dae im die hospitaal het maar vinnig verby gegaan en ek kon nie wag vir sondag om huis toe te gaan nie!!

Sondag was ons so 12uur by die huis. Al jou oumas en oupas was daar asook oom louis, oom stephen en tannie carien. Ons het almal lekker middag ete saam geeet en toe het almal gery en dit was net ons. Dit was so lekker om jou finally by die huis te he!!

Die eerste drie weke was pappa hier, en wow , dit was vreeslik lekker om saam as n gesin net deur elke dag te gaan en mekaar lief te he, en elke nou en dan vir jou te staar 😉 pappa het n nuwe favourite gekry, jy was instantly sy oogappel! Hy is regtig my mr.perfect! Hy help met ALLES! En nie omdat hy moet nie, omdat hy wil. As jy n geluid maak is pappa daar! As ek net dink dis tyd om jou doek te ruil is hy daar! Ek en pappa het actually gefight vir beurte om jou doek te ruil hahaha!!

Pappa was baie hartseer om weer terug te gaan DRC toe! Maar vandat pappa daar is video call ons elke aand, en oggend oor naweke! Jy kyk aandagtig na die skerm.

Vandar jy begin smile het op 6 weke het jy sommer baie hom gesmile. Toe jy 7 weke oud is die saterdag oggend toe pappa bel het jy die hele tyd vir hom gesmile!! Dit was so special, little daddy’s girl! Voor dit het jy maar net nou en dan vir my en oupa en ouma gesmile. Maar nie so baie na mekaar nie! Dit was regtig ongelooflik om te sien! En van daar af het jy altyd baie gesmile as hy met jou gesels.

Pappa kom nou weer oor 11 slaapies en ons kan seriously nie meer wag nie!!!

Ons lewe is soooo geseen met jou in dit xxx

Oh ja, nog n ding , ek neem te lekker fotos van jou! Oom louis het gejoke en gese eendag as jy groot is en jy vra vir al jou baba fotos , dan gaan ek se, ja hier is al die 12 000 baba fotos my kind, haha

Maar ek dink actually dit gaan meer as dit wees, haha

Ongelooflik, ontsettend baie baie lief vir jou!!!

Liefde
Mamma
Xox ”

 

Family Photography | Dreyer Family

It is a happy talent to know how to play.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

As they say there is a first for everything. This was the very first time I had to incorporate a grass cutting machine into my a family photography session. Looking through these images of the Dreyer family reminds me of the quote on top. “It is a happy talent to know how to play.”

This boy have loads of talent in that department and he kept me on my toes…. He loves all things boy! I had a hard time getting any shots unless he was busy with something wheels. As long as it turns he is happy and all smiles. O yes the only other thing he thoroughly enjoys are his cousins!

Odette and Christy you are dear friends to my heart. Enjoy playing with this special little man.

xXx
Sam

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Lifestyle Maternity Photography | Charl, Lizette and little Darius, waiting for a baby girl

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~Lao Tzu

I always seem to be in a hurry, but when Lizette Pretorius contacted me to do this Lifestyle Maternity Session, hurry changed to worry. I was very worried that baby would arrive before we had our time in nature. All ended well, as you can see and baby’s timing was as nature, perfect.

Can you believe this stunning mom was already 38½ weeks pregnant when we did this session? Her little boy Darius is one of those old souls. You can see it right away when you look into those gorgeous blue eyes. He can not wait for his sister and is very informative of how she is going to enter our world 😉

Enjoy this very special time and I believe our journey has only begun, even if it was in a bit of a hurry!

xXx
Sam

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Christening | Martehelie

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“Even the sun directs our gaze away from itself and to the life illumined by it” – Eberhard Arnold

I always struggle a little bit when I write a blog post as I’m much better at telling stories with my camera than I am with my pen. Marthelie’s christening was no different.

A christening to me is one of those very personal happenings in a persons life. The little child’s life as well as the parents. It’s intimate, it’s sacred and not really something that I am able to describe in words. What I can however put in words is Matthew 5:16.

16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

I found the beautiful words of a song from Lauren Daigle – “Salt & Light” that is based on
Matthew 5:13-16.

Oh the beauty of the King
You make righteous those who seek
You have written and redeemed my story

Let my eyes see Your kingdom shine all around
Let my heart overflow with passion for Your name
Let my life be a song, revealing who You are
For You are salt and light

Oh the love that set me free
You bring hope to those in need
You have written and redeemed my story

Let my eyes see Your kingdom shine all around
Let my heart overflow with passion for Your name
Let my life be a song, revealing who You are

For You are salt and light
You are love’s great height
You are deep and wide
A consuming fire

You are salt and light
You are love’s great height
You are deep and wide
A consuming fire

Let my eyes see Your kingdom shine all around
Let my heart overflow with passion for Your name
Let my life be a song, revealing who You are
For You are salt and light
You are salt and light
For You are salt and light
For You are salt and light

You can listen to it here – Salt & Light

Little Marthelie, may you always walk in Matthew 5:16.

xXx
Sam

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Newborn Photography │ Luan Viljoen

Newborn Photography

“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” ~Desmond Tutu

Having your newborn photography session is hard work, but this little guy was just amazing and handled it like a pro! He was just one happy content bub that loved being cuddled by his new family.

Little Luan was born a few weeks ago (If you missed the blog post on his birth click HERE) to Dad Rickus, Mom Tharina and Big Brother Rian. He is adored and loved, as you will see in the images below, and completes the circle of family for the Viljoens. I loved spending time with them and his dad was a blast to photograph!

He is not only a gift to his own family, but also to mine.

The Viljoen family might not be blood related but they are a blessing from above and part of my Family

Our family started out on a couple of KTM motorbikes (you’ll see some motorbike accessories in the pictures below ;)) and grew to a family of friends that have been irreplaceable in the past 2 years. The dads of the family will get together early Saturday mornings on their orange machines and meet up afterwards for a braai with the wives and kids. (I’ll do a post on the orange machines in the new year and tell you all about the purpose of these weekly motorbike meetings)

We have all prayed and hoped for little Luan, and now that he is here we can’t thank God enough for this little soul! He has changed his mom and dad’s lives already and have captured the hearts of many.

Little Luan Viljoen, may you always know how loved and treasured you are, how adored and special and may you keep on touching lives around you as you have already done in this short, short time you have been a part of our journey on earth.

Love you lots Viljoen’s, thanks for being the special friends to my family that you are!!!

xXx
Sam

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Newborn Photography | Skylar Howarth

“All the stars in the universe danced on the day you were born….” – Unknown

For those who don’t know, a rainbow baby is a child who is born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant/child loss — the rainbow after the storm. Newborn Skylar is a Rainbow Baby and I found this letter to the parents of a rainbow…

“Dear Rainbow Mom & Dad,

Congratulations on your newborn baby! I know how hard it was to announce this baby, the complicated mix of jubilation and guilt. You want to be excited about this new life, but you want to be respectful toward the life who is no longer here.

This is the tightrope you’ll walk down for the rest of your life, but it will get easier.

It’s OK to be afraid. It’s OK to take it day-to-day. It’s even OK if you’re not excited. You’ve learned, in the worst possible way, that nothing in life is guaranteed. But it’s also OK to have hope, and make plans. Yes, the baby deserves that, but so do you.

A baby after loss is scary. Be kind to yourself. Accept help when it is offered, and ask for it when you need it, even if it seems outlandish.

There will, of course, be people who assume that with the arrival of a newborn baby, you are “better.” They won’t get why you’re “still sad.” There will be others who think you’re a terrible person for daring to go forward with your life, as if having another baby means you’re replacing the one who is gone. These people will never understand.

Aren’t they lucky? Ignore them.

Life can still be good (even great) after unthinkable loss.

Every day, you will be able to breathe a little bit deeper. Every day, you’ll love your babies — all of them — just a little bit more, until one day, that love overtakes the pain.

Congratulations on your beautiful rainbow.”

If you have missed this rainbows birth, you can view it here BIRTH. Their beautiful slideshow can be viewed here SLIDESHOW

xXx
Sam

(Extracts from Huffington Post – To the mother of a rainbow baby)

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Newborn Photography | Sharlette Rose

“You will always be the miracle that makes my life complete.” (George Strait)

Having a newborn in the house mostly don’t feel like the miracle you expected.  You’ve probably heard that all a newborn baby does is eat, poop, cry, and sleep. Sounds simple, right?

It may become simple, but chances are it won’t seem that way at first. That’s okay. That is also perfectly normal. O wait. Normal, perfect and newborn are not alowed in the same sentence! Nothing about taking home a tiny human being feels normal. Everything about your newborn that you imagined would be perfect, feels and looks a little alien like….

Now here is a little truth. Your little newborn alien are perfectly yours. Your own little miracle!

Sharlene shared her miracle baby Sharlette’s story with me.

“I remember the day clearly. We had just returned from our fabulous honeymoon. It was a wonderful week of delicious food, parties on Long Street and even paragliding, however it was time to settle into married life.

I felt really ill so Shav suggested that we do a pregnancy test just to rule that out. So there we were on Christmas Day in the bathroom, waiting anxiously for the results. Those blue lines changed everything. Four positive tests later, we left the bathroom feeling a ton of different emotions.

What a wonderful day to discover we were going to be parents. Our very own Christmas miracle.

I always wanted to be a mom. Shav loves kids and has a wonderful way of relating to them. We had discussed kids many times so finding out we were pregnant so soon after our wedding felt like a blessing from God.

You see, diabetic complications would make it difficult for me to fall pregnant. Shav and I had prepared ourselves for the worst but then God chose us to be Sharlette’s parents.

Everything about our daughter is a divine gift.

From having a wonderful Doctor who walked beside us on this journey to her uncomplicated delivery, Sharlette Rose is proof that God’s love and mercy has no limits. Even whilst tucked in my womb, Sharlette Rose was working her magic. Her very existence deepened our faith in God.

We prayed that she would be strong, fierce and compassionate. I truly believe that Sharlette Rose will move mountains one day.

Our little angel was born on the feast day of the Assumption of Mother Mary. The 15th of August is the day Mary’s soul ascended into heaven, a special day that is celebrated by millions around the world. It’s now Sharlette’s special day too.

She is the light in our home and most importantly our lives. Without her, life has no meaning. We are honoured that we were chosen to be her parents”

xXx
Sam

 

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Newborn | David Böhmer

Gauteng Newborn Photography

“Never let the odds keep you from doing
what you know in your heart you were meant to do.”
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

You have met David already, if you have missed it here is his Fresh 48. He was extremely chilled during this whole newborn session. He gave a few moans when we fiddled too much and he needed some milk but overall a sweet, happy, content baby. Any photographers dream for a newborn session.

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How do we get to be content? Content with life, in a state of peaceful happiness……?       Now this, will never happen if you live to be someone you are not meant to be.

This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your journey, embark on a new one. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start loving yourself. Stop over-analyzing, life is simple. All emotions are beautiful and deserve to be heard. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people; we are united in our differences. Ask the person next to you what their passion is and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once, seize them. Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating. Live your dream and wear your passion. And lastly, live and love in the truth.

I am still learning what contentment for me will be, but I am enjoying the adventure along the way. I don’t know what my future holds and no matter how hard I try I won’t know until I get there. I’m learning to live for today because yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.

Dietmar, Linda and newborn David, enjoy every moment of this adventure. May you always be happy and content!

xxx
Sam

 

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Personal Blog | Clothing battles

“Life reveals her beauty one precious miracle at a time”. – Flavia

I loved dressing my kids when they still allowed me, my style for them was a perfect mix of bohemian chic and preppy cute. They fitted right in with this vision I had of what my life as a mom would look like. It involved a home straight out of a design magazine, with hip furnishings and educational toys. Long walks on beaches and picnics under oak trees…. Pinterest Perfect!

AND THEN MY PERFECT LITTLE MONSTERS STARTED COMUNICATING IN THEIR OWN “AWSOME” WAY!

As it turns out, they have their own opinions on everything, from clothing to food to home décor.  My children seem to be instinctively drawn to mismatched clothing and clashing prints.  Unfortunately for me, their fashion taste rarely meshes with mine….

As perfectly imperfect as it may sound, I had to surrender my vision of what my life as a mom would look like. Not only do my home rarely look anything like the interiors from a design magazine but very rarely do we have the perfect picnic and long strolls on the beach. It’s often much more like a scene from a Disney cartoon with me trying to get the girls down from branches in that perfect oak tree or running after them into the ocean. So surrendering my choice of clothing for them was one of the easier ones, but that also means that if they want to wear rain boots with fairy wings and swimming costumes then we go with it.

This specific day it my youngest decided on leggings and her swimming costume….. I was both horrified and cracking up about this perfectly mismatched outfit!

How do you manage clothing battles with your kids?

xXx
Sam

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Fresh 48 | David

Birth Photographer

[quote]”A wise woman once said to me that there are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these she said is roots, the other, wings.” ~William Hodding Carter (1907–1972)[/quote]

“When I think of that word (roots), I picture an entanglement of yucky, brown, dirty stringy things. And above it, I picture a beautiful oak tree giving shade to young children at play. What’s amazing to me is this, in order for the oak tree to protect those children with its shade, it must be held up by the dirty, yucky roots that at first seem so unappealing.

God wants us to have roots. He wants us to go through life’s difficulties with one another and to be connected. Every year brings a new challenge to the strength and connection of every family. The loss of a family member, the challenge of illness, children acting out in school, a job change or loss…these are things that can cause strife within families. While they are happening, you wonder, will we make it through this? Your mind is flooded with negative thoughts. Think about the oak tree. In order for it to protect the children with its shade, it had to have the yucky, dirty roots. In order for a family to stand strong, it must often go through some of life’s yucky, dirty messes. The family that stays right with God, prays, and leans not on its own understanding can use those dirty yucky situations to build protection for itself.

It is important for us to go through struggles in life, and the family unit is affected by the struggles it goes through as a whole, and the struggles that affect just one of its members. Those struggles may at first seem so dirty and unappealing, but in time, their purpose is revealed.” (Extraction from A Walk of Faith http://www.faith4women.com/)

Meet little David Wilhelm Böhmer.  David meaning “Beloved” and Wilhelm “Determined Protector” can you see the Oak Tree?

Dear little David, may you always stand tall and detriment, may you fly high and always know unconditional love!

xXx
Sam

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