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

Newborn Lifestyle Photography

 

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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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C-Section Birth Photography | Sharlette Rose

C-Section Birth Photography

“Where there is great love there are always miracles.” –   Willa Cather

There aren’t many mothers who will say that a c-section was what they had first envisioned when they thought about giving birth. This was also not Sharlene’s birth plan but by the time we were finalising birth photography we both knew it would be C-section Birth Photography.

A c-section is a medical necessity in the best of situations; in the worst cases, it can be due to the outdated practices of a doctor or his/her desire for convenience.

Some c-section mamas have weeks to mentally prepare for a change in their plans, but many only have days, hours, or minutes. Suddenly, everything she envisioned when meeting her child has changed. Her birth plan has been thrown out the window. Surgery lies before her. She doesn’t know how long she’ll have to wait after birth before she holds her baby in her arms.

We humans don’t tend to do well in situations of sudden change. And yet c-section mamas find a way to let go of their pride and connect with an inner-strength that allows them to enter the OR and give birth to their child.

And then the actual surgery happens. The actual cutting and suturing. Full recovery often takes months. And while most of us would like to curl up with a bowl of ice cream and a stack of movies after a major surgery, c-section mamas do just the opposite. They nurture and love and bond with their needy, beautiful babies. Their “great love” making “miracles” happen.

Emotionally and physically, these women are SO strong. And this strength isn’t just necessary on delivery day; this strength must endure in the weeks and months and years ahead – as their bodies and souls heal, crafting new dreams with their little ones in their arms.

I share with you these beautiful pictures of a person becoming a dad, a courageous mother, nuturing and loving their little princess, living miracles everyday because of their “GREAT LOVE”

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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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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Birth | Vosloo Twins

[quote]“ Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into. – Henry Ward Beecher[/quote]

Meet two little flowers that God did not forget to add beautiful souls to! Louisa and Fleur Volsoo!

As many births go this was a little “unplanned” welcoming of the girls at only 36 weeks (see their maternity session HERE only 2 days earlier), but the smaller one of the two had a little trouble. (I think her sister ate all her food 😉 )   As we discussed some admin the night before the birth, one of the questions was if they have decided which little girl is going to be named Fleur and which Louisa. The first born will be Louisa, it should be the smaller one and the second one will be named Fleur. (Because of the girls positioning they could make an educated guess which will be born first) It’s exactly how it happened, little Lulu were born screaming, strong and fierce. “Renowned worrier” that’s the meaning of this little fighters name. Perfect don’t you think? Fleur was born a little quieter, more delicate, exactly as her name describes a “flower”. Louisa gets her name from her Great Grand Mother Louisa or Lulu and Fleur is a beautiful name that both Anecia and Gerhard liked. Only later did they discover that both these names have a connection to flower. Identical twins with the same name!

What are the odds of these girls given these names purely by chance, I think not! It makes me think of Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” as well as Isaiah 43:1 “…I have called you by name, you are mine”

Be blessed little flowers! I look forward to witness how you grow and bloom into the persons you were born to be!

xXx
Sam

(Have a look at some more of their beautiful birth story HERE)

 

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Birth | Andries

[quote]”You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin[/quote]

It was early morning when I got the first message to let me know Andries decided to surprise us a few weeks early, but it was not long after that that Larisa let me know that she is only 3cm dilated and she is on her way back home. Her midwife told her she should come back when she lost her ability to have a conversation 😉 Never the less by the time Larisa “lost” her voice, we met at the Midwifes Exclusive Birth House in Pretoria.

Actively in labour, Larisa worked hard, but every now and then she opened her eyes and gave her husband Deon a comforting smile, just to let him know she’s okay. Brave! That’s what she was! Brave!  I have seen this mama go from strong to feeling utterly weak and vulnerable and back to strong again, but never for a minute has she not been incredible brave!

Hubby Deon, Doula Anina and Midwife Christel made for unbelievable reinforcement team, couching and cheering, breathing and whispering when she needed it most and it was one of those extraordinary never to be forgotten moments when little Andries was placed in his mom’s arms. More beautiful birth images in their slide show HERE

Little Andries, may you always know how loved you are, may you always know how capable you are to achieve anything you want and may you always know the closeness of our Creator.

xXx
Sam

 

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Birth | Zayden

[quote]”Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers–strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.” ― Barbara Katz Rothman [/quote]

If there is one truth about birth it’s that the plan can change and that’s okay……

Labour was induced early morning and everything progressed so well! Tharien fully dilated but baby changed position and it ended in a emergency C-section. Mom and baby was doing fine but the birth plan has changed. A lot of times this is really traumatic for a new mom but not for Tharien. Birth made her a mother, “…..strong, competent, capable mother who trust themselves and know their inner strength…..”

Thanks for asking me to be a witness to your beautiful journey.

If you missed the beautiful slide show, you can have a look here

xXx
Sam

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Birth | Mikael

[quote]“Although birth is only one day in the life of a woman, it has an imprint on her for the rest of her life.” Justine Caines.[/quote]

Christel gave me “that” call at around 3 in the afternoon. She’s been in labour for a while but will only go to hospital when her contractions are around 6min apart. We met at the Femina Midwife Unit at around 11pm that evening. Christel and Christiaan both excitedly, anticipating the birth of their baby boy. We had a couple of walks around the parking lot and some more around the hospital, but soon Christel was very cold after each contraction and we stayed closed to blankets 🙂 We knew a contraction was close each time she threw of her blankets and that they have passed by the time she started shivering again.

It was incredible to watch how this almost mom worked and breath through each contraction through out the night and around 3 she got into the birthing tub. The warm water immediately relaxed and calmed her shivers. Christel made some notes of her favourite verse from her Bible. These were stuck to the wall at the birthing tub and the moments Christiaan read these to her, was magical and surreal. Christel was incredible strong and focused and with the loving support of Christiaan (the dad) and Estie (her midwife) their beautiful son was born just as the first rays of light appeared on the horizon.

It was a long night of labour and love, and little Mikael was the incredible gift to a mom and dad that will remember this night forever!

If you missed the birth slide show, you can have a look here

P.S. I loved how dad also got to use the birthing ball 🙂

xXx
Sam

 

 

 

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