September 14, 2021

welcoming aravis castile | northern virginia newborn photographer

18 months into a pandemic, and I’m still trying to get my bearings. I know I’m not the only person in the world who feels this way, but I still feel like I should have figured this out by now, shouldn’t be so overwhelmed with pandemic-living, should be better able to cheerfully be running my business as if nothing unusual was happening in the outside world.

Or maybe not. 

Maybe we’re all in this haze of pandemic-living, trying to find our way out, trying to hang on to the bits of normal that still exist.

I’ve decided it’s time to start getting caught up sharing the work I’ve done during the pandemic, because despite things slowing down (and even stopping for awhile during lockdown), I have been so lucky to be able to continue making beautiful photos and telling important stories during this time. I feel like the photos I’ve made during covid have been among my most beautiful, maybe because their beauty is juxtaposed against so many of the ugly things we are living with these days.

Way back at the very beginning of lockdown, on the first day that both Virginia and Maryland issued a “stay at home” order, I missed my first birth because of covid. My dear returning client – this would have been the third birth I photographed for her – delivered her baby powerfully but without the support and documentation she so desperately wanted. A few hours later, I met her and her husband when they arrived home, and I was able to document the moment her older girls met the new baby. 

I didn’t know what a “stay at home” order meant. I didn’t know if I should even be on the road (would a cop pull me over for not being at home? I didn’t know how these things worked.) No one was wearing masks yet. I didn’t know if I should be there but I also knew I HAD to be there, I had to give her something to remember her baby’s birthing day by.

After this session it would be 6 weeks of “staying at home” before I photographed another session…and another 3 months before I photographed a birth. Being able to create this work right before being stuck at home was so meaningful and reminded me that no matter what craziness might exist “out there”, in homes and hospitals and birth centers babies are still being born, siblings are still meeting for the first time, families are still growing and experiencing the most important moments of their lives.

As long as that’s happening, I want to be a part of telling those stories.

{{ scroll to the bottom for this family’s sweet film or click here to go directly to the film }}

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