I forgot how amazing 4-month-old babies are—the roundness, the drooling smiles, the gleeful squeals, the constant observation of everything around, the ever-grabbing hands. At this stage, Nora is the definition of roly poly. I spend most of the day squeezing and nibbling her. And oh, those goofy ears! I just can't get enough. And is that a hint of auburn in her peach fuzz?
Four months is also a challenge to photograph. If you put Nora on her belly, she'll roll onto her back. If you put her on her back, she'll roll onto her belly. If you prop her in a sitting position, she'll hold steady for just a moment before tumbling (see evidence below).
When I take portraits of my girls, I rarely have the luxury of spending an hour or two with them, as I would with a client. Typically I see an opportunity open up and run for the camera. I snapped these photos several weeks ago at my parents' house in Minneapolis. (See Cricket's portraits from the trip here. See my other Minneapolis travel posts here and here.) We had about three minutes before she saturated her dress with spit-up, and we couldn't get her to stay sitting in middle of the couch, so we had to wedge her into the corner.
I love how the photos turned out for several reasons. First, the background is recognizable to me as my parents' place, so I'll remember our trip when I look back at them. Second, Nora is giggling at Grandma, which I hope I'll remember, too. Third, her adorable outfit was a gift from my lovely friend, Heidi. Nora wore it to the wedding we attended in New York last month, but she required a wardrobe change before I had a chance to get a photo. Fourth, I love the blurred fingers and toes in some of the shots, which will remind me of her constant wiggles.
I'm considering the photo below a draft of what I hope to capture in Nora's 5-month photos. She spends a lot of time rolling around, shrieking with delight and grabbing her toes. But the moment always ends just as I grab my camera.
About 90% of the time, Nora actually looks more like one of the outtakes below.
I'm Julia Soplop. I've spent my life documenting the world around me in writing and photography. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.