September 4, 2015
This family session is one that holds a very special place in my heart so I hope you can spare a few moments to read about the story of Little S.
I first met R and J when they asked me to photograph their winter wedding nearly three years ago. Since then I have watched them grow into a very special little family and have stayed in touch with them.
Meet Little S, R and J’s (almost) 2 year old adopted daughter. Such a ray of laughter and sunshine with a massive love for bubbles. Due to Little S being in the adoption process, we cannot show her face however that does not mean we cannot show her some “Foster Love”.
The reason this session holds a dear place in my heart is because I too am adopted and I couldn’t be more proud of this fact. I was very lucky to be brought into a very loving and caring family through an ‘open’ adoption. This is where the adoptive family correspond with the birth mother, writing letters and sharing photographs as the child grows. I have grown up knowing that I am special. That I was picked by my Mum and Dad to be theirs and knowing I was loved enough to be given up for a better life. My Mum and Dad looked after me, cared and nurtured me and made me the person I am today. I am very grateful to my birth mother for realising that I could have a better, more cared for life with two people who had all the love and support they could possibly give to a young infant but could not have one of their own. I was fortunate that my parents could give me a life where I felt involved/included in extended family life. Where I could be involved in family photographs that, if social media was around back then, could be shared.
Now-a-days, an open adoption is no longer an option available to parents in the system. So when it comes to social media, no images can be shared with friends and loved ones, no profile photographs of yourself with your new bundle of joy, no cute posts showing them laughing and smiling can be shared. Not unless you cannot see their face anyway. This I feel can be a potential to make children feel left out especially if they have a family full of siblings. They cannot be fully included in a family photograph that then gets shared on a media post, cannot be mum and dads profile photograph or be the timeline photo with their older siblings. Its only a small thing but can have a massive impact on the feeling of inclusion for a child.
So when R approached me asking about shooting them and their new arrival, I happily said yes. I understood the restrictions that there was in regards to sharing their imagery and happily offered not to share them. However, after talking with Rose, we realised that they too could have their images shared with the magic of composition and good old photoshop! Both of us feel the same when it comes to wanting adoptive children to feel and experience normal family experiences such as photoshoots and being included in the little things. I was very careful to make sure I produced images that where suitable for sharing on social media so that they could share their session with friends and family online with out seeing Little S’s face. Those images which showed her shining smile, I ensured some “foster love” was placed on the images so that they could still share the images just without compromising Little S. Rose gave me permission to share these images and write this post as she too wants adopting families to realise that they too can experience a shoot like this without the worry that their images may end up online.
Speak to your photographer who shoots your session. You have every right to ask that the images not be used for social media or marketing. The photographer will fully understand and grant your wish. Don’t be afraid to have a shoot like J, R and Little S, it is a fun experience which will show your children when they are older just how much they where loved from the very first moment they came home to you.
Feeling included in the family dynamic is important for an adopted child so doing something like this shoot, just for them, will make them feel so loved and will give them something to cherish when they are older.
A big big thank you to R and J for asking me to shoot their little family and also for allowing me to write this post.