Life is a miracle unfolding in slow motion; we start as part of another, sparked by the love of our parents, and slowly through many stages, we grow into being our own individuals.
When we step back and actually think about this process, the depth and complexity of it all, it is ceaselessly awe-inspiring—yet so many of us, caught up in actually living it, take it for granted every day. This is why photographs are so important: They give us a visual reference, allowing us to step outside the moment and review the passage of time, watching our lives unfold and change as we flip through albums stocked with memories.
I was very much reminded of this during a recent baby boy photo session with a beautiful, jovial infant named Sebastian; I had photographed his parents about a year ago, and at that point, Sebastian was still nestled in his mother’s belly, waiting to be ready for the world. To see him before me, smiling and full of life, made me think of how truly blessed families are, and how precious each stage in a child’s growth is, from the moment they take their first kick in the womb right through to the day they graduate secondary school and join the adult world.
To capture baby Sebastian’s first year, we decided to hold a magical photo shoot in Limassol park (the site of the famous Limassol Wine Festival, which was going a while ago, and which is itself seen as a great celebration of life, drawing thousands of tourists from all over the world). We focussed on those things which make the first year of a person’s life so special: The simple yet incredible wonder of discovering a favourite toy, the days spent feeling the grass, the sun, and the breeze—being welcomed into the natural paradise God has given us—and of course, being held, adored, and wondered at by one’s parents, who are so freshly amazed by the great gift that has been given to them.
Each year holds its own unique “firsts” like this, as each year brings a fresh page in the book of life; this is why it’s so incredibly important to have a family photo session each year as a child grows up, a special “time out” like the one provided by this magical photo shoot in Limassol park—a day in which to create a series of reflections.
If you keep to this tradition faithfully, not only will you be able to one day look back on all the wonderful times you spent with your children, you will give them the gift of being able to look back on themselves, to remember the innocence of days gone by, and to trace how they developed as people. Through doing so, they will better understand the magic that they possess, the unique spark that has made them who they are. Each soul is, after all, on a journey, and photographs are there to help us capture—and cherish—every major step along the way.