South London Photographer: What’s so great about photographing babies?

Everything!!

I love, love, LOVE taking photographs of newborns. It’s such a precious and fleeting time. When I am around tiny people who are only a few days old I am reminded in quite a visceral way of my own babies’ early moments.

Don’t tell the new mums but you know, they don’t stay tiny newborns for long and the wonder of being vomited, defecated and urinated on regularly does begin to wear thin. It isn’t long before they develop language and learn to tell you that they hate you – it’s devastating when it first happens but by the third child you will have developed a thicker skin, and if you were in a particularly childish mood you might even stick your tongue out and say back to them a little sarcastically  – “I don’t care!!”  They also hold their hands over their ears when you sing and then they scream, “No! Don’t make that noise” (and even start crying – geez, it’s not that bad!); they drop entire boxes of cereal on carpets that were just cleaned by a very lovely, helpful man called Stuart* who had only just finished the job of removing all the grime twenty minutes earlier, and which they were responsible for in the first place; they lose their homework and then blame you – actually, they blame you for every little thing that goes wrong in their lives; they climb on your head when you’re sleeping and demand that you get up at 5.30 in the morning – “but it’s da cwack ‘a dawn!!!” – which is precisely why, you tell them, they should still be sleeping. They scream and cry and bawl for literally no reason at all sometimes.

But they’re sweet occasionally too. Son No. 1 has taken to telling me I’m the best mummy in his whole wide world. Son No. 2 thinks I’m the softest mummy ever – damn, he’s right, no wonder they’re so feral. And this morning son No. 1 decided he would make me a cup of tea and some toast in bed. Aaaah – so sweet. It was all his idea, although it has to be said I was being charged for this treat – £2, and I think he felt a little exploited by that. Unfortunately for me he actually dropped and broke the cup on the kitchen floor, along with half a sliced loaf and a collection of plastic cutlery. Happily, there was no tea in the cup at the time, nor could there ever have been since he didn’t put any water in the kettle prior to boiling it. He still wants paying though because apparently none of that calamity was his fault. I imagine it was mine, sitting in my bed upstairs with no tea but plenty of hope and expectation.

I managed to escape briefly on Friday evening when I went to the Swaffield PTA Quiz night. So much fun! I thought Michael, Quiz Master from our great local, The Old Sergeant, was terrific and he even asked some questions I knew the answers to. Woo hoo!  Thank you very much to the fantastic PTA for a brilliant evening.

The mummy in these pictures has all of this to look forward to. There is so much to learn. One thing I would say to new mums is, if you are reading any kind of parenting book that makes you think the methodology contained within it is the only way, chuck it out with the dirty nappies. In the meantime know that the hormonal storm that’s currently battering your entire being gives way to all sorts of weather; calm, breezy, temperate moments as well as wet, wild torrential periods too.  There are times when you want to literally throw them across the room but there is also joy, laughter and lots of fun. No wonder, I went “Oh! – so that’s what it’s all about…” after my first child was born.

Very cute baby alert so if you’re prone to broodiness you might want to look away now.

*Stuart the carpet cleaner can be reached on 07908 302437 if your carpet and upholstery are as grubby as mine were.  He’s ever so helpful!

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All images ©Sarah-Jane Field

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