After a loooooong hiatus on the blog, we’re finally back! We’ve been SOOO busy creating beautiful portraiture for families since our last post in July, we got too busy to blog! So we’re hiring additional help so that we can manage it all. 🙂 The next few posts are going to let you in on all the new things going on at Olivia Grey Pritchard Photography! First off, you’ll see a new look to our site, blog, and marketing materials. We hired the amazing Katie Loerts of Katie Loerts Design to create a new interpretation of our brand. The most important thing I wanted the new design to convey were our standards of simple and timeless beauty and our commitment to excellence. I think Katie’s design beautifully illustrates these principles!
The new logo was just one part of the many new things we are doing at the studio to refine both our craft and the way we do business. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality images, experience and products, and we will continue to invest in every area to provide that. This year, we have invested in enlarging our studio space, a new continuous lighting system for the studio that newborns and babies prefer to strobe (flash) lighting, our new brand look, remodeling our studio viewing space, and an amazing private mentoring class with the world-renowned Julia Kelleher of Jewel Images. I traveled to Oregon to spend several inspiring days with Julia and some model newborns in Julia’s lovely studio so that I could bring back such timeless, beautiful studio newborn portraiture to the heart of New Orleans. More on that later! For now, please enjoy our new look and new logo!
Would you like to chat about a session for your family? Call 504.421.4130 or visit our contact page at www.oliviagreypritchard.com!
These three beauties are just so, so lovely, aren’t they? Penny is the owner of the amazing interior design shop Eclectic Home on Oak Street. If you haven’t been, go by soon! They have some of the loveliest furnishings, textiles, lamps, etc. I’ve ever seen. Penny’s daughters (and her grand-dog Drew) were such a joy to work with, and her beautifully styled (of course!) home in Uptown was the perfect setting. It was a break from my norm of working with younger babies and kids, and I truly loved it! A gorgeous young woman and a beautiful young lady on the cusp of womanhood = a wonderful session.
Miss Vivian is SOOOOOOOOO expressive, am I right? She’s a very petite little girl with huge, dark blue eyes. She loved laying on my fluffy fur, grabbing it with her little fists, all the while kicking her little legs! She was in such a good mood that day, babbling up a storm and squealing with laughter when we sang to her. A happy baby is tonic to the soul!!! I love this age! 🙂
Grace, Isabel and Caroline are triplets, and they are quite the trio. They are so funny, and each so very different. It was FREEZING on this day, but they’re so busy we didn’t want to move the session date — so we literally had the car pulled up to where we were shooting, and while I did individual shots I made the other two sit in the heated car! I knew noses would start getting red and eyes would be watering after too long, so we moved quickly and the girls cooperated beautifully. They got a little hyped up (as 3 pre-teens usually do) and it was SO FUNNY when Grace, who is always in charge, got her sisters in line by saying, “Be a first-time listener!” while I was arranging them in poses. That was the first time I’d ever heard that, and it’s PERFECT! Their mom says they hear it at school. 🙂 Brilliant!
You might recognize a few of these dogs from some shows and movies — they belong to Morris and Terri Chaisson of In Control Dog Training. They’ve been in American Horror Story, True Detective, several other police shows, some movies…they have quite impressive resumes, and they are wicked-smart! And beautiful, obviously. We got some shots for their portfolios that they send out for auditions, and then we played around for a bit while they showed me some of their tricks. They LOVE their humans, and their eyes follow Morris wherever he goes. They (humans and dogs both) were a pleasure to work with!
(Four male dogs who were super-excited to be out by the bayou were a LOT to have out at once, so for now we settled for an individual shot of each pup with his parents, and this one with the two calmest guys! 🙂 )
It took me a few days to write this post. Last week, during the beginning of Mardi Gras parades and festivities, I went to Ocshner Hospital to photograph a birth for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Normally NILMDTS doesn’t photograph births, but since I photograph one birth per month professionally already, I knew I could handle both the technical and emotional challenges that photographing a birth presents. The reason it was so crucial to photograph this birth is that Mom and Dad were having triplets, and Triplet A wasn’t expected to live long after birth. We wanted to photograph her with her sisters, and all three triplets with their parents, and since Babies B and C were being whisked away to the NICU right after birth and wouldn’t be allowed to come into the recovery room, that needed to happen in the delivery room. We weren’t even sure we were going to get that shot, but we were hoping for it. Mom delivered via C-section, and we did get the pictures we wanted, of all three girls, then all three girls with Mom and Dad. Then we got to spend some more time with Baby A, and Dad baptized her with Mom watching from the operating table.
Several things made this session so special to me: one, hospitals are dealing much more with palliative care and doing what is best for the family who is losing a child. NILMDTS is a huge part of that, but we can’t be present unless someone calls to inform us of a family that needs our services. Usually, it’s a nurse at the hospital who calls. This time, a social worker dedicated especially to these situations called me and asked me specifically to photograph the birth. I feel like it’s a huge step in the right direction towards easing the emotional burdens for families suffering a loss. The second aspect of this session that really impacted me was the fact that it was a birth of multiples. I felt it was so important to photograph all three babies together, so they would have at least a few pictures of themselves when they were three. The third thing that stood out to me was that I got to photograph a father baptizing his daughter. It was a special, special moment.
But the most important thing, that didn’t strike me until I had left, was that I got to witness a person’s entire life. I was there when she was pulled from her mother’s womb and I was there as she drifted back out of our world. What an amazing privilege. How many people can say that they were present for another person’s entire life? Given what that means, I would say, too many. But NILMDTS was created for this purpose. To document a life that was far too brief. To give parents, and grandparents, and brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends, a tangible reminder that a little spirit was here, was loved, did love, and blessed those that knew her. I watched this sweet baby make eye contact with each of her parents when she came out — she acknowledged them and blessed them with her recognition. They felt that connection, and because of NILMDTS, they don’t have to rely on memory alone to recall that moment in the years to come. They don’t have to experience the panic that must come on the inevitable day when they wake up and can’t picture their daughter’s face exactly in their minds, and don’t have any photographs to remind them of its details.
If you are a professional portrait photographer in the New Orleans area (or anywhere!), please consider volunteering with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. You can read up on the technical skill requirements and application process here. And if you’re not sure and would like to talk about it first, I’m happy to have you come by the studio for some tea and a chat. These sessions are, by definition, sad. I usually go home and take a nap for a couple of hours to process what I just photographed. I know it sounds weird, but that’s how I process it in a way that it doesn’t affect me for days. And the joy that I get from knowing I’ve provided something absolutely irreplaceable for a grieving family far outweighs the grief I feel at and after each session. Some people ask me, “How can you do that?!!” I, along with probably every other NILMDTS volunteer who takes sessions for these families, respond: “How can I not?”
Hug the babies in your life tight the next time you see them. Say an extra prayer of thanksgiving that you have them here with you, and healthy. They are a gift!