though short in stature she is fierce!

On Saturday I got to meet Ashley and James and take pictures of Ashley's beautiful belly. They were expecting a baby girl, and it was so much fun to get to know them as we did our maternity session. They are going to be wonderful parents!

Here is my favorite photo of Ashley. She has such an expectant and dreamlike look to her in this image. It was one of the coldest days of the winter, and I was outside on the porch photographing her as she peered out the window. I don't like to do much noticeable photoshop work, but I do like to do some "behind the scenes" photoshop work. This image has a very painterly feel to begin with, so I used a Kubota action to soften and bleed the dark tones, and added a layer of fine film grain. This picture will look absolutely stunning printed on a very large sheet of watercolor paper.

At the end of our session I made sure that Ashley took down my cell phone number, because I'm on call for a quick hospital visit with my camera for all of my maternity portrait clients. A maternity session towards the end of pregnancy is always a kind of emotional turning point for my clients, at least I sense that it is, and because my photographs signify such a great point in their lives I feel a real sense of connection with them. It's important to me to maintain this connection, so I try to meet each of my clients' babies and photograph them as soon as possible.

I was absolutely floored when I checked my email the next day and found this message:

This little girl was not due until February 24! She waited just long enough for her mommy to get photos taken, and then she was ready to meet the world!

I visited them in the hospital on Wednesday, and she is just perfect. Although I loved taking the pictures, my very favorite part of the visit was when Ashley invited me to touch her baby and I got to feel that delicate softer-than-soft newborn baby skin with the back of my finger. Just precious.

Congratulations Ashley and James, and welcome baby Leighton!!!