celebrating new life

As the oldest of four children, I still remember the day my youngest sister was born. I can't say the same about the birthdays of the middle two; I was too young at the time. But when baby Esther made her grand entrance into my seven-and-a-half-year-old life back in the '90s, it was a meaningful event. Suddenly, all those hours of playing house and caring for baby dolls, always ensuring they were well-fed and well-rested, were rewarded with the chance to help nurture a real live baby sister.

Thanks to the real Mom for digging these photos out of the archives for me.

And I considered myself to be a very capable second mother to the most adorable baby I'd ever seen.

Esther in a baby cradle, just catching up with her girls.

Since that time, we've all become adults, and there have been a number of babies born to close friends of mine. Over the years, I've seen lots of photos of the growing baby bumps, the precious moments after delivery, the newborn photo shoots, etc. But I've always had to watch from afar; we haven't lived near any of these friends when they gave birth, and it's always been a bittersweet experience for me to be so distant during those fleeting weeks, not able to directly partake in the joys of new life as it unfolds.

Esther, aren't you having a Merry Christmas?!

Until now. Our super close friends, Jeremy and Sheena, recently gave birth to their firstborn daughter here in Cayman. What an exciting new experience for us just watching the pregnancy develop, seeing how the new parents have adjusted their lives to make room for a new one. I think we're all starting to have an appreciation for the sacrifices our parents made to make our lives possible.

It's been such a privilege to be part of the new baby experience alongside our friends, who are like a brother and sister to us. A few weeks before the baby's arrival, I had the chance to do a maternity shoot with Jeremy and Sheena, capturing the final days of pregnancy before they added a baby girl to their family tree.

A note about the creative process: Being just a photographer hobbyist as opposed to a full-time professional, I sometimes get myself into funny situations with the people I'm shooting. It's almost like I have a good idea, but it's not fully developed yet.  So I'll say, "Ok, go stand over in front of that palm tree, and face each other." And they do. Then I'll say, "Ok Jeremy, put your hand, um, on Sheena." And he does. 

And then I make him move it somewhere more family-friendly.

And then they laugh, and the picture turns out okay.

We had a couple additional props for this shoot. For one, the "firstborn" - Maya, the Yorkie-Maltese puppy.

Another was a pair of shoes that Sheena wore as an infant. So small and precious!

But I'm really not into excessive props when you've got a radiant mother subject like this one.

Building relationships with friends like these two is what has kept Cayman so attractive to us over the past 4+ years. As they add to their family, it feels like our own family is growing at the same time.

Congratulations to this wonderful couple and all the extended relatives! We look forward to your adventures in parenting and hope to be a support to you all!

As for all those years of faux-mothering my little sister? I guess they were good preparation for being a faux-aunt to this little one.

Next time: Shots from the lifestyle newborn shoot. So much cuteness to capture!!


  1. Such great pics you took Jenn!! had to chuckle at the put-your-hand-on-sheena bit... haha

    "But I'm really not into excessive props when you've got a radiant mother subject like this one" - Spot On! xxx

  2. And you as a kid... I just want to hug you, you look so precious and loving xxx

    1. Haha! Thanks Li! I feel like we would have been BEST friends if we had grown up together. :)

  3. Such cute photographs!! I am in love with these photos. You took really wonderful photos. I admire your work. Well, my sister is also a photographer and she is going to cover our engagement Photoshoot that we will have at most beautiful LA venues. I am so excited!