In May of this year, I received a very intriguing email which began….
“We are a couple of gay parents from Europe (Luxembourg) and we are awaiting the birth of our twins in Portland for around end october / mid-november 2015. ”
The request was for me to photograph a series of 4 photo sessions – the birth, the twin’s early life at the hospital (a Fresh 48 Session), a newborn session at my photography studio, and a family portrait session of the men with their babies and their surrogate family. I was absolutely elated at the opportunity to document such a special occasion. Little did I know how impactful the experience would ultimately become.
We established a game plan. The dads would fly over to Portland a few weeks before the delivery and I would keep my calendar as open as possible during the expected delivery date. I notified all of my clients who had photo sessions scheduled with me around that time. Everyone was extremely understanding.
So, I have my car packed with gear and I am about to head to a family portrait session when my phone rings. It’s Nicolas and he tells me that they have been admitted to the hospital and that I needed to get there as quickly as possible. I couldn’t believe it! I called up my clients, apologized profusely for the incredibly short notice cancellation, and dashed over to the hospital. When I arrived, a film crew from France was also there ready to document the event. Nicolas and Tom will be featured in an upcoming documentary on surrogacy.
I was briefly introduced to everyone and immediately began capturing all the excitement — and the waiting — and waiting — and waiting. Documenting live birth is always a series of hurry up and wait and hurry up and wait. The excitement builds and builds and the energy in the room is indescribable.
The twins were born just after 4am on October 22nd. Charlotte made her grand appearance followed shortly thereafter by Maxime. Two beautiful babies born by the most heroic woman for two incredible dads. Nicolas and Tom were ecstatic.
We met up at the hospital again at around 9am for a Fresh 48 session. The twins were peacefully sleeping and the mom and 2 dads were trying to rest up and take it easy. It had been a very long night. I spent about an hour with everyone capturing Nicolas and Tom’s first moments with the little ones. It was incredibly endearing. I then rushed home, edited the photos very quickly, and designed birth announcement cards and thank you cards using images from the hospital session. Nicolas and Tom wanted to have the cards printed and ready before they flew back to Luxembourg. We were able to pull it all off.
We waited a few more days and then met up at the studio for a newborn session. Charlotte and Maxime did a wonderful job and loved being photographed. They slept through most of the session and allowed us to pose them in all sorts of ways with various outfits. It was perfect.
Then, for the grand finale, I had the opportunity to capture Nicolas and Tom, their newborn twins, and their surrogate family. It was such a treat to see everyone together and such an incredible honor to have the opportunity to photograph this wonderful surrogacy story.
Thank you Nicolas and Tom. Thank you to the twins for being such a treat to photograph. Thank you to Stacy and her entire family for allowing me to be a part of this incredible experience.