Based near Portofino, Italy, my friend Erin and her husband Gabri travel all over the world photographing weddings. She is from Oregon, USA. He is from Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy. Together they are Erin and Gabri Photography, and their style is unlike any I have ever seen. It’s vivid, real, and takes you back in time. To a precise and special moment. When I look at their pictures, my eyes linger. Even though I don’t know the people in the photos, I can somehow get a sense of what they are experiencing, and I stare. and I think. and I wonder.
Get ready to be stunned by the photos on their Instagram account.
In addition to weddings, Erin also does maternity photos, including birth and newborn photography.
So when my second child was born about three years ago, I called her.
Just as she is able to elegantly photograph moments of joy, light, and love at weddings, she is also somehow able to capture the slowly yet powerfully emerging mother child bond.
I find this to be a huge feat for a photographer because the postpartum months are a very weird time. How many emotions can one have in the span of an hour? You just never know which one is going to pop out. As for me, smiling for a camera was the last thing on my mind, showering seemed to always be less important than the baby's needs, and I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be an impossibly good mom to this baby and toddler.
I needed someone who would help me to relax and allow me to feel completely at ease.
Erin did exactly that. She is a mother, too, and she is very aware of the intense, blissful, yet delicate time that follows birth.
Her time spent at our home didn’t feel like a photography session at all. It was more like a visit. She came once to take pictures of our new family of four. Then she came again a few days later to get some more intimate shots of Steven and me. We had some tea, I breastfed, I told her about the birth. We smiled and marvelled at this new little guy.
I didn't feel particularly beautiful, but looking back at these photos makes me realize that I was. Not the "sexy" beauty of a magazine cover or even the "glowing" beauty of pregnancy, but the kind of beauty that is raw and powerful, like nature, like life.
The newborn phase is such a blur in my mind. The intense growth (mine and baby’s), sleepless nights, either too many visitors or sad isolation. I’m happy that I have these photos to remember what hard work we were doing together. At the time, I was too exhausted to notice. We were getting to know this world. Getting to know this new life.
Thank you so much, Erin, for capturing these fleeting moments. Just one glance makes me grateful all over again. Grateful for the huge honor that it is to be a mother.