Connections We Make – Getting to know, like and trust your newborn photographer
Every day I am so lucky to meet some amazing mums and dads at my lovely newborn photography studio in Fareham. I am so thankful that I have the wonderful opportunity of taking their newborn photographs in celebration of their journey of becoming parents, whether it’s their first time, second or third – or even more! My newborn sessions are always so relaxed so I get time to chat and connect with my mums and dads, and hear snippets of their life journeys.
I got to know the lovely Emily and Russell at gorgeous Persephone’s newborn photograph session. I had exchanged emails as part of getting to know Emily before the session, and we chatted about the photographs they would like taken. And also to discover if there were any special meanings they wanted to incorporate into the session.
The first thing that intrigued me was the name they had chosen. Emily had told me that she was very much into mythology and so glad that her husband went along with her name suggestion. According to the legend, Persephone was also known as Kore (meaning young maid). She is the goddess of springtime and after her abduction by Hades, she became his wife and Queen of the underwood for six months of each year.
Why did you choose Persephone’s name?
“The short answer is that we are both interested in mythology, and thought Persephone was a pretty name… and not likely to be shared with many other babies from that year. The long answer is: we struggled for quite a while to have a baby. There was a time shortly before the pregnancy that we had resigned ourselves to the very real possibility that a baby just wasn’t on the cards for us. Then it happened. Persephone, the goddess who was snatched away by Hades only to reappear in the spring bringing with her an abundance of blossoms, seemed like an apt name.”
It’s a very unusual name, and in 2019 Persephone was 0.0172% of birth names. Look out for later this month my blog post ‘All in a Name’ to find out more about what’s in a name.
Noticing Russell’s American accent, I asked him where he was from and he said St Louis in Missouri. If I was being totally honest, up until a few months ago I didn’t really know that much about Missouri. I found it interesting as my best friend, who is married to a guy in the US Army, had just moved to Missouri too. I think they’re quite a distance apart.
Knowing very little about Missouri, I did a little research of my own. So, Missouri is a state in the mid-western United States. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia; the capital being Jefferson City. When we hear of St Louis, we probably think of the film Meet Me in St Louis, or even Kansas City; the home of the Wizard of Oz – both of which starred Judy Garland. Like the St Louis song, “Zing, zing, zing went my heart strings, from the moment I saw him I fell”. I’m sure that’s exactly how Emily and Russell felt when they first saw their beautiful little Persephone!
I asked how they met?
“We met while Emily was backpacking across America, and Russell was living in Chicago and working as a security guard in a hostel. The two, along with some friends, travelled down to St. Louis, Missouri together (where Russell grew up) and they fell in love. After a year of a long-distance relationship, Russell moved over to the UK.”
So, what was the best part about growing up in Missouri?
“I grew up in the country, but St. Louis was only a half an hour away. The Zoo, Science Centre, Art Museum, and History Museum were (and still are) free. It was the best of both worlds; exploring the wooded hills of the country or picking up culture in the Metropolis.”
What do you miss about Missouri?
Family and friends, of course. But I do miss both the landscape and the city. I love hiking through the forests and enjoying the rich arts and music scenes… and the food. I miss the food; a blend of southern staples with mid-western casseroles and lots of barbecue.
What do you prefer about the UK?
“Where to begin? So many things. I love the slower pace of life. I love the history, the accessibility of everything. You could drive for four hours in Missouri and still be in the middle of nowhere. Here, you would have passed through various cities and towns, geographical landscapes, and might even be in another country. The food is great, the NHS is wonderful (which is a major factor in how we were able to have Persephone), the people are lovely, the weather is so mild. I really couldn’t see myself moving back.”
What Missouri/American traditions will you include in Persephone’s childhood upbringing?
“We’ve been keeping Thanksgiving on the calendar since I first moved over, so we’re looking forward to keeping that tradition going. She’ll obviously be a Cardinals’ baseball fan (whether she likes it or not), and I can’t wait to take her to her first game. I’ll also have to add some of our local cuisine into the menu rotation, like toasted ravioli or gooey butter cake. And maybe she’ll pick up some of my drawl.”
It was so lovely to meet Emily, Russell and Persie and I am so looking forward to seeing them all again in my studio in a few months when Persie comes to the studio for her sitter and first birthday photographs.
I would love to hear from you if you would love me to document your Baby Love Story