The Session: Ailani
Baby Ailani was the sweetest baby girl, with the sweetest of family’s. As the first girl with three older brothers, she was absolutely adored. Every photo I took of her with parents and brothers, the love was palpable. We began with photos of her brothers, then her with her brothers. Each took a turn holding her and they were so soft and gentle with her. They all looked at her so sweetly, and a few times she even looked back. They all smiled, there was no crying, and you could tell they were all in love with her.
The one thing her mom asked for prior to the session was something Hawaiian themed. Her name, Ailani, means High Chief in Hawaiian. I don’t like over-the-top setups for newborns, because it detracts from the baby, so I kept it simple with a pineapple and philodendron leaves. Mom brought in some tiny, white shell necklaces, and I gently laid them in front of a crate. For an understated, but feminine accent I added a tan, sequined scarf for Ailani to lay on in the crate. It has since been one of my favorite newborn set-ups.
Since her dad was about to deploy, we decided to bring in his military uniform. To capture the importance of his ribbons and medals, I decided to lay his jacket out atop my backdrop and have Ailani lay on top of it with a simple white bow on her head. As an Air Force veteran myself, I love when parents bring in their military uniforms. There is so much sacrifice that is part of a service-members life, and part of that is missing incredible moments with family. I wanted to capture the love, yet the heartache military parents have to experience balancing duty and family.