I’m Marysol. South Africa’s first specialised birth photographer & videographer. I am an on-call birth storyteller using stills and video in an emotive, powerful style, tailored to your family. Just landed here? START HERE. Let’s capture your baby's birth story!
I am not going to deny that this was a very special and emotional photo session for me… I have already walked such a long road with this family, having covered their daughter’s birth back in 2013 (see Harper-Rose’s birth here). I’ve documented her growing from an infant to a loving, warm little girl & see here who has overcome so many challenges. I took photos of every birthday party and covered multiple family sessions over many years. But on THIS very special day, I witnessed Harper becoming a big sister.
A Meet-The-Family session like this one is exclusively available to my clients to as an add-on session to your birth coverage or maternity/newborn package. Ideal for night-time births where siblings, grandparents, or family might be coming later in the day. Also suited for if you delivered in the middle of the night and want me back the next day to get some more natural light photos of your baby. Its all documentary style with no posing. It sometimes also allows a mom to pop on a dab of make-up and feel slightly more human after birth. Please do contact me for more information.
For now, grab a box of tissues. And enjoy Harper meeting her baby brother, Huxley-Hue. The reactions are to die for.
The day you meet your child is one of the most formative and important in your life. Be the day they are born into your family or adopted into your family. Little known fact, I document adoptions from time to time and this is the first time I’ve been able to share one with you. If you don’t have a stack of tissues ready, your sleeves are about to be full of tears and snot. You’ve been warned. Few stories are so compelling and touching as Anna’s homecoming day.
When her mother called me to hire me, she wasn’t sure how this would work out. I was booked solid and the adoption timing was so up in the air. But she was persistent that I had to be with her that day documenting it. I felt such a connection to her and her story, I made a way. And honestly, this was one of the professional highlights of my year. You know who I was shooting for most? Anna! So that one day she could look back and fill in parts of her story. Adoptees contend with such loss. Sure, there are beautiful redemptive moments in their stories but adoption by nature involves profound loss. As a mother through adoption myself, I get it. I understand trying to piece together a story for your child with only fragments. I understand whatever you can give them in terms of photos, details, memories, are gifts. To understand how loved and wanted they were from day one is what I wanted most to convey as I captured her homecoming story in photos and film.
Yes, by the way, I do both. Two expertises, one personalized bespoke service. Full photos collection of her day and a film. It’s a massive creative undertaking and its hard to find someone who does both, but that’s my specialty. Be sure to work through each because they tell the story in a different way.
A few notes on this story. Anna’s adoption details are hers. Not mine to tell. So I am not posting the background to her story on purpose. I believe in that as much as I would not post private medical background from a birth story.
Taryn waited so long for her. The journey to parenting was long and fraught with one disappointment after another. I love in the video she says “What took you so long?” when they finally meet. Isn’t that what it often feels like? How long and how winding it is until our stories intersect. Taryn was supported on this day by her sister and family. I commend her for taking on single parenting. Can there be a harder job? And how beautiful to see her loved and celebrated by a family.
This is also her story of becoming a mother. Nervous, uncertain, but willing. She showed up and leaned into all the feelings. Could courage be more evident?
Did you see Anna’s homecoming story? Because if you missed it, stop reading this right now, and go back. Its a must. Taryn hired me to capture her homecoming/adoption story. Since I normally offer complimentary mini maternity sessions with all births, I like to swap that out for adoptions for a session after your child has settled and bonded. The photos on the day of can involve so much emotion and shock, we don’t really capture yet the essence of their personality. I caught up with Taryn and Anna 5 months after her adoption day at the Company Gardens in downtown Cape Town for some portraits. Look how much she’s grown and changed in such a short time. Both of them more adjusted to each other.
Births and adoptions are more than just a child coming into a family. It’s the making of a parent. You can see it here, how Taryn has become a mother more relaxed in her own skin and intuition. I was so proud to see her again and cheer her on. She’s doing a beautiful job.
Family sessions are exclusively offered to my existing clients only. So if you have (or one day plan to) hired me for your maternity/newborn sessions or birth coverage, I am available onwards to capture your family as it grows. I offer this exclusively to clients because of my limited availability and not the general public because I believe in the chemistry and trust required to get these images. It’s how I roll best. If you would like one of your own, contact me for booking information.
Wasn’t it just yesterday that Emma was only a few hours new? It sure feels like it. Wow, the baby year flew!
What an honour it has been to follow this 12-month journey: one that forever captured growth, parenthood, joy, love and life. Life in both its spectacular splendor and its everyday monotony. I think the monotony – the small, seemingly insignificant details – of parenthood is what we forget most easily, but what we really miss when its gone… It all flies by in such a blur. Before you know it, your little one is not so little anymore. You try to wrap up their little body in your arms, and struggle to hold onto a wriggling, leggy toddler that just wants to run and discover and fly away. And so you’re left wishing that you spent more time taking in the monotony. Burning into memory every single moment of their littleness; their wide-eyed innocence; your own journey of attempting-to-parent.
All we can hope for is to learn from the fleetingly swift past, and take a moment now and then to pause during this crazy rat-race, and really take in the monotony.
We went back to where her parents did their maternity session. How much changed since then. They high fived to keeping her alive a full year and we got some gorgeous sunrise portraits. Then we finished off at home as we have done for all her sessions. Their package includes a stunning heirloom album where this will all be chronicled in one place to look through. Boom, done, her baby yearbook ready without years of regret wishing it would have gotten done.
Missed Emma’s previous sessions? It’s worth taking a look:
If you are one of my loyal followers, you would have seen Emma grow up before your eyes, just like I have. There is no doubt that she is a spunky little character! Every time we meet (I have been checking in for a photo session every two months since her birth), it is evident that she has a loving, warm nature with lots of personality! Judging by her tippy-toe walks with the help of Daddy, I have no doubt that soon her parents will have to run around to keep up with her…
In only two short months, she will be one year old, and we have a very special One Year Later Session scheduled for the first anniversary of her birth. Remember – I offer these sessions exclusively to my clients. When planning for the arrival of a baby, we often forget the importance of documenting their journey after their birth. And the first year goes by so quickly… Just ask Emma’s parents!
Please inquire here to find out more as I only take on a handful of these yearlong projects at a time.