This month, I asked Dalysh and to be my Mother of the Month. She was working mom who moved to Seattle from Puerto Rico to work at Amazon. She and her husband are a cute couple who started dating in high school. Now they have fast paced professional jobs and are living the dream here in Seattle. I feel so grateful that they chose me to be both their maternity photographer and their family photographer. Please meet Dalysh, Juan and Noah.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself, Juan and how you met. Why you decided to have kids. Was it an easy process?
Juan and I met when I was a senior in High School when my best friend set up a blind date. I wouldn’t call it love at first sight, but definitely friendship at first sight. We became instant friends and loved spending time with each other.
2. What is your secret to a good relationship? OR what is your secret to happiness? OR how do you want to guide this little person in the world?
I can’t claim to know the secret to happiness, for us it is something we continuously work towards. For the longest time, success was a measure of happiness, as it allowed for us to do things and have things that our parents couldn’t offer. Since becoming pregnant, my (and my husband’s) metrics for happiness shifted overnight. We began thinking about how we could spend more quality time together, work more efficiently so we had more time for each other. Being a mom has inspired me to work towards having my own business and hopefully teach Noah to pursue his passions, even if the prospect seems scary at times.
Our relationship of 12 years (8 dating, 4 married) is fun, we grew up together and always have things to talk about. We push each other, challenge each other and always support the other.
I don’t think we actually decided to have a baby as a super planned out next step. It was more of a feeling, I felt ready to be a mom, I was excited to see my husband become a dad. It has been just the two of us (and our kitty Olivia) for the longest time and the idea of expanding our family made us excited.
3. Tell me about why you decided to have professional family or maternity photographs, and why you trusted me to take these special photos.
I wanted artistic photographs. Being pregnant, I was surprised at how beautiful I felt and wanted to capture that feeling forever. Jennifer’s art had the perfect mix of moody, artsy and understated glamour (her pictures look like editorial shots that belong in a fashion spread). The actual shoot with Jennifer was such an amazing experience, I felt completely comfortable and proud of my body and the miracle it was making. She captured how empowered I was feeling. My husband loved the photographs and said they belonged in Vogue!
My baby’s shoot was beautiful as well. Jennifer was able to capture Noah’s personality, his wise expression and the love my husband and I felt for him.
4. Please feel free to include anything else you like that is interesting about you or your parenting philosophy. AKA books you read, or like whatever. I am particularly interested in parenting in hispanic culture
Growing up in Puerto Rico, parenting is a team effort. Grandparents, aunts, cousins all contribute to raising the children. I come from a big family and was surrounded by all of these strong women that helped raise me and my siblings. Living in Seattle, I went through my pregnancy and these first months with Noah alone with my husband (the grandmothers came to help for a few weeks, which was a relief). I always envisioned being surrounded by family during these big milestones. It would’ve been nice to have everyone around but at the same time, being just us allowed for us to find what kind of parents we wanted to be without the extra opinions. Noah will grow up in a bilingual household, eating rice and beans, as well as sushi (my favorite). I want Noah to experience his culture and be proud, but also experience other cultures, we plan to travel with him a lot.
I read a few parenting books, the one I gravitated to the most was “Bringing Up Bebé” by Pamela Druckerman. It is an American review of French parenting. I’ve always been pretty independent and liked the parenting philosophy of this book to treat children like people and expose them to things and communicate clear expectations to them. In Hispanic culture, children are often taught to keep to themselves when adults are present and not express themselves. I want Noah to have articulate conversations, have varied food tastes, have time to play and be a child and feel heard and appreciated.
Thank you again Jennifer!
And thank you, Dalysh!
Am I a maternity photographer, a family photographer, or a newborn photographer? Actually I am all three. For the longest time I only considered myself a maternity photographer but then about ten years I started to LOVE photographing families after they had the baby. Each parent transforms after they have a baby and it is wonderful to document their growing relationships with their children. I work with light, composition and moment to capture the relationship and love growing in the family.