I have the honor of photographing a home birth. The thing with natural births, though, is that they can't be scheduled. Labor started this morning, so I have been hanging out around the couple's home capturing intimate moments. But as you see below, those are NOT the photos I am choosing to share. I am actually sharing my short interaction that I had with their neighbor.
While taking a little break from photographing sporadic contractions, breathing methods, and labor exercises, I stepped outside and saw a very different sight than what I was witnessing inside. I saw the neighbor in her nightgown raking leaves and smoking a pipe. I was so intrigued by her. I hesitated a bit after hearing her get onto her grandson, I assumed, for coming outside to shoot some hoops. I eventually got over myself and walked over to say hello. All I had to say was "You picked a cold day to be out here raking" and she immediately looked up and gave me a little smile. I didn't have to say much more to get her talking. In just a few minutes we talked about her late husband, how her mother thought she was stolen when she was an infant but she had just rolled off the bed and fell asleep against the wall on the floor, her not-so-nice neighbor across the street, how she started smoking when she was a teen and how pipes are cheaper than cigarettes, and of course, the leaves. She really disliked the tree in the front yard because of all of the raking she had to do. A simple step into someone else's yard, a little bit of interest, and a smile go a long way.
Her name is Shirley.