There is nothing like the warm comforting lightness of a newborn baby as she nestles against your body. She lays there in the crook of your arm and all of the possibility of humanity is present in that soft warm bundle. She is the embodiment of hope, the expectation of a life yet to be lived, she holds all of the aspirations of a sunrise. She is all of these things and yet she is so fragile, so in need of our love, our care, our protection. It is this tension that draws us to her, that pulls us in, that makes us want to do everything we can for her.
A few months ago a friend of mine and her husband had their first child. I went over to their house shortly after to congratulate them, to hear the story, but most of all to hold the baby. I got to hold her for quite some time but then the grandfather showed up and if there is anything that I know well, it is the fact that grandparents trump friends. The little girl’s grandfather is a giant man who held his granddaughter with the kind of fluid, protective grace that only a grandfather can. His hands have been worn by a lifetime of hard work and as his granddaughter was sleeping she instinctively grabbed his finger. I had had my camera out and was waiting for this kind of moment, a moment that would illustrate so clearly the contrast and the connection between these two people. The contrast is illustrated in the textures of their skin and the size of their hands; the connection in the trusting grasp of the sleeping baby. When I got the image back to my computer I wanted to emphasize the difference in the textures of the skin on their hands so I increased the contrast and the structure of his hand and left hers smooth. I am very happy with the result. I wish that I had been able to wait until her eyes were open but, when photographing babies, sometimes you take what you can get.