The joy of being a parent is something that no one can really explain, but only experience. From its high points to its lows, there is always something new to learn and cherish about this new season of Life. Long since before finding out I was going to be a father; I knew that I wanted to make a book of images to remember the day of my child’s birth. A book of Memories.
I wanted to make sure that being present was the highest priority on my list, so I planned out what items I would be bringing months ahead of time. I wrote in my fieldnotes every item that I would be bringing and a note that said, “Be precise and choose photos wisely”.
My list of items included two cameras (Canon A1 and Canon F1), two lenses (50mm f1.8 Canon FD, and 28mm f2.8 Vivitar), and the film I wanted to shoot.
I shot Ilford HP5+ pushed to ISO 1600 and Lomography 800 at box speed. Both cameras and lenses are FD mount, so it allowed me to choose focal lengths whether I was shooting color or black & white. I brought eight rolls of film to shoot; I felt that having a large number of photos to choose from would help me when it came time to select images for my book.
My camera bag had been packed for days when it was time for us to go to the hospital; me, my wife, and our dog decided to take one last photo together before the baby arrived.
Our hospital room was full of family as we waited 27 hours for our baby to enter this world. The hospital rooms were dimly lit, so shooting wide open was a must. In addition to making photos, I wrote down important and funny details about our time in the hospital. I didn’t include these writings in the book, but it is nice to look back at them in addition to having a photobook.
During labor my wife had some complications and had to go for an emergency C-section; this is when being present really counts. At this point, I stopped taking photos until after our son was safely delivered and my wife was out of surgery. Overall, we spent five long days in the hospital before we headed home with our baby boy. After about a month of adjusting to fatherhood, I decided it was time to start working on the book.
I developed my color film with Cinestill CS41 developing kit, my black & white film with Cinestill Df96 monobath, and scanned it with an Epson V500. I then sorted through all the photos that I thought were good and made my way to Printique (FKA Adorama pix) to start making my layout.
I was originally going to use Adobe InDesign for the layout, but Adorama has good user interface that lets you select the book size, style, and layout.
This was a fun personal project to task myself with and I hope my experience was helpful for those who plan to do the same.
You can follow my work here:
My Instagram account: @Texanaxet