2 day old baby | Lusaka, Zambia
On my last day in Zambia I couldn’t resist squeezing in a very mini shoot of Emmanuel’s nearly two day old baby. Emmanuel is my parent’s house keeper and cook in Zambia and helps make all of our lives sooo much easier. It was a real honour to be invited into his home to capture some family portraits for his family.
Little did I know when I had asked Emmanuel to help us in the compound with the official opening of the Women’s Centre (this blog post is on it’s way soon) that his wife had gone into labour with their 4th child. It was only when we got back to the house in the early afternoon that he proudly told me that he was a father to a little boy. Bless his wife, she had made her way to the hospital and given birth all on her own – something that’s quite common in Zambia. Birth is something that the women manage on their own and is so far from the desire of women here in the UK to have their partners in the room (or birthing pool) holding their hand and offering support.
I was very aware of how exhausted his wife must have been feeling so I only stayed for about 15 minutes to meet the new arrival who had no name at the time and capture a few portraits for them to remember this precious moment. I love the Zambian way of swaddling a baby in layers of clothing, bonnet and blankets and I was respectful of this so there’s no naked baby pictures in this one There wasn’t much light coming into their lounge, so I had to bump up my ISO (my photography students will know what I’m talking about here) to between 2000 and 4000 to capture the beautiful colours in the room – thankfully my camera can handle this nice and easily. I love the colours of the chitenge (the cloth that the baby is wrapped in) and in one picture you can see the tiny baby drowning in it’s big towelling nappy – mushy squeals! Towards the end of the shoot I asked if we could remove the baby’s bonnet and it was reluctantly taken off. I’m glad they were willing as we got such a beautiful picture of those adorable curls. Of course I had to get the teeny tiny toes too