I’ve taken a long break from writing my blog. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to. I applied and got accepted as a volunteer digital retouch artist (DRA) for an organization called “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” (NILMDTS). They provide professional photography services for free for families who never get to bring their little babies home from the hospital. Whenever one of their photographers either do not have the skills to retouch some of the more complicated photos, or simply do not have time to do so – the photographers are also volunteers – they ask the group of DRAs to help them out. I took on my first two assignments in the past two weeks and it took all my free time at night to complete those. In other words, no time for my own photos or my blog. I have to say that I learned more about Photoshop in those two weeks than I have in the past year. Both my assignments were pretty rough with both babies having a lot of skin tearing and bruising, and a lot of dried blood on one and dried vernix all over the other. Some of the photos I spent days retouching and the quality difference between the first photos I did compared to the later ones is actually quite significant. I feel badly that I didn’t have time to re-do some of the first ones, but as it was, I was pretty much killing myself trying to get them done in the two week time frame that I had to complete them. I have another assignment now waiting to be completed, but it’s a relatively simple black-and-white conversion with the baby looking mostly perfect so I have time for my own photos again. As a side note, not only was it tough to do those images, it was also tough emotionally. I don’t know how the photographers do it. Little babies shouldn’t die. I now hug my three a little extra every night. I am so lucky to have them.
I hug them a little extra during the day also. Sometimes with a camera in my hand, setting the stage for the sweetest mamma-baby selfies – the only kinds of photos I ever get to be on with my kids, because there is otherwise nobody to take photos of me with them.
(50mm, ISO 1250, f/4.5, 1/100 sec)