Following on from last years successful ’24 Mobile Photographers Til Christmas’ series and to celebrate the forthcoming festive season and another year in the timeline of Mobiography I have decided to repeat the series and showcase the work, thoughts and insights of 24 talented mobile photographers. Each featured photographer has inspired and supported me in one way or another during the course of the past 2 years and I will be asking them to offer an insight into their photography, to reflect on their year gone by or plans for the coming year ahead.
Each day until Christmas Eve we will be featuring one photographer in a sort of online advent calendar so to speak.
Today’s featured photographer is Josh St Germain.
My incredible encounter or story which has been part of my photographic journey this year is…
Of all the photographic experiences that happened this year, there was one that stood out far beyond the rest. On July 11th my wife, who was 34 weeks pregnant, came home from work and began experiencing labor pains. Since she still had seventeen days until her due date, we chalked it up to false labor caused by a long day at work… we were wrong! After a few hours had passed and the contractions remained consistent, we decided to head to the hospital. Did I mention that it was just about midnight at this point? We had to wake up our other two kids and rush them over to my in-law’s house to stay while we went to the hospital. In the chaos of getting out the door, I managed to think to grab my phone and my charger to be able to contact people with news from the hospital. I honestly didn’t have a thought in my head about taking photos.
It took about an hour and a half before the doctors determined that we’d be staying for a delivery rather than going home to bed. As I sat there offering my best effort of support during my wife’s contractions every few minutes, I began to look around the room with photographic eyes in the minutes between the action. My phone immediately became the perfect camera for documenting this experience. Our son was going to be delivered by means of c-section, which allowed me an opportunity to witness a great deal of the birth. I was initially left in the hallway outside of the delivery room for a few minutes while everything was prepped. During these agonizingly long moments of wait, every member of the hospital staff that passed me made sure to say, “Make sure you have your camera ready!”. In fact, once I was in the room, the anesthesiologist reconfirmed my camera-ready status and proceeded to explain exactly how, where, and when I would be standing in order to get the best shot. As that moment approached, I readied my camera app and pretended that I too was ready for this very special photo opportunity. I knew it would be unlike any other photo I had previously captured with my phone.
All of the sudden my cue came to step up to the “curtain” and see my son for the first time. I can remember the deep breath I took as I stood up. That first moment was reserved for my eyes as a father. The second moment was as a photographer. The doctors moved my son into the spotlight they had aimed at my wife’s abdomen and I composed and shot my most significant photos of the year. The rest of my time at the hospital saw a significant division of these father/photographer moments. The most important thing I took away from this photographic experience was that I had matured and had developed some instinctual behaviors that took hold of me even under the most emotional of moments. My confidence behind the lens had grown and it allowed me to successfully document one of the most significant moments of my family’s life… all thanks to the “camera that’s always with me” and the community attached to it that had helped me grow as a photographer in so many ways.
** If you’re interested in seeing more of the images from my stay at the hospital and hear more of the story, you can find it here on Grryo.com **