Tipping Our Hats to First-Time Parents
No matter what family life you come from, what number in line you were to the dinner table or how loud your house may have been growing up, you came from someone that had to ‘figure this out’ at one point or another. Whether they had a grandparent showing them the ropes, or they YouTube’d how to burp a baby, or read a slew of Parenting 101 books, I’m sure they quickly realized how little they knew exactly what they just signed themselves up for in raising their first child. A baby is a little... well, a lot, different than a hard test or a big game. You can’t really practice being responsible for a little life. Yet, somehow, everyone reading this has made it, and I think we are doing alright. So this post goes out to everyone that has ever been a first time parent. This week, we were lucky enough to hangout with two fantastic humans, and capture them as they were ‘figuring this out’ together.
I first met Matt at my interview for an internship position with Range Resources in September 2016. After 30 minutes of talking petroleum engineering, Penn State football and about what states we have been to, I left thinking I just might see him again. Eight months later, he was my assigned mentor during my 3-month internship with Range. Over that time, I saw how dedicated he was to his job, but more so, to his wife, Atalie. He would talk about his regular routine of coming in early, working out during his lunch break so that he would have time to get home and cook dinner for her. He just seemed so committed to his family of two, that I knew he would make an amazing dad. Other people in our group often talked about how excited they were to see him become a dad, and towards the end of my internship, when he told me that they were thinking about growing their family, I was so excited. This summer, after starting working in Matt’s group, I watched Matt prepare for fatherhood. He talked about the doctor’s visits and plans they had made. On November 9th 2018, Lucy Rosina Ockree was born!
Here, a day after turning one month old, we got to photograph the Ockree family, with Lucy as the star. Watching Matt and Atalie just pour their love out for her, and celebrate everything she does, showed us how great a set of parents little Lucy has. It is fun to watch the two count the seconds she can hold her head up (a whole minute!!!), or how she almost rolled onto her side! So even though she might need that extra half-ounce of milk to cheer her up, we loved watch these two figure out how to be the best parents for their lovely little girl.
Because who doesn't love baby outfits with fun prints on the butt?!
We were NOT expecting her to hold her head up at all during this session, and she held this for some time!
We weren't sure if we were going have time to get a picture with a stuffed animal "watching over" Lucy, but when. Atalie showed us Lucy's Praying Elephant, we just decided to work a little faster.
Seriously, how could we pass this stuffed animal up?!
Of course, Samantha and I loved watching Matt and Atalie care for Lucy throughout the session, but I think something we loved even more was watching and capturing their joy as they watched their wife/husband care for their little one (and watching them laugh as Matt put Lucy's pants on backwards).
Any time that we see this process up close, it gives me so much appreciation for parents, Everyday they work so hard to provide a loving and joyful environment for this new life. After this session. we left talking about how amazing Lucy did. Although she is just over a month old, we can already tell how joyful of a baby she is, and that is a reflection of her parents, Matt and Atalie. So to the Ockree’s, and to every parent that had to ‘figure this out’ at some point, thank you for putting in so much love and effort. By cheering for each little accomplishment, you help make this world a better place for your baby and everyone else they come to know (including their photographers).
Thanks for letting us meet your family! It's been an honor to watch you on your journey to becoming a dad, Matt!
Evan and Samantha
P.S. Thanks to Evan for not only writing this blog, but for also preparing each set! I appreciate you!