A "Day in the Life" with Baby Nova 》Mara & Kyle

A day with an 11-week-old baby, a suspicious cat, and a lot of packing.

When I arrived to spend the day with Mara, Kyle, and 11-week-old Nova at their apartment in San Mateo, California, they were deep in the middle of packing for an extended family trip. Their trip involved a friend’s wedding in sunny Mexico immediately followed by a multi-city jaunt through the frigid East Coast—which meant packing swimsuits and scarves, flip flops and winter boots and running shoes, plus all necessary baby gear and clothing, and organizing it all in a detailed spreadsheet, while caring for said baby.

Prior to their session, Mara admitted she was a little worried that photographing her, Kyle, and Nova might prove less interesting than photographing families with older kids. In Mara’s words, “Nova’s current life: Eat, sleep, struggle to poop, repeat, with occasional tummy time.” I responded that, in all honesty, I really love photographing first-time parents in their first days or weeks of parenting. It’s such a trippy time—a new family configuration hatched seemingly out of thin air (one minute the baby is in mama’s belly, and the next minute it’s born and makes a LOT more noise than it used to), and everyone is scrambling to adjust while leaking, wailing, burping, and hallucinatory with sleep deprivation, all while hormones and feelings are all over the map. The emotions are often so thick they’re visceral. And so, too, are the moments of quiet.