Millions of babies born across the world during the 2020/2021 covid-19 pandemic missed out on meeting their extended families until lockdown restrictions could be lifted. New aunties, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, and cousins were forced to wait months or even over a year to meet these brand new members of their families.
After experiencing the same heartbreaking circumstances (her own nephew was born in April 2020 and she wasn’t able to meet him until months later), I photographed thirteen UK Lockdown Babies, once restrictions eased, as they met their extended families for the Very. First. Time.
I captured magical first cuddles, plenty of tears, reunions, laughter, and of course a fair few of those babies totally freaking out at meeting new faces!
My newly-published book, Lockdown Babies, contains my favorite photos from this Project, and a little bit about each family’s unique Lockdown Baby Story.
“Saul has only met one grandparent so far, and none of our siblings. He will be meeting his grandmother Jill and her husband Gerry for the first time. Gerry is blind and so will ‘meet’ Saul through touch”
June and Jude
“June is Jude’s only great-grandma, and it will be so lovely to have her finally be able to meet him and give him a proper cuddle.”
Zachary and Patricia
“Zachary’s great-grandmother Patricia has spent most of the last year on her own. She is 95 years old. We feel so fortunate that our son is finally able to meet his only living great-grandparent. They are nearly a century apart and Zachary will grow up in a completely different world from the one his great grandmother was born into. That’s what makes their meeting so special”
“Eleanor was born over Christmas lockdown. My brother and sister-in-law have only met Eleanor through the window and over zoom calls. It’s an extremely special time for them to meet her in person properly and give her a cuddle.”
“To Greeks, family is everything. Before the pandemic, we would have weekly meet-ups and spend every special occasion together. It has been devastating for my parents to be walking distance from our home and unable to be a family. Holding George for the first time at 7 months is not what we imagined, but will no doubt make this moment all the more special.”
“This pregnancy hasn’t been an easy journey for us, as our first baby Henry was full-term stillborn. Finding out it was a boy again this time around made it very special but of course we worried if we’d make it all the way…and we did! Leo is 3 months old now and we couldn’t feel more blessed to have him, and Elyssia as his big sister. We are so excited to share these special moments of Leo meeting his great aunty and great cousins for the first time, as they are the only family we have in the UK.”
“Benjamin is the first grandchild for both sets of grandparents. We have a large family and are all very close. This will be the first time in a long time that our parents will be together again, this time in their new roles as grandparents.”
Other special moments
“It was so special to be able to have this moment captured as they were such longed-for moments that we will never have again. Family is very important to us, so it just felt so unnatural to have been apart during this time when they would have normally all been around.”
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