I met Karissa 2 or 3 years ago at a hill country wedding where we were both photographing for a studio the bride had hired. Her now husband and her were engaged at the time and she wanted to hire me as her wedding photographer, but of course the studio wouldn't give her my personal information for privacy reasons. We ended up working together a few more times before her wedding, started becoming friends, and I was invited to her wedding as a guest! She is so quick to laugh, so easy to work with that we've become fast friends and though I had only met her husband, Newton, on their wedding day, she told me if they ever became pregnant she wanted me to document the birth. Of course I said yes, I've always wanted to document a birth but the opportunity has never come up.
Fast forward a year, and Karissa and Newton found out they were pregnant! The only weird thing was that her belly was growing really, really quickly. I made a comment, completely joking, that she must be expecting twins. Sure enough, there is a Baby A and a Baby B in there! After the initial shock wore off (which still hasn't hit me, and likely won't until she's giving birth) it was time to start planning! Initially, Karissa was wanting to do the gender reveal of the babies at a racetrack south of San Antonio that Newton frequently races at, but when the day came the ground was too wet from recent rain and we ended up at their house. Luckily we were still able to use one of the race cars with smoke bombs tied to the back of it to announce to them and their friends and family around the world (thanks, Facebook Live!) that they're expecting a baby boy and a baby girl! After the race car revealed the gender of their soon-to-be siblings, big brother and sister each grabbed an extra smoke bomb so they could get in on the smoke bomb fun as well. And of course that wasn't enough, so they also each ended up kicking a colored chalk-filled plastic football.
While we first only talked about my photographing the birth, I quickly became obsessed with the idea of documenting the whole pregnancy and the changing of their lives as a personal project. While Karissa shoots a lot of families, kids and maternity, I typically don't so this will be an interesting experience. You'll be seeing a lot more of this family on my blog & social media as I continue to tell the story of the Barta Twins.