The Mastermans: A Family Story
I loved getting to know and filming the Mastermans three times over the course of three months as they made that great leap of faith - having a baby. Abby is a pediatrician, and Ethan is a financial planner, and they absolutely love Maine. They're both from Maine, and heard the calling of their hearts to return after Abby's residency. They now live on a gorgeous 30-acre property near Skowhegan, Maine. Abby & Ethan decided to be surprised by the gender, and there were a couple times during the footage that I didn't end up using that their 3-year-old son, Elliott, referred to the baby as "she" and sometimes as "he." But - surprise! It's a boy! They named him Liam, and he was born in December. I followed up with them a month later to see how everyone was doing. I remember how calm Abby was when I visited them in the hospital, and I saw that same easy manner at home. During each film session, I also take still photos. Here are all the stills I took for them from their first session (maternity), second session (in-hospital), and third session (at-home, family).
Ethan and Abby adore each other and are best friends. It wasn't really that obvious how close they were when I was there, but as I went back and watched the footage, I realized, they have this quiet sort of serving love. It's quite harmonious, actually. They'll pick up the slack where the other left off, in a symphony of almost never having to ask. It's pretty remarkable. They are always anticipating the other's needs, and it seems so effortless for them. They connect with each other through shared time together, and they share a sense of humor, too. It's not complicated. It's love, pure and simple. It's no wonder they've known each other since they were teenagers.
Elliott -- such a ham. Oh my. My first visit with them, I didn't pull out my camera immediately because he was so charming and enthralling, and I wanted to play everything he asked me to! His brown hair and twinkly eyes and giant smile had me right from the start, but especially his rambunctious personality. And this child is so intelligent; you can tell in just the way he relates to people. He misses nothing. I had the best time with him. Luckily, his mama loves to play with him as much as I did, so I was able to capture them together.
Oh, and little Liam. I have never seen a mama so in love with a newborn so immediately. She was absolutely off in her own world with him that day he was born, and to me, that was never more apparent than in my favorite moment, when she's slowly kissing him, and Ethan asks her something, and she comes back from another planet to see what he needs, unaware how far off she was. And Ethan. Have you ever seen a daddy so in love with a little baby as when they were home together? I loved that as we got to know each other more, he couldn't contain how thrilled he was about Liam.
I hope you enjoy this film as much as I loved shooting and editing it. Cheers! --Emily