Today, creatives are coming up with new ways to reimagine the mesmerizing mandala. Though the sacred design is rooted in ancient traditions, contemporary artists and designers have breathed new life into the age-old motif, culminating in creations ranging from paper cut-outs to pie crusts. Photographer Gabriele Dabasinskaite of JustGaba Photography has taken this trend to an all-new—and adorable—level, snapping photos of sleepy newborns surrounded by the swirling symbol.
Like traditional newborn photography, Dabasinskaite's work features days-old babies as they don sweet outfits and snooze in cute poses. Unlike other baby photos, however, this ongoing series incorporates one-of-a-kind arrangements inspired by the natural world. Composed of colorful leaves, fresh flowers, tangled moss, and other organic materials, these mandalas enclose the little ones in radiant rings of nature that represent the “love that surrounds us all.”
Foregoing Photoshop for a rustic approach, Dabasinskaite spends anywhere from two to four hours handcrafting the backdrops. Once she is pleased with her handiwork, she places the sleeping baby in its center and shoots, culminating in snapshots that reflect “the reality of our lives on nature’s canvas.”
Prior to her career as a photographer, Dabasinskaite worked in graphic design. When she became a mother, however, she stumbled upon a new passion: photography. “After I had my three wonderful children, I experienced a kind of love I had never known before,” she explains. “It is this love that I try to illustrate through my photography.” With her children as her inspiration,Dabasinskaite captures newborn subjects in a way that feels—and looks—natural.