This family has been a part of my career as a photographer for many years! Austin was actually an amazing babysitter for us while she was going through nursing school, and now she's all grown up and has gotten married and just had a baby of her own! I was honored to be able to capture their engagement session, wedding, maternity, birth, and newborn session which included Hudson! It's amazing how much a baby can change in a week, but he was the perfect model for his studio session. You will see more of him soon because we are also doing a lifestyle session at his home in a few weeks!
I love welcoming families to my portrait studio for newborn sessions because it is a one-stop shop. We have all of the props, blankets, outfits you could imagine and I cater the session to your color wishes. And because my studio is in my home (and the studio for a newborn session is a nice 80 degrees!) if older siblings (or even dad!) need to step out, we have a large couch right outside and a bucket of toys waiting.
This was the second sweet baby girl I photographed for this family, and I am in love with her! She has the longest little feet and the best head of hair. Beautiful like big sis, I cannot wait to watch her grow up!
Here are a few favorites from our session together:
This family has chosen to do the baby plan with me (which consists of a maternity, newborn, 6 months + 1 year session- where the whole family can be included each time!) and I am loving getting to see them every few months! This sweet baby came in for her newborn portraits and was a total rockstar! And then opened her eyes for family pictures at the end with a sweet little smile. (Don't tell me newborns don't REALLY smile, I know that! But I'm just over here living in my photographer dream world where babies smile at me!)
Here are a few of my favorites with her family:
I love welcoming newborns into the studio. Moms of course will come worried but I have a few tricks up my sleeve after working with newborns for almost 10 years, and it's been a while since I had one that did not sleep. During newborn sessions we try to get a few different set ups and include parents or siblings into the pictures. If you are expecting, let's chat so I can tell you all about our different options!
Most of my newborn sessions take place in my studio, but every so often I get invited to go into clients homes and do a lifestyle session. They are a bit different because instead of all the posing we really focus on the family and getting snuggles in their elements. We shoot in their favorite spots: The newly decorated nursery, their bedroom all cuddled up, and of course your first baby (the furry one!) can be included during this time. It's such a nice way to capture the first few weeks without rushing to leave the house because I know that can be tricky post delivery when you are learning a whole new way to do everything.
This little guy came to my photography studio in Chesterfield and brought many sweet faces with him. Sometimes newborns have a hard time focusing when they are awake, but his eyes were perfectly in line with the camera. His session had a lot of variety: sleeping and awake poses, and also pictures with big sister and his whole family! Style wise, we opted to keep things mostly muted to accommodate this family's wishes.
What is sweeter than one baby? TWO BABIES! And, both girls. While I may personally never get to know what it's like to have girls, I certainly get to snuggle them during sessions. More often than not I am in the studio in Chester for newborn sessions, but every so often a family wants it to take place in their home and I get to stretch my creative wings! Every space is different, the lighting is never certain, but it's fun to find the best spots. This was a lifestyle portrait session that took place in their beautiful home in Richmond. We incorporated a few pieces from the family, and I brought a few wraps, and together it was the perfect session! Thank you V family for trusting me to come in your home and capture your sweet girls, I look forward to seeing you again!
This sweet baby girl came to the studio for her newborn session and I believe she (without being a twin or quad!) was the smallest baby I have worked with, not quite 5 pounds at the session. She was great at snuggling up to pose and I didn't see her eyes until the session was over and they were dressing her to go home! We wanted the session to be feminine and pink to match her cute nursery, and I made that sweet headband just for her the night before the session! I'm having fun experimenting with different wraps, outfits, and headbands for my clients! Most of what I have now is custom and one of a kind!
I love working with newborns so if you know of an expecting mama in the Richmond, Virginia and surrounding area please send her my way! :)
Ohhh sweet baby Benji! (Totally acceptable for me to give sweet baby's a nickname, right?) And side story, we named our first two boys "Eli" and "Luke" because we weren't a fan of nicknames, but more often than not we call them "Li" and "Lu."
I recently read where photographers weren't a fan of parents IN the room with their baby's during the newborn session, some photographers went as far as to say parents WEREN'T ALLOWED in the room. YIKES you guys! You couldn't peel me off of my boys so there is no crazy rule like that in my studio. I love that you get to watch this session, and you are literally two feet away from us the whole time. Now, I will admit you don't have the best view because I always pose to a particular side and unfortunately the couch is pretty much right beside baby's butt, so THAT's your view, but I also encourage you to walk around and get a non-butt view too ;)
Benjamin was such a sweet baby and rocked his first modeling session! His mama booked a mini session for him, which tends to have more simple styling and not quite as many set ups as a full session, but definitely allows you to still have great images of your baby!
Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:
So you found out you are expecting multiples, congratulations! Once that first wave of excitement (and nausea?) wears off, I am sure you will take a deep breath and realize that now all of your costs will at least double. The good news is, not with me. Whether it's newborn session or the cake smash, the cost is the same for your family as it would be for my 'single' babies. And you can include any older siblings or you (and your spouse!) that you'd like. After all, it's not just your babies that will be changing over the course of the year, you all will be! And I want to capture that for you.
Having a session with multiples can be a little nerve-wracking. I wonder if they will both sleep at the same time and fall into posing together naturally, but they just spend months of their lives being so close that it almost seems unnatural to pose them solo. (But don't worry, we still do!) My moms of multiples will read the same helpful hints post that I share with my singleton parents and so far I've had great success with "my" babies. I promise that I will treat them as if they are my own! I adore working with babies and families and I think it shows :)
PS. Did you notice the special up top, Expecting moms of multiples? Book a baby plan before February 1, 2017 and receive a free canvas from the newborn session!
Here are a few of my favorite newborn images from my twin and quadruplet sessions:
I am so honored you have chosen me to capture your newest love! I take the upmost care in making sure that "my" babies are always in safe positions, warm, and of course looking their best. There are a few things that I will ask you to do before arriving for the session, this helps the session to run more smoothly, and for you not to stress that we will get great images for you to display.
Before the baby arrives:
-"Schedule" your session. Send your estimated due date. I will pencil you in so I can be on baby watch and know when I will need to fit you in to the schedule after baby arrives!
-Send me nursery pictures! I want to tailor the session so that it matches your style and the baby's decor. I also like to work with some neutrals to ensure that you will be able to hang these pictures anywhere in your home/office.
-Tell me about any must have shots. I am happy to accommodate a few requests if possible. Do you have a special blanket or prop that you're just itching to include in the session? I want to see how to incorporate beforehand it so I can be prepared when you bring it. This is also why I ask for nursery shots, I may see something that would look great in pictures. (Ie this adorable elephant was in a nursery and I asked mom and dad to bring it along to the session! As it turns out, grandpa gifted it to Maxwell and made it so much more special to be in the pictures!)
Once the baby arrives we will pick a time/day for your session! But don't worry, I've likely been expecting you and will have some options ready!
The day of the session:
-Wake | Feed | Sleep. We need the baby to have a little time awake before you leave for the session, this will help them to be sleepy (or sleeping!) upon arrival. I usually suggest parents to give the baby a bath and then feed them FULL. Think, Thanksgiving dinner unbutton your pants full. The bath will wake them up, the feeding will help put them to sleep, and the car ride will continue that. If you are more than 20-30 minutes away you may have to feed again when you arrive, but I usually can transfer baby from carseat to posing without too much disturbance.
-AM Scheduling. I usually schedule sessions to start in the 9-10AM timeframe. The lighting is great in the studio if we choose to use natural light, and I feel for those babies that are confused on day/time that this is the time of the morning (since they've been up all night!) that they are settling to a deep sleep. We can be a little flexible on time though as long as we schedule it in advance.
-Don't stress! If you need a few minutes to freshen up when you arrive, that is totally fine. I almost always start with baby posing and have a full bathroom at your disposal. These pictures are ones you will treasure forever so should you need to put the finishing touches on your makeup or just do a quick glance over yourself, you will have the time to do so. Occasionally throughout the session I may ask for a hand (usually the parent that didn't just give birth unless they are tied up with other children!) or two in posing some of the more complicated poses. (Because, here's a secret, they're photoshopped!) This cute little baby's hands on his chin never actually put the weight all on himself, we merge two photos together.
At the session:
Relax! This is the easiest part! Aside from maybe assisting a few times and snuggling your baby a bit, you get to relax! I have a coffee maker and mini fridge right in the room along with lots of different snacks to choose from! As long as I don't tell my husband when it's restocked you will have everything you need. I've caught him sneaking things a few times ;) You get the comfy bed area to sit on, and I've even had a few dads get really relaxed fall asleep. Don't worry, we wake them up when it's time for them to help ;)
Temperature. I keep the room around 80 degrees. I always recommend wearing layers/tank top and usually that's all that's needed to get more comfortable. If you are hot natured and need to step out of the room for a minute that is totally fine.
I have lots of props and blankets to style your session beautifully, so if you do not have anything to contribute to the actual pictures, that it okay! All you have to do is bring your baby! There are a few items that will help the baby at the session:
- Paci (Sometimes baby may need to suck for a minute or two while swapping scenes, they may not need to eat but just need a little paci comfort to get them back fully asleep
- Milk. If you're not breastfeeding be sure to bring a bottle. If you are breastfeeding and have already begun pumping a little bit, you can bring that! Babies can drink faster from a bottle and that will help them settle back to sleep quicker. If you've made the decision to 100% breastfeed for the time being, I totally support that!
- Neutral top for you + your husband. I INSIST you being in the pictures! And I do not charge extra for parent pictures. Years from now, you will want these images, and I want them for you! :) I love white for parents against that sweet baby skin, but anything neutral and not busy will work nicely!
If you have a coworker who has recently had an older child, what would be the perfect gift for them? A newborn mini session of course! That is just what was gifted to this adorable family. And in our mini session we did baby alone, with big brother, AND family shots! Mini sessions have less setups than full sessions and the styling isn't as big, but there is no shortage of super cute pictures. We just tend to make minimal changes to the baby and surroundings so we can get through a maximum amount of portraits in our shorter time frame.
Big brother was sooo cute with her and I may or may not have had to dig in to my mini chocolate chip stash that I keep in the fridge (for an occasional treat for myself annnnnd to occasionally bribe the kids ;) to coerce him into cuddling with sister. Perks of a home studio, my home can open up and find goodies and endless supplies to help your family with any need!
Here are a few of my favorite pictures with this family:
Years ago I had the pleasure of shooting this couple's engagement session, and then recently they came to see me for maternity and newborn portraits as well! Tessa's middle name is Rose, and in the maternity pictures we included a sweet little rose to honor the upcoming birth of their little girl. I think it's sweet when clients bring a little item or two to really personalize their session. For Rose's newborn portraits we also incorporated the "rose" into one of the backgrounds! And before we did family pictures we also used our winter wonderland set since she's so close to being a Christmas baby! This is such a photographic family, and I'm going to need Ashley to give me makeup tips, isn't she stunning?
Here are a few peeks into two of my recent sessions with this cute family:
..and here are a few of Ashley's gorgeous maternity pictures!