Extended Family Session | Northern Virginia Portrait Photographer

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One thing is certain in this world, when I go into a session with the Kien family, I know it's going to be a blast. I'll admit, I was a liiiiittle nervous when mama Lara told me she wanted a one year session combined with an extended family session. We also had very little wiggle room on the date because family was in town from across the country, and we had to make it work rain or shine. I was also nervous when Lara texted me baby Sam's go-to facial expression which I managed to capture in a shot or two.

We ended up with a really beautiful albeit humid morning, and I know that I had a great time, I hope that everyone else did!

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Barbara's Personal Branding Session | NOVA Brand Photographer

 

A few months ago, I nervously brought a few business cards to my new yoga studio in Leesburg and when no one was looking, pinned them up on the cork board. Occasionally when heading in for class, I’d take a peek up at the board to see if anyone had taken one. And one morning I excitedly noticed that someone had! Shortly thereafter, Barbara, a talented, dynamic and energetic teacher at Five Peaks contacted me.

I had never taken a class from Barbara prior to her session, but I could tell from the moment I met her that she’s a force to be reckoned with. And I mean that in the best way possible. Barbara is a yoga teacher, a grief coach and energy healer. She is working on getting her website up and going, and was looking for a photographer to capture images for the site.  Even though she saw that I veer more towards babies, mamas and families, she said that she loved the feel of my images and was hoping that I could help her with “a different kind of photoshoot.”

It was kind of a mutual leap of faith, as I had never done a shoot like this before, and she was aware that I hadn’t! I straight up told her as we started our session that I was scared and completely out of my comfort zone. We wanted images that captured all three of her gifts, without being too overt. She was kind enough to let me play with my tripod and a little copper tube to get those ring of fire images, and then I went even more crazy in post processing, doing some double exposures.

Thank goodness Barbara trusted me, and together I think we made some magical images.

As you can tell, this session was over the summer but I’m only just getting around to blogging it. To say that I’m slightly behind is an understatement!

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Newborn Caden | Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer

As I drove up to park in front of Caden’s home in Ballston for his newborn photo session, I had to do a double take as I realized that I had been to the building he now lived in many times before. If you didn’t know, Arlington is a sprawling suburb just over the river from Washington DC, full of high rises. Caden’s new home used to be home to two of my brothers, and as time went on, one brother moved out, a wife moved in and my very first nephew was born, all in this very building. My brother and sister in law, bless their hearts, asked me to photograph their baby, and at the time, I really only had pinterest as my guide. Hopefully they’ve found it in their hearts to forgive me, in the five years since that very first newborn session I have strived to learn and grow with every shoot. But what an amazing thing, the universe straight up slapped me in the face and forced me to recognize how much has changed and how far I’ve come in 5 short years.

Enough about me, let’s talk about this gorgeous family! I love that they wanted to keep things very simple, and let their beautiful baby be the star of the show. He was such an easy going guy, and it was such a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet the whole family.

Enjoy a few of my favorites from this session!

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The R Family | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

You probably can’t tell from the images, but we shot these family photos (meant for a holiday card) in 80 degree heat. And now it’s in the 50s. Welcome to Virginia where we hit all of the seasons within days of one another. Another fun fact that you can’t tell from the images, but dad Matt was suffering from a sprained ankle and we basically had him hobble around slightly, then posed everyone around him as much as possible.

Seriously, such troopers. I love this family!

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Janelle & Luis's Maternity Session | Northern Virginia Maternity Photographer

I have absolutely loved getting to know Janelle and Luis through their journey into parenthood. Janelle booked me to do their maternity photos, as well as their newborn photos, and I am blogging them slightly out of order.

We shot their maternity photos at Morven Park in Leesburg, where I am a photography partner. Janelle was looking for a more natural feel to the images, whereas Luis wanted some architectural aspects. Morven has all of the above, and then some! We were met with some beautiful light, and although it was hot, it’s wasn’t summer in Virginia hot.

As a girl who likes to get dolled up when I have the chance, I was thrilled with Janelle’s hair and makeup, girlfriend is fierce!

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Newborn Margot | McLean Virginia Newborn Photographer

This beautiful little nugget was born to two good friends of mine. Her father Wade and I used to shoot weddings together on weekends, so for another photographer to hire me for newborn pictures of their own child, well, I was flattered and sliiiightly nervous.

All of my clients fill out a questionnaire prior to their session, which helps me to bring the right colors, props, etc., and gives me an idea of the general style that they’re hoping for in the final images. Mo and Wade had requested yellow, and I had hummed and hawwed over whether I brought the right yellow (so nerdy, I know). But as I walked up and knocked on their door adorned with an adorable yellow wreath, I felt that I had brought the correct one!

This is such a stupid thing to say, but I really like to laugh. And I love capturing images that convey emotion, and a lot of that to me is humor. Margot made some of the absolute BEST expressions, and I just had to include those images in her gallery.

Wade and Mo chose the package without family photos, but did request a few sibling photos with pup Mabel. I am the biggest dog lover there is, so I was glad to oblige. Mabel was so good, and Margot was as well! All in all, it was such a nice time spent with good friends.

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Heather & Jason's Maternity Session | Northern Virginia Maternity Photographer

Real talk, I FORCED Heather to do her maternity photo session. I’ve known Heather for 10 years, (I’m doing the Wayne’s World flashback thing in my head)…We met at the corporatest job I have ever worked, and I’ve worked some corporate jobs. The company which will go unnamed was somewhat cutthroat, not an environment that I was used to. I had to literally force myself to go to work every day. I would arrive, sit in my cube and the minutes would slowly tick by. No one talked to each other, and everyone on my team was spread throughout cubes on a floor. It was the strangest place, and I felt invisible.

I mentioned to my boss that I wish there was a social aspect to the company, or at least people who spoke to each other, and I’m pretty sure he forced two normal people to be friends with me. Heather was one of those people. I remember going out to lunch with her and being so seriously nervous. I was like “Oh my gosh, if these people don’t like me, I’m going back to solitary confinement. I neeeeeed them to like me!” Good news, I think they did, at least a little.

So here we are, 10 years later. I was thrilled to be able to go to Heather and Jason’s wedding, and fueled by wine, kind of held her hostage in the bathroom at her own wedding to tell her something that seemed really important that I say: that I was so happy that she and Jason found each other.

Here’s the thing about Heather. She’s freaking gorgeous, but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know it. I know she doesn’t love having her picture taken, so I knew it was going to take some serious arm twisting. Somehow I managed to convince her, and I personally am in love with the images.

I consider myself a lifetsyle photographer, however I do pose my clients quite a bit to at least facilitate connection. Usually they look and feel so ridiculous that we end up getting real smiles. But none of that was really necessary, as Jason had us both cracking up. I was dying when I tried to get Heather to do a sexy face, and Jason kept demonstrating it to her. Her and Jason and so perfect for one another, and I know that their baby girl will grow up loved and laughing.

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The V Family | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

I am just dying over the light for this family’s fall photo session at Morven Park in Leesburg.

Mama Ania had reached out to me while the family was living in another state, in anticipation of a move to Northern Virginia. Before booking, she wanted to make sure that I was ok with dogs, and that I could photograph theirs. I mean, I LOVE dogs…I always hope that I can photograph them well, but more than that, I just really like sneaking in some scritches.

Real talk. Buster the dog shouldn’t have been a concern, he was a model citizen. Baby Zosia however did not like me for the first 20ish minutes of our session. I’m starting to question bleaching my hair because since I’ve done it, I swear that little babies have been a bit wary of me. But I digress…

The good news is that we managed to get over our differences, and I dare say, became buddies by the end of the session.

Also, I can’t post about this session without a shout out to my would-be assistant if she didn’t live across the country. It just so happened that one of Ania’s besties was visiting the DC area from California for work. She stood behind me and jumped around like crazy trying to get Zosia to smile, created some wind for me, sang songs from a really strange amazon prime playlist. All in all, she gets a gold star for sure.

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The K Family Session | NOVA Family Photographer

Mama Jess and I went to middle and high school together, she was always super cool and I was a total nerd. Now here we are, mothers ourselves and wanting to document our children. Jess reached out for family photos, and we had to reschedule about 57 times because the weather has been such a douchebag this year. We ended up shooting on a cloudy day which isn’t ideal, but the love and connection in her family was enough to light up the images. And oh my gosh, check out her adorable daughters.

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Baby I's Newborn Session | Fairfax, Virginia In Home Newborn Photographer

This beautiful girl’s parents were kind enough to let me post photos with no identifying information, so please enjoy some images of this gorgeous baby!

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Lucy & Cora's Sister Session | Loudoun County Family Photographer

I realize that I’ve been blogging about friends who’ve used me as a photographer a lot lately. I swear, people, I also photograph complete strangers! But let me tell you about the mother of these two beautiful girls who is one of my best friends. When I first became a “photographer” Allison trusted me, hired me, and paid me. Believe me, if you saw the images I delivered back then, you’d be astonished (they’re horrible…my fault). Despite that, she kept supporting me as I worked on learning everything I could about my camera and about photography, and she always cheered me on.

Look, I have A LOT more to learn, but I am also very proud of my personal growth. I am so thrilled that I can finally deliver the caliber of images to Allison that she deserves. Allison went through a lot for her girls, she is such a strong woman and role model, and unsurprisingly, she’s raising two smart, headstrong and very capable young girls.

Older sister Lucy came to the session ready to go. She struck these poses that shocked both Allison and I. Apparently she’s been taking on some modeling gigs in her downtime. Literally, right out of the gate, sat down on my little chair and struck a pose with her arm up (see below). Little sister Cora was pretty wary of me and my camera, but she warmed up after a bit…even if it did mean bribing her with bubbles.

Also, check out some gorgeous pieces from my client closet on both of the girls (we did an outfit change!)

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Newborn Lincoln | NOVA Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

When it comes to scheduling, I’m about as Type A as it comes…so it’s kind of funny that I’m so passionate about newborn photography, as it’s one of those things that you can try to plan, but never really know. Janelle was due in August, but Lincoln decided to make his appearance much sooner, actually while I was on vacation with my family. Janelle had booked a lifestyle session though, and with that kind of session it’s not as imperative that you have it within days 5-14. So we planned a date and were good to go.

Then, my kids and I managed to contract some kind of crazy illness while at the beach, and I didn’t feel comfortable having Lincoln’s session on the date we had planned, so we had to push it back even further. Janelle was so understanding, big shout out to her!

All this is to say, I believe it worked out perfectly, and little Lincoln is absolutely perfect.

Also, please note Luna (the cat) making an appearance here and there!

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Newborn Jackson | Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer

I traveled from Loudoun to photograph Jackson and his family in their home in Alexandria, Virginia. I should mention that the moment I walked through the door, I was blown away by the interior design, all done by mama Kelly. Each room truly looked like it belonged in a magazine!

Kelly and I were sorority sisters in college, but barely knew each other. I just knew that she was a gorgeous upperclassman and I was a nerdy pledge! I was thrilled when she reached out asking me to photograph Jackson's fresh 48 and in home newborn session. It was so much fun getting to catch up with her and her family, I feel like I was laughing most of the time because I was just having so much fun. Kelly was also the first mama to get to model from my new client closet, a collection of dresses I'm assembling for my clients to wear for their maternity, post-partum and family sessions.

Jackson made the absolute funniest faces during his session, I was especially drawn to his "Do you smell what the rock is cookin'?" look. I also loved that we were able to include not only Jackson's hooman big brother Cole, but also the family's first baby, pupper Henry. Note that Henry is very uncertain of both me, and the cheese being used behind me to get him to look.

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Baby Registry Shopping List | NOVA Newborn Photographer

I'm the youngest of four. I only have 3 first cousins, and they are all older than me and lived across the country and world as we all grew up. All this is to say that until I had my own children, I had absolutely no experience with babies. They just weren't around, and they kind of scared me. 

As my friends and I started pairing off and having children, I still remained pretty blissfully unaware of all things baby. I remember placing a nipple brush off of a friend's baby shower registry in my basket at babies 'r us, and in that moment calling my mom and asking in a hushed tone "wait, you have to brush them?!" Turns out the brush is meant to wash bottle nipples, not the other kind. 

When Jason and I found out that we were expecting, I had no clue what this little baby would need. So I started asking friends and sisters in law and compiling a list. I put many of those things on my registry having no clue what they were. Some were instrumental in our lives, some were complete wastes of time. 

Now that I've been through it, I've been able to share my list with friends who found themselves in a similar position. One of those friends recently told me that she has shared my list with tons of people, so I feel like maybe it could help others if I post it here? I know, I know, not exactly newborn photography, but newborn-related! I should probably put a disclaimer here that I'm not a medical professional, just a lady who has two babies and photographs newborns a lot. 

 

Travel

Necessary

  • 1 Infant car seat + base. We have the Britax B Safe that goes with the BOB Revolution running stroller which is a really good running/off-road kinda thing, but it’s way too big for day to day errands. But if you’re into running, you can find them all over craigslist for a lot cheaper than in the stores.
  • For day to day strolling around we had the click it. It’s a crappy little stroller thing that works with the infant seat that we own. You will only need that for as long as the baby is in the infant seat, so maybe 6-8ish months. This is best for errands, grocery store, and generally having a stroller that fits in your car. 
  • If I had to do it all over again, I’d go with what’s called a “travel system stroller.”  It’s the infant car seat, base, and a stroller which works with the infant car seat, but also is just a regular stroller for when the baby is bigger. Britax and Baby Trend are good brands.

Optional

  • Having a baby carrier worked really well for me. You know like that thing Zack Galifanlksdhgoweijas wore in the Hangover. The one that worked best for me was the Baby K’tan carrier. Jacob and Fiona LIVED in this thing for the first 3-4 months. I tried a few different carriers and this was by far my favorite. It all kind of depends on the baby though, there are tons of options out there.
  • Once baby gets a little bigger, I LOVED the Lillebaby. I ordered mine on black Friday and got a great deal.

 

Sleep

  • Get a white noise app on your phone and/or a white noise machine, we like the Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine which we still use for every nap/bed time
  • Rock n Play. I wish I'd had one of these the first time around!
  • Halo Sleep sacks. My first baby freaking loved these, second one hated them. So who knows.
  • Bouncer. This was a lifesaver for me from birth to about 6 months. I was able to put Jacob in it in the bathroom with me while I showered, or in the kitchen when 
  • Baby Monitor. There are so many options, I think most of them are fine. This can wait a month or two if you have the baby in the room with you for the first few weeks.
  • Pack and Play. I liked having it on the main level, so there were two diaper changing stations for the first 3 months or so, especially coming off of an unexpected and painful emergency c section. Then it became a good place to put the baby when I need to do something where I can’t have him/her getting into stuff. Then, works great for a travel crib for about 2 years.  I would recommend the kind that has a diaper changer on it.
  • For baby's crib, you'll want two mattress pads and two fitted sheets. This comes in handy if there are any middle of the night incidents that require laundry, at least you have another set ready to go.

 

Entertainment

Pretty Much All Optional

  • Mobile – Keeps baby occupied for a few minutes?
  • Door jumper. Starting around 3-4 months, he/she’ll be occupied in this thing for a while. At least my children were! They're also hilarious.
  • Exersaucer – Amazing from about 3 months to 9 months. Kept my kiddos super busy. But really big, takes up a lot of space.
  • Activity mat – Really great from about 1 month to about 6 months

Eating

Necessary

  • Bottles. Even if you breastfeed, you should start introducing a bottle around 4 weeks so that the baby gets accustomed to eating from someone other than you. I know people who waited too long to try a bottle, and the baby flat out rejected anything that wasn’t the boob.The thing about bottles, is that different ones work for different periods with the baby. The biggest thing is to try different flows…obviously slow flow at first, then quicker as he/she gets older.
  • Medela. These worked well for the first few months
  • Comotomo
  • These are so pricey, but meant for breastfed babies and were my kids' favorites

If you plan on breastfeeding:

  • Boppy or My Breast Friend
  •  Nipple Cream. If you plan on breastfeeding, bring it to the hospital with you
  • Breast Pump. Your insurance should cover this and send you one
  • Quick clean micro steam bags. These are great for sterilizing breast pump stuff, bottles, pacifiers, etc.
  • Get a few nursing bras, especially sleep ones. Target has cheap ones!
  • Nursing pads. I tried a few and liked these the best. The only weird part is that they have like, fake nipples.
  • Milk storage bags

Optional

 

Clothes/Blankets

Necessary

  • Get a few muslin blankets they are great for swaddling.
  • Onesies. A few in NB size, more in 3 month size.
  • Maybe a few pants/shorts (NB and 3 month)…but these are mostly useless. I kept my babies in either a onesie or a sleepsack most of the time. Maybe I'm just lazy?

 

Crying

We didn't know it, but our first baby was battling reflux, probably what would have been called colic years ago. Since we didn't have much experience with babies, I just assumed this was what they all did. Turns out, they don't. If your baby is crying all the time, there could be some problems! We found that the following were helpful:

  • Gripe water and Mylicon Drops, both in any drug store. Just get them. There will be times when the baby is crying and nothing else is working, the reason is that he/she has gas stuck in his stomach and it’s painful. These dissipate it.
  • If you plan on doing pacifiers, get Avent Soothies. A lactation consultant told me to get the most nipple-like paci out there. She said “if you don’t want your nipple looking like a particular pacifier, don’t get it”. Gosh I've said "nipple" a lot in this post

 

Poop & Gross Stuff

  • You're going to want a poop receptacle that keeps the smell contained. We have two, Ubbi which is nice because you can use regular trash bags. Then we also have the diaper genie. The only annoying part with the diaper genie is that you have to buy special bags for it. You can find generic ones at target.

  • Diapers - If you're amazon prime member, do subscribe and save on diapers. I went with Pampers Swaddlers because that's what the hospital used. I really like them though, they have a little line that turns blue when the baby has peed or pooped. If you do subscribe and save, start it maybe 2 or 3 weeks from your due date, and only get one box of newborn diapers, and then get size 1 for the next box. Most babies don't stay in newborn sized diapers too long. Obviously you can reassess if you need to, but it's better to have to get more than have tons of newborn diapers that are too small for your baby. 

  • Diaper rash cream – Desitin, whatevs

  • Wipes. I did amazon subscribe and save with the pampers sensitive ones

  • Burp cloths (cloth diapers can double as birth cloths...provided you only use them for one or the other).

 

Bathtime

  • You’ll need a baby tub starting around 3 months, this is so annoying because you will only use it for a few months and they generally take up a good deal of space. You can do little sink baths before that.
  • Get Mustela Foam shampoo, it's the only thing I found that cured cradle cap
  • Some kind of baby head to toe wash

Shopping List

Things you need before the baby arrives (in my opinion)

  • Crib, cradle or bassinet
  • Pack and Play
  • Boppy pillow
  • Nipple cream
  • Bottles (just a few at first)
  • Burp Cloths
  • Nursing Pads
  • Nursing Bras
  • Muslin Blankets
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Tearless shampoo/bath gel
  • Baby lotion
  • Diaper cream
  • Diaper Genie bags
  • Gripe water & Mylicon drops
  • White noise machine
  • A few onesies
  • Zip up footie pajamas. The zip up part is key. No one has time for those snaps.

Things that can wait

  • Baby monitor (if the baby will sleep in your room for a bit)
  • Crib (if the baby will sleep in your room for a bit)
  • Clothes past 3 month size
  • Baby care kit (nail clippers etc)
  • Real stroller
  • Convertible car seat. I put one of these on my registry because I had no idea. Then I saw anonymous people on Baby Center making fun of people who did this. Ah well. Anyways, this can wait until the baby is 8-12ish months
  • Pretty much everything else 

 

Random Closing Thoughts

 

  • I went through about 3 diaper bags, and I hate them all. I'm such a nerd, but have found that for me, a backpack is best when I'm out and about with the kids. But these days I actually don't even need that. Now I'll just keep some diapers and wipes in my car for emergencies.
  • Babyproofing will start to be a concern around 8 months. You'll need baby gates, things to secure tall furniture to walls, cabinet locks, and all that stuff. On advice from moms who had been there done that before me, they said not to buy those cheapy cabinet locks because kiddos figure those out quickly. We've put the magnetic locks on our super dangerous cabinets, and love them. 
  • And let me tell you, the "baby registry checklist" on certain a baby store website is a complete load of crap. Don't believe the hype!

Twinsies! | Arlington Newborn Photographer

I photographed fraternal twins Addy and James at their home in Arlington, VA. Full disclosure, these adorable little nuggets are my newest niece and nephew. And here's a little more honesty: this was my first time photographing twins. And I'm going to put my personal belief out there, I don't believe that parents of twins should have to pay more for photographs of their babies. They're already paying double for just about everything, why not cut them a break? So anyways, I learned that it's pretty hard to photograph two babies at once, I'm not quite sure how people parent two babies at once. Twin and parents of multiples, you are awe-inspiring.

There I go off on tangents. And here's another one, please check out Belle the dog, who a) hates having her picture taken and b) doesn't quite know what to think about these two little hoomans. 

Enjoy these cuties!

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Newborn T | NOVA Newborn Photographer

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I photographed baby T at his home in Arlington, Virginia. His mama allowed me to post images without identifying information, but I've decided to take it a step further and not include images of this adorable little guy's family. But take it from me, they are beautiful! One of the first things I noticed about their home was that it was pretty much my dream decorating. I'm sure T's mama thought I was insane, but I thought this adorable little horse family on their window represented them, mom/dad/sister/brother.

Also, I get the biggest kick out of newborn facial expressions. Baby T did not disappoint!

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Newborn Benjamin | Traveling Newborn Photographer

I traveled from Northern VA to Charlotte, NC to photograph this precious little doll baby.  I was sorority sisters with his mama Chrissy, a longer time ago than I care to admit. I can't say that I knew her very well at the time, but we stayed somewhat in touch through social media over the years. A few months ago, I posted a little newborn prop on my facebook page, and she jokingly suggested that I come to North Carolina once her baby was born. I checked with the husband and decided, why not!? So we made it happen!

Something that I adore about photographing newborns is connecting with the new mamas, hearing their birth stories, and forming/strengthening friendships. In Chrissy's case, it was just so amazing to spend a few hours together recounting the good old days, and sharing stories about life as a new mother. And I left feeling I had regained a friend. I already feel so blessed to get to do what I do, but on top of that, I love that my passion has made acquaintances into friends. 

I'm acutely aware of what a blurred, messy but magical time the days following the birth of a child are, and I am humbled to be invited into the homes of new parents to document their tiny newborn.

Oh and that prop that got the ball rolling on this whole thing? See if you can spot it! Enjoy some photos of adorable baby Benjamin :)

 

 

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Aidan's Fresh 48 | Northern Virginia Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

I photographed this beautiful family welcoming their third boy at the Birthing Inn at INOVA Loudoun. I've known Cat, most people call her Catherine but she'll always be Cat to me, nearly 10 years ago through my now husband, as she was dating (and is now married to) one of his best buddies. 

Over time, we've bonded over photography, babies, and our off brand sense of humor, and I feel blessed to call her my friend. Two years ago she photographed my daughter's fresh 48 session, and the images where my son met my daughter for the very first time are my absolute favorite images in our short (but growing) family history. When she asked me to photograph her newest arrival, I wanted to deliver images that moved her as much as hers moved me!

Let me back up a bit though, you might be wondering what a "Fresh 48" is. It's a newborn session that takes place in the hospital within 48 hours of baby's birth. I'll be honest, when Cat was doing mine, I had no makeup on, I was going through some stuff on account of my second c-section, and I wasn't convinced that I was going to like the pictures. But something about this tiny window of time produces the most raw, real and emotional images, and I'm unapologetically drawn to that.

Make sure to check out Gavin's reaction to meeting his new brother, and possibly realizing that he's not the baby anymore!

 

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I Am Ashamed.

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This morning my husband rolled over and told me that our son needed to bring a family photo to school today. Cue me frantically trying to figure out when we had our last family photo. For someone who lives and breathes photography, I was ashamed to realize that our last family pictures were for our 2017 Christmas card. 

And not only that, we have our own sense of humor in our house, and that picture was this (take by my awesome friend at Catherine Vint Photography):

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I adore that image. And anyone who knows us hopefully enjoyed it, and realized it was a joke (well, for 75% of us), but I also felt a little silly sending that image off to teachers who I hardly know! Not to mention that it may only be 6 months since that picture was taken, but my kids have changed so much in that time.

I'm not much of a selfie taker, and frankly it's a bad idea to have my phone out around my kiddos right now as they're starting to realize how fun they can be. On top of that, I'm usually the one taking photos of my family, not getting in them. I have plenty of excuses as to why I shouldn't be in a picture, I don't have on makeup, my hair is a mess, I'm wearing a stained shirt and yoga pants, I need to lose 10 pounds.

Which brings me to a quick tangent. I have this picture that I took of my grandmother who I loved so dearly, fun fact, she's actually the namesake behind my business! The image is of her running out of the frame because she didn't want to be photographed. Even as a kid it made me sad. I had wanted to take a picture of her because she lived an 18 hour drive away. I loved her and missed her, but she was consumed with self doubt for some reason. Now that she's gone, I would love images of her in everyday situations. She cooked the most amazing southern meals, I can still remember her tiny kitchen, what I wouldn't give for a photograph of her cooking in that space. 

Based off of my interactions with clients, it's usually the mother who initiates, plans and makes family pictures happen. In most cases, the catalyst for that is Christmas/Holiday cards. But kids grow so fast, as I held my son's hand the other day I teared up realizing it's not the chubby toddler hand it used to be. Every day he's getting bigger and time is passing. It's so important to make time to capture those day-to-day memories.

And most importantly, mamas, make sure that you're in the frame too.