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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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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NOVA Newborn Photographer
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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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Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer
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Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer

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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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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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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Newborn V | Fairfax In-Home Lifestyle Photographer

I photographed this beautiful and loving family at their home in Northern Virginia. I love in-home lifestyle sessions, as I believe that photographing people in the comfort of their own home captures the most truth and emotion, truly telling the story of the first few days/weeks following the birth of a new baby. I love the fly-on-the-wall aspect, for example seeing dad and the big brother play with blocks, middle brother toddling around and the newest family member finishing a bottle.

The family has asked the remain anonymous, but gave me permission to post both the images and a blog post, as I was so moved by their story. Prior to our session, mom had requested an image of her sons holding a pendant that was special to her. It wasn't until I arrived at the session that I understood the poignancy of that necklace. There were three boys at this session, however the first of these brothers was stillborn. The pendant shows his footprint and name, paying homage to their four children and an unimaginable grief.

I come from a family with four children, as I child I was aware that there was a tiny headstone at our church for a sibling of mine who was stillborn. It wasn't until I had children of my own that I asked my mom to tell me more. She choked up and revealed that had all of her pregnancies come to fruition, there would have been seven of us. She went through these losses before I was born, I truly cannot image the pain, but also the strength it took to persevere.

I tear up when looking at some of these images, I am so grateful that this family allowed me to capture their loving connections. One of my favorite things about newborn sessions is connecting with the mother. It's such a raw, emotional and hormonal time after the birth of a child. I loved getting to know this mama, to hear her birth story, and to share anything I can that might make the transition a little easier. In this family's case, I was in awe of how they handled a 3 year old, 11 month old and newborn with ease. 

Not to mention, these boys are all absolutely precious, make sure to look for her oldest being my big helper and helping to photograph baby brother!

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Newborn Dex | Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer

I met Dex and his family when he was 6-ish weeks old, so he was definitely more awake than your usual baby, and quite possibly the noisiest baby I've ever met (in the cutest way possible of course!) His family is phenomenal, you can see he's going to have tons of fun trying to be just like his big brothers, and he is already so very loved!

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Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer
Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer
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Northern Virginia Lifestyle Newborn Photographer
Northern Virginia Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

What's the Difference Between a Lifestyle Newborn Session and a Posed Newborn Session?

After receiving a few questions about the difference between a lifestyle newborn session and a posed session, I realized I haven't been very clear! Hopefully this post will shed some light on these types of sessions, and help you choose what is a better fit for you and your family.

Posed Newborn Session

The word "posed" has much more to do with baby than it does with the family. While we do get lifestyle-inspired images of your family, a posed session is focused on timeless images of just your baby. 

Posed sessions are the ones where it's best that baby be between 5 and 14 days old (but truthfully, I've had babies up to 25 days totally rock this kind of session). Since your newborn was up until very recently squished securely inside of mama, they are usually a) very amenable to posing in ways that show off their beautifully tiny features and b) sleepy enough to let me pose them.

From a photographic standpoint, posed sessions tend to be somewhat challenging, as each baby is different and you never truly know what you are going to get. But I guess I like a challenge because I absolutely LOVE these sessions. I look at these posed images as fine art, and feel so inspired with a blank/solid backdrop and your baby as the subject. 

Then there's mom and dad. I know that I wasn't looking or feeling 100% right after the births of my kiddos, and I don't generally display images in my home of me being a hot mess. The images that I have framed are posed shots of my children as teeny babies. And every time I look at those images, my heart is filled with love, rather than as a reminder of how sore, crampy, bloated and emotional I was. But everyone's birth story is different, you might have come out of labor a mother f-ing goddess. And if so, let's capture that!

This is where things probably get a bit confusing. In the packages that I offer, most people go for lifestyle family shots and posed newborn shots (Classic Package). In most cases, we do family shots on the master bed, or elsewhere in the house. While I do pose you initially, what I'm looking for is more about your family's love and connection. If there are older siblings, we do a few shots of just them with the baby. If you'd like images of just mom/just dad/just mom and dad with the baby, we do that as well. 

Logistics
With a posed session, I will essentially be moving into your house. I have a giant beanbag made especially for newborn photography that will confuse your husband and generally prompts questions on how I built it. I will set this bad boy up with a number of blankets to help achieve that solid colored, gradual fade backdrop. Then depending on baby, I will try a bunch of different poses, all of which are safe and meant to hide any private bits. 

  • Things I bring to a posed newborn session:
    • Posing bean bag
    • Different colored posing blankets for the beanbag
    • Posing pillows to help position baby
    • Flokati rug (great for sibling shots)
    • Crates/buckets/baskets for baby 
    • Wraps/hats/bonnets/headbands/newborn outfits all handmade by newborn photography prop vendors
    • Floor drops 
    • Space heater
    • Seamless backdrop paper and stand (if going with the premiere package)
    • Studio light with umbrella and diffuser
       
  • Things I need from you in your home
    • Heat turned up
    • An area of at least 6 ft by 6 ft in a dark-ish room to set up the bean bag
    • If we're doing seamless background for parent/family shots (premiere package) I'll need an area of about 8 ft by 8 ft with a hard floor

Lifestyle Newborn Session

Even in a lifestyle session I will do some hands on posing, but I view this as a more photo journalistic and natural approach to your newborn.

With a lifestyle session, I will bring waaaay less stuff to your house, and will instead be using your environment as a backdrop. This includes baby's nursery, common areas in the home, and possibly the master bedroom or a siblings room as well. We won't miss the details like your newborn's tiny little fingers and toes, but they will be framed differently than they would in a posed session. Baby might be in his/her crib, on a family heirloom quilt, or laying next to big brother while he reads a story. My posing of baby will be very minimal with this type of session.

With a lifestyle session, it's less important that baby be within that 5-14 day time frame. I've shot lifestyle sessions for babies as old as 3 months, and these can often be great because you start getting real smiles, rather than the sleepy-and-pooping-smile you get with a very new newborn.

Much like I mentioned above in the posed session explanation, my family shots almost always take on a lifestyle feel. We do family shots on the master bed, or elsewhere in the house if you'd prefer. While I do pose you initially,  I'm looking for your family's love and connection. If there are older siblings, we do a few shots of just them with the baby. If you'd like images of just mom/just dad/just mom and dad with the baby, we do that as well. 

Logistics

  • Things I would bring to a lifestyle session:
    • A few neutral wraps/swaddles for baby
    • Studio light with umbrella and diffuser
  • Things I need from you in your home:
    • A few clean/tidy areas (this is why I personally wouldn't be the best candidate for this type of shoot) but if you are, you are amazing
    • If you'd like some parent images with a seamless backdrop-look, I'll need about 6 feet of an undercoated wall as a backdrop
    • Regarding the below gallery, there are more images to come, I need to pull them off of the cloud, but I wanted to have this blog post up as soon as I could.

Family Images

To sum it all up, these are my current packages, and the family images you can expect:

  • Lifestyle - Family lifestyle images included, similar to below
  • Petite - JUST your newborn, no family images included
  • Heirloom- Family lifestyle images included, similar to below, either lifestyle or for a simpler look, against a seamless backdrop or painted wall in your home

Newborn-ish Cora | Arlington Virginia Newborn Photographer

If you're new to the concept of newborn photography, you might not know that most photographers think the ideal times for photographing a newborn are between day 5 and 14 (give or take a few days). While I agree with this time frame, I wouldn't turn someone away for contacting me a few days late...I mean, new parents already have quite a lot on their plates!

Stacey contacted me after she and her husband Benji welcomed beautiful Cora to the world. With the craziness surrounding the holidays, we were unable to make the shoot happen until Cora was about 6 weeks old. While we weren't able to get some of the sleepy, squishy newborn shots I usually aim for, we were able to get tons of images of baby Cora that might not be as doable with a super new baby. 

First we did the family portion of the session at a gorgeous nearby park. It was an unseasonably warm November day, so baby Cora stayed nice and comfy cozy throughout. We worked with the natural surroundings and got some great images capturing the love in this family, not forgetting adorable pup Sierra!

Then we headed back home for the newborn portion of the session. Cora was an absolute rock star, just like her mom and dad!

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Isn't that sweet smile enough to melt your heart?

Isn't that sweet smile enough to melt your heart?

I just love this smirk!

I just love this smirk!

Since Cora was a little bit older for her shoot, we got a lot of great shots of her looking right at the camera!

Since Cora was a little bit older for her shoot, we got a lot of great shots of her looking right at the camera!

I love utilizing design in the clients' home, like this beautiful rug in Cora's nursery.

I love utilizing design in the clients' home, like this beautiful rug in Cora's nursery.

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Newborn Adam | Ashburn VA Newborn Photographer

When I go into a client’s home for a newborn session, my top three objectives are to capture the family connection, their personalities, and life as it is that very day. Those days right after the birth of a new little baby seem to fly by, which is why I think that newborn photography is so important. Sure, in that moment you’re exhausted, probably pretty sore and banged up, and not exactly in the mood to get the whole family dressed up and smiling for photos. But I know from my own experience that those are the images that I treasure the most. I look back now at images of my children as newborns and can see their personalities as I know them now, shining through even then.

So back to personality! I met Giana (mama to Ari and Adam) through my hospital’s new moms group, her daughter has grown up alongside my son. Knowing her family, I knew there would be no shortage of personality with this clan. And I was not disappointed. Enjoy a few of my favorites from this great session!

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Newborn Luke | Leesburg VA Newborn Photographer

I met Luke's mama in my hospital new mother's support group when she had her daughter, who coincidentally was born in the same hospital on the same day as my son. We might have even passed each other shuffling through the halls in our hospital gowns. Well, I would have been shuffling, I'm sure Olga was skipping out of the hospital! Our children are now good friends, and so are we. Obviously I was beyond thrilled that she asked me to photograph this sweet guy. 

Olga and her husband took my prep guide very seriously which was AMAZING. When I travel to homes for newborn sessions, I strongly suggest to new parents that the rooms where I'll be shooting be around 80 degrees to keep the star of the show warm and happy. Olga and Matt followed directions diligently, and that played a big part in the session being such a success.

With it being so toasty, we got the family shots out of the way first, and then we all sweated it out in the sauna while baby Luke did his job as an excellent model.

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