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!
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!
Real talk. When purchasing a non-necessity, the buyer must first decide if that thing or service is worth the money to them. I willingly admit that I'm able to drop a solid $200 at Target in 30 minutes, because a) Cat & Jack sees into my soul and knows what my children NEED to wear and b) as the meme goes "No one goes to Target because they need something, Target tells you what you need."
I'm biased, but it is important to me to have photographs documenting my family as we grow together. I'm not writing this post to tell you that professional photography should be important to you, but I do implore you to take images of your family (and don't forget to include yourself, mamas) because this time is so fleeting. However, if professional photography is indeed something that you feel is worth some money, read on to see why it can be expensive, and this doesn't even include things like housing/food/medical costs.
Licensed & Insured
This is a biggie, and is super important to me, especially when it comes to newborns. Lennah Press LLC is registered and licensed in the state of Virginia, and is also insured. I'm going to be handling your newborn who literally just came into the world, I can think of no greater responsibility. I take your newborn's safety extremely seriously, I have studied and trained on newborn physiology, and I insist that some poses be composites (one image made up of multiple images in photoshop, keeping baby's safety as the top priority).
Accreditations and Memberships
Adobe is the worst and has started only offering it's programs like Photoshop as a monthly subscription. So I'm paying for that. I'm a member of Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International, Clickin' Moms and Unraveled Academy, all of these groups are focused on safety, growth, community and learning, but they also have membership fees.
Education & Training
I am constantly investing in myself and my business to bring you imagery that will stand the test of time.
This applies more to family sessions, but did you know that most outdoor locations require a permit fee or membership for professional photographers to be able to use their grounds? It's true! On top of that, I've spent many hours scouting locations to find the best light during different times of the day, and year.
Equipment & Maintenance
I'm rolling up to your session with thousands of dollars worth of camera gear alone. I have to send that gear into Canon about once a year for maintenance. And aside from being terrifying to be without my camera for a few days, it's also pricey. The same goes for studio lighting.
That adorable bear bonnet/felted fur/textured wrap/teeny tiny newborn outfit was handmade specifically for newborn photography. Due to their one of a kind nature, they are often expensive, and us photographers like to occasionally refresh our collections to offer colors or props that the client requests.
I take a limited amount of clients because you deserve my full attention. My passion is photography, but I love the process of getting to know you and your family from your first inquiry to final image delivery (and hopefully beyond!) I actually had a client email me last night about prints, and I was thrilled because I had missed our daily emails discussing locations, outfits, weather, and a million other things.
Depending on the type of session, I'm spending anywhere from an hour to four hours with you. With newborns, I travel to your home because I know that that is what I would have preferred if I had the option after having my own babies. This also means selecting props and outfits especially for you and your family, packing up my car, and then unpacking once the session is over. And the laundry, oh the laundry.
Lastly, after your session, I spend on average 15 minutes per image editing.
I'm a mom too, and am mostly of the Stay at Home persuasion. I have to line up childcare for my own kiddos to be able to spend time with you and yours. Unless you want me to bring my mischievous little ones around to really spice things up!
Ultimately, you have to decide if professional photography is important to you. If it isn't, that's ok! Snap as many pictures of that tiny baby as you possibly can. You'll look back and laugh at how your 4 year old still makes that very same expression when he's upset. Or how your 2 year old still sleeps with her tiny lips slightly agape.
I know that for me though, and especially in the case of newborn photos, the window to capture those tiny fingers and toes is so small. I wouldn't let it pass me by.
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!
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!
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.