Besides the Legacy Portrait, newborn sessions are my most requested session! These past few months have seen me documenting motherhood stories from expectant mothers, new moms, and a mom or two who are just savoring the last few months of "baby-ness" before toddlerdom. And let me tell you, it has been a joy every step of the way. Every child is different, every session brings new challenges and experiences. I know it may seem overwhelming to plan a session for you and your new child, like there aren't enough hours in the day to do the daily tasks let alone plan an extravagance like a photo shoot but with me its always easy and I always keep it simple.
Mothers To Be
The excitement and joy of waiting to welcome your little one should be documented. It doesn't have to be a long session and you certainly do not have to walk all over creation to get a good shot. But you should take a second to celebrate this story, to feel beautiful, and to have something to show your child -years down the road - "Hey! This is you! I carried you for nine months and here you are!" I recommend having your session in the evening when the light is best and when the weather is cooler in the warmer months. You can have your session at home. Think cute photos on the couch, photos in the front yard or porch, walking hand in hand down the road. If you're in the Richmond area than you can't pick a better location than Maymont for your maternity photos! Its beautiful year round and my favorite part -- very little walking!!! Most women have their photos taken around 32 weeks and by that time you, your ankles, and your toes are probably very tired. Maymont offers a dreamy backdrop and plenty of places to sit!
Parents of New Little Ones
Wow! Congratulations! I'm sure I sound silly on each newborn session as I gush about how CUTE! and how TINY! I've done countless newborn sessions and I am still in awe of the adorable yawns, expressions, and how small those fingers and toes are. I recommend newborn sessions happen within 5-10 days after the baby arrives but that is just a very general time frame-- really get them done whenever you feel like it. BUT get them done!! It's more important that you and baby are comfortable, happy, and settled. These three aspects will make a world of difference in your photos! Due dates are also very general timeframes but as soon as you got one let your photographer know so they can mark it on the calendar and keep things a little flexible so they can easily fit you in when the time comes. And if you're worried about where to take the photos? Don't be! I keep things easy and simple. All we need is a fluffy pillow, a blanket, and a good window. If you don't have a window --dont worry. I've still got you covered with extra lighting! One of my favorite things to do during these sessions is to "think BIG and small." I love to take a step back and to get the whole scene of parents holding their child, to encapsulate all of those quiet moments spent rocking them to sleep. I also love to get all of the tiny details --fingers, toes, to communicate the fleeting time when they are this small. Finally, think about a Grow With Me package! Your baby will change right before your eyes during that first year and it's great to document that growth as they go from sleepy newborns to sitting up, to pulling up, and blowing kisses.
Babies About to be Toddlers
Let's say time got away from you. It's maybe your second or third child and between home life, work life, and pandemic life there just wasn't time for newborn photos. No problem. Life happens! But if you want photos before they start toddling along and they're too fast to catch, set up a photo shoot at the 7-9 month milestone. They're likely crawling like crazy, generally happy and eager to giggle, play, and clap! It's one of my favorite milestones to photography because you can really capture some beautiful moments. They're happy to be on their own but are still interested in being held for a moment or two to get a cuddle. Think about what you love about this moment in time, what you love about your little one and structure the session around those ideas!
Take a look below at some of my favorite shots from my recent "baby centric" sessions. And remember to document these days! If anyone tries to tell you that you have to have your session at an exact time of day or at an exact location of their choosing, or really if they try imposing any kind of hard restrictions on you --they are fooling you! Photo shoots should be easy for the client (especially when young ones are involved) and any photographer worth their salt should be able to capture what's naturally there without imposing too much artifice.