February 5th, 2016
I met Greta and her parents at their house near downtown Indianapolis on a sunny Friday a few weeks ago. Whenever a client schedules a newborn lifestyle session, I send them a decent-sized list of things they can do at home before I arrive to prepare for the session. These are all things that will help the session go smoothly, be stress-free, and give us a greater chance of more images and more of a variety of images. I always end the list by saying that I KNOW how difficult it is to have a newborn baby (especially the first, in my opinion), so I’ll prioritize a few items on the list and then tell them to do what they can. Well, Greta’s parents must be rule-followers because they had everything taken care of, and the session was laid back and went swimmingly.
The light coming in through the windows in their old historic home was heavenly and exactly what I hoped for when planning for calm, neutral-colored images. And there is nothing better ever in life than resting your head on your mother’s chest.
Resting your head on Daddy’s chest isn’t so bad either.
I forget what age it is when babies naturally stop closing their hands in tight little fists all day and night. That’s a tiny little detail about a sleeping newborn that I like to have a memory of…
Another angle. Look at that light-filled room!
And one more angle. Greta really was sleepy almost the entire time. So content to just snooze the day away in her new home.
Chris, Katie, and Greta as a new family of three.
Chris and Katie were both so calm and laid back the entire time. We should all hope to take things in stride as much as they did. This may have been the one time during the session that Greta fussed at all, but no big deal. These two stayed relaxed.
Tiny Greta feet.
I’m looking forward to three more newborn lifestyle sessions on the calendar for the coming months! Be on the lookout for more upcoming blog posts!
February 2, 2016
She may not know it yet, but Molly David here has really been blessed to have joined such a sweet family. Her dad dotes on her mom, I’ve watched her mom dote on her older brother for two years now, and in the short time I spent at the hospital with them, I must have seen her two-year-old brother, Milo, reach up to kiss or touch her at least a half dozen times. She’s lucky to have been born into such a loving family.
Thank you, Katrina, for asking me to come shoot this Fresh 48 session!
One of my favorite photos I took of my own daughter in the hospital is a close up of a big ol’ yawn. I try to capture a similar shot for clients if I can. Being born is exhausting!
Just enjoying the outside light while big brother plays with the new toy that she “gave” him when they met. I know lots of families have the new baby give a gift to an older sibling, but this is the first time I’d seen it in action. It worked like a charm!
Wrapped up nice and snug while snoozing in Daddy’s hands.
Molly David with her father, David. I love that her middle name is his name.
What else is there to do during those 48 hours in the hospital other than rest, heal, and admire those little newborn features?
Like I said earlier, loving family indeed!
A specific request by mom- a tasteful skin-to-skin shot. I love that Molly is so peaceful and content and Milo is so interested in what’s going on.
Speaking of newborn features earlier, look at that teeny tiny clutch.
Molly’s mom specifically pointed out just how wrinkly Molly’s little feet were! I had to photograph them so that she wouldn’t forget any detail of her daughter as a newborn.
I believe Molly is about 20 days old now as I’m writing this blog post. According to tradition, she’ll have a big celebration when she’s 100 days old. I look forward to seeing how she’s changed when that milestone comes around!
BARING MY OWN HOME’S IMPERFECTIONS
I have to confess that I don’t keep my house as clean as it should be. I mean, we keep things picked up on a regular basis, but vacuuming, dusting, mopping? Those are a rarity. Recently I did make a list of one little thing a day that I could do for an entire week so I didn’t feel overwhelmed by cleaning the whole house. And it worked splendidly! For a week. Now it’s back to being an overwhelming task and I keep falling farther and farther behind. Not to mention that we moved into this house a year and a half ago and we still have no window treatments, we have mismatched furniture, and mostly bare walls. The reason I’m sharing this confession is because I know I’m not alone in thinking that my house is a mess. I know I have clients (and potential clients!) who haven’t considered scheduling an in-home lifestyle session for their family photos because they think their house isn’t nice enough or isn’t clean enough.
I’d like to share with you images I’ve photographed over the past year of my own family in our “mess” of a house. The images are beautiful to me because they capture memories and they freeze time. I don’t see the imperfections of my home when I look at these. I see the way my toddler looks when she wakes up from a nap, I see the way my daughters lounge with our dog Howard, and I see the baby dolls they play with 24 hours a day. These things won’t last long and will be nostalgic memories in no time, but I’m so glad I captured them in digital images.
If you’ve ever thought that images from a lifestyle session are something you’d love to have, but you’re too worried that your house is too dirty/not styled/too cluttered, read on…
HOWARD AND MATILDA
Blankets tossed around, stains on the carpeting- you don’t notice that? Well, it’s there. But I shot the image so that your eye is drawn to Howard’s protective face and Matilda’s concentration on her book.
Messy hair, ugly blankets balled up in the corner- I don’t see it and I don’t care about it. All I see is that precious face looking out the window at the afternoon sun.
Awwww, sweet baby Coralie. This is that short amount of time around four to six months old when she couldn’t sit up yet and couldn’t crawl, so she constantly played on her belly. I purposely shot this at an angle where you can’t see the many many stains on the carpeting and you don’t notice that this poor second child’s room has bare walls and a mish-mash of second-hand furniture.
DADDY PLAY TIME
The girls went through a time when they loved playing with these vintage blocks that we kept in that ugly ice cream tub. There are toys strewn all about the living room and Daddy is still in his pajamas. But I’ll only think of this as a memory of Daddy building a tower with Matilda.
Those steps are a NIGHTMARE to keep clean. I wipe them down and an hour later they’re covered in dust. They’re covered in dust in this image with little dust bunnies in the corners, but does the camera pick up on that? Nope. And shooting down the steps from up above hides the inside corners all together. It’s just Matilda sitting quietly eating her Cheerios waiting for me while I’m upstairs changing her sister’s diaper.
SISTERS ON THE RUN
I will admit, this one makes me cringe a tiny bit. I do notice the tablecloths we lay down under the high chairs to keep falling food off the floors. I do notice the pillow flopping off the couch and the toys underfoot. But that fades into the background when I remember how just holding hands and running back and forth across the room again and again made them giggle and laugh as if it was the most fun they’d ever had.
Did anyone else have this music player when you were a kid? I love its colorfulness and vintage look and wanted to photograph my daughter playing with it. Even though we’ve lived in our house for over a year, we just can’t seem to make decisions on how to finish decorating. This comforter has spots on it and the bed is sitting on the floor with no bed frame. But I don’t think that shows through in this image at all.
CHUCKS AND BABY DOLLS
This is probably the worst part of our house- the backyard. Rickety fence, uneven yard full of weeds, mud puddles. It made the perfect backdrop for kicking around outside with her baby getting muddy in her little Chuck Taylors, though.
She was getting bigger and stronger and I thought her new trick of climbing up in the chair was something I wanted to document in a photo. It didn’t matter to me that pajamas were draped over the crib and mismatched baskets and books were placed haphazardly on the shelves.
One of my favorite personal images from 2015 is this image of Coralie enamored by our newly decorated Christmas tree. We certainly don’t have a tree or holiday decorations worthy of a Pottery Barn catalog, but what we do have makes for a beautiful moment.
This was a day in early December, not exactly considered a picturesque time of the year. But how many more years will they both be fitting (or willing to ride together) in this old wagon as we head down the street to pick out our Christmas tree? It’s a memory I’ll certainly cherish.
So there you have it, all the imperfections and messes in a house don’t have to be a reason to not book a family lifestyle session. I promise to photograph your family in your home in a flattering way. If you’d like to chat about a lifestyle session or schedule a pre-session visit, contact me at email@example.com. Despite what you might think, your home IS perfect for a lifestyle session.