As of the time of my writing this blog post, I have been photographing the available rescue dogs at the Providence Animal Center, formerly known as the Delaware County SPCA, for approximately 1.75 years. I had been trying to figure out a way to volunteer at the shelter for years, but with a small child and a limited amount of time, it was just not in the cards. Then, their canine care manager approached me with a project: would I be willing to help them by showcasing dogs that have either been there a long while, need a great photo, or just need some interest? WOULD I, WOULD I? Of course. I met Carolyn, who is one of the most giving, darling, lovely, amazing human beings I have ever met, and we started to figure this thing out. She began bringing the dogs to my studio to be photographed. What an incredible experience this turned out to be; for us - figuring out how to help each other, to be partners, to be a team, to get the most out of the dogs. I've gotten to know her and I feel it is such a privilege to spend time with her and learn from her, and for the dogs - who not only get a photo, interest, and hot dogs, but they get out of the shelter for a bit, get some peace and quiet, get to relax, and often get to take a nap.
I wanted to share some photos of the dogs that I've taken this year. I also got to photograph some of the dogs for the 2017 Providence Animal Center calendar. I get so excited every time I see that one of "my" dogs has gotten adopted. I often get put in touch with the people who've adopted the dogs and I send them the photo that they may (or may not) have seen, so that they can have a portrait of their new family member.
I consider myself super lucky to be working for such a fantastic organization. There is literally not one person there who isn't amazing, giving, a champion of the animals and a good soul. I hope that if you are near to the Delaware County area, you will consider donating to them, or any of the other great organizations in the Philadelphia area. If you are not local, I challenge you to find an organization close to you to help out. They often have a wish list that you can purchase from or drop off things that you are no longer in need of at their facility too.
Here are some of "my" dogs from this year. I'll mention next to them if they've found homes or are still looking.
This is Ace. He was adopted this year.
These two are Cocoa. She was also adopted this year. Look at that face, oh my goodness.
Colt. I need to check. I'll update here.
Scotty. Adopted by a guy who likes to run.
Zena. Darling, sweet girl who was a cruelty case. Just adopted!
Titus! Just got adopted, had been homeless since JULY!
I think I'll just show you these for now. More later.
I often tell the story of how my mom doesn't like dogs so I didn't grow up with one - and so any time someone wants to incorporate the dog they love into their newborn session, I LOVE IT. This special family brought me their sweet Luna, who was also present and a participant at their newborn session. I just love how she is looking at the baby here. So sweet. Such a great look at the heart of a dog. She was so darling during the session - she was attentive, she listened, she sat quietly. Her life is clearly changing, but what a darling dog she is.
I love this one - so simple. But such a great reminder of what he was like when he was so small. All those little wrinkles, toes, furrowed brow, little bottom, baby fingers, wrists, rolls. Little wispy, baby hair and scrunchy lips. It's hard not to just watch a baby BE. Like, the amazingness and perfectness of this new life - hard not to be in awe of them. I'm such a fortunate person to have this experience weekly, if not more frequently, but it really doesn't take away from the awe-struck feeling. It's a privilege. Ok, digressing here... back to baby photos.
Frequently, I deal with the mom-to-be in the scheduling of the newborn sessions, and thus am just meeting him for the first time at the newborn session. It used to be that the new dad was just sort of there and not as excited as the moms about the newborn photos. But, more and more, the new dads excited about the photos, which I LOVE! They are also now coming with their own ideas to the planning table before the sessions, and I LOVE IT. We are incorporating their ideas, and it's so cool having them as creative partners. It was this way with this guy's dad - and, really, he's a brilliant creative mind in his own right, so it was actually super exciting to have him with whom to collaborate. Check out his shop, Art Machine Productions, in Fishtown.
I'm not sure if/how he saw my little desk, but he had such cool ideas for it! He wanted to incorporate his profession into the session, and brought his tattoo machines along, as well as the nubs of the pencils he uses to draw when he designs his tattoos. I was so inspired and wanted to make sure we were able to bring these into the session and bring Dad's ideas to life. I superdupercrazylove this one, where you see the pencils, the machine, and baby's beautiful face. Behind the scenes, we worked SO HARD to make this shot work - Dad was instrumental in getting this shot, and making sure it was done safely.
Oh, hi, Cheeks! <3 I love those little cheekies and his peeking-out little fingers. Plus, a baby in a little itty bitty hoodie wrap? Come on, even the Grinchiest out there has got to give a little squeal for this one.
Y'all, did you really think I was going to forget the mama? Like, I'd write all that glowy stuff about a dad and just leave the mom out? Oh, hells no. This is the person who grew this baby, who fretted, stretched, itched, craved, swelled, ached and ultimately labored to bring this boy into the world. It is not an easy task, becoming a mother. The birth pains we endure are both physical and emotional, as we grow and birth both a baby and a new self. Now, before I start to make myself cry, I will just say that this is the lovely mama.
I'm honored to have been able to capture these photos for you all.
If you have never read my blog before, welcome! I am a custom newborn photographer working in the Philadelphia area.
Newborns in things with ears is one of my favorite things. This little felted fox hat had it's debut with Mr. J but will definitely be meeting a lot more babies come this fall.
This little cute photo was his mama's request. She is a Mets fan and comes from a long line of mets fans. Oh, goodness. I think I love a baby yawn almost as much as I love a baby smile!
Do you think this yawn means he won't be a Mets fan? Does he prefer the Philadelphia Union? :D
But, I'll let you decide. Here is a little baby smile for you. I love this because I bet it will remind one of his parents of something they do themselves - I'm guessing Dad. It's such a grownup little smirk!
Love this boy's perfect features: itty bitty round nose, beautiful eyes, lips and long fingers. Both of his parents were super tall - so maybe basketball or something else that tall people do is in his future.
And, then, less soft but gorgeous in COLOR! I love a baby in a vibrant turquoise, and when I saw this drawer I had to have it! Thank you to my little secret antique shop for keeping me in awesome props! Love the coordinating colors in this shot. Also LOVE how serene this darling boy looks!
It was actually super hard for me to narrow down all of the photos to show you - this dude completely rocked his session and I was so thrilled with all of the images that his parents received.
On another note, ARE YOU PRINTING YOUR IMAGES??? Don't let them just languish on a USB. I know I've said it before but I have a 40"x30" framed print in my kitchen of my family that I stare at while I'm in my kitchen and it seriously brings me SUCH JOY. I printed via artifact uprising and I can't rave enough about the product that I got from them. Giclee print that I had mounted at a local framing store and then I bought a gigantic antique gold leaf frame. Joy, I tell you. PRINT YOUR IMAGES. :D
I frequently schedule sessions while the mother is pregnant. It's the best way to ensure I won't be too booked when your baby arrives! Click here to get the party started.
As I was looking through this gallery for photos to post, it struck me: babies look really good with old things. Vintage and baby is my favorite combination! I was so happy to use this little quilt layer under the bed when I was setting up this session. I love how it looks out of focus and all beautiful and vintage, especially with the rustic pallet wood. One of the things I really love about newborn photography is custom designing sets for every baby and their family.
I speak with every parent who books a newborn session and find out if they have any special requests. It's important, because I'm custom designing each session for every family so I want it to be exactly what they want. Colors, poses, likes, dislikes, special requests. Families often like to incorporate things that are unique or special to them - be it one of the parents' occupations, a lifelong interest, shared loves, etc. This family did have a special request. Mama is a principal, and in her search, she'd seen a shot of a baby in an itty bitty desk. She asked me about it in our first conversation. I told her I didn't have one but I would find it in time. And find it I did. :) Have you ever seen a desk so teeny?! Adorable, right?
Let's have a word about this fuzzy purple hat, shall we? If I could have clothing made exclusively of this fuzzy French angora yarn for winter, you know I would. I bought this yarn this summer in all the colors I could think appropriate for spring/summer and knitted a bunch of fuzzy, sweet, cozy little hats. I tried to use them in every session because they are divine. Now that fall is coming, I need to go back and buy all the fall/winter appropriate colors and get ta knittin'!
Sleepy princess. Also, I love yellow. A lot. I don't go in huge for the 'princess' thing, though, not for little girls or for anyone, really. Not Disney or otherwise. But damn if I don't LOVE a baby in a crown. An itty bitty crown. So, what do we call it if not a princess? Just a crown wearer? Really cute crown wearer? You tell me, folks.
Sage, sage, all the rage. I don't know what that's supposed to really mean other than I am seeing more of this color everywhere this summer and that's just fine with me!
If there's a really cute crown wearer in your future, click here to contact me and get your session scheduled!
I'll put it out there: Some people, I fall in love with from the start. This mama was one of those people. I just liked her. I think that's one way that being a newborn photographer is such a lucky job: you get to see people truly on their happiest, most in love day/s. I love a moony, swoony new parent. I know how that feels and it's just dreamy.
Anyway, so this darling lady and her husband (also darling, btw) brought their beautiful, new, long eyelashed boy to me to photograph.
I love this. It reminds me of a 1920s black and white photo for some reason. The tied bow makes me think of an antique christening gown. Gasp.
Oh, gosh. Also. That hair, those lips. I love how the hood of the hoody wrap is down. Oh goodness, look at how his fingers are over the edge in the sweetest way. I don't always fall in love with black and whites of teeny babies, especially in the potato sack pose, but I sure did with these.
This is just pure sweetness and perfection. I love babies in white, on white. This is no exception!
When his mom and I were talking about the session, she didn't have a ton of requests. But this, this had to be done, because she wanted to do it for her birth announcement. (I'm just now realizing I forgot to post it to Facebook, because I didn't want to ruin her surprise. But it does need to be seen, doesn't it?) The best part is, she mentioned that she really wanted to have him yawning in the photo. I was like, "Oh sure" and she knew there was obviously nothing I could do to make that happen. BUT THEN HE DID IT YOU GUYS. And I have no "poker click" (the photographer's version of a poker face, I just made it up) so I click like a maniac and draw attention to the fact that ALL THE GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING instead of being a normal person and surprising her in her gallery when she sees it.
Then he went into the little bed. I have used this bed with dozens of babies and the thing I love most about it is that no two babies ever go into it the same way, or look the same in it. Case in point: this boy was the only baby ever to stick his little baby finger out like that. I know, right?
Love his hair. LOVE HIS SMILE.
I don't think I used to be a detail person. In fact, I know that when I was starting my photography journey, I'd take adorable practice photos in my home and not realize stray toys were in the background. But now. Now the details are what get me. The hair, his eyes, his lips, how his cheek is squishing into his shoulder, his curled up pose, his dad's wedding ring. It truly is in the details - the love, the important stuff.
Phew. That was wordy, eh? I just loved them. Loved their session. Wanna get yours??? Click here and shoot me an email. Do it while you're pregnant/before you have the baby. You'll thank me, I promise.