Being pregnant to me felt a lot like standing on a precipice - I did not know what was to come, but I knew that it was something amazing, something obviously life changing, and something exciting, but you just don't know how much you are going to love this little one, you actually can't imagine it until you are holding them, because you have absolutely never felt this way about anyone before. Pregnancy and parenthood is a wild ride. All the quotes you read about your heart walking around outside of your body are true, but for me it was more like when Dr. Seuss says about The Grinch that "his heart grew three sizes that day".
That's what I love about maternity photographs. They capture who you are then, who you were, in the last moments before you change and grow three sizes of heart and get inducted into the club that you never knew was sort of the most amazing club ever. Well, that and that I think the pregnant form, as I am sure I have said here before, is amazingly beautiful. It's the expectation, yes, but it's also knowing how amazing the human body is and the beauty of growing a life inside of your body. Like, what? That's crazy that we do this thing. And, it makes you glowy and beautiful, even if you don't always feel that way.
When I met this little family, since I am a shallow and small woman, I was so excited, because THAT. DRESS. RIGHT? I LOVE it and it is perfect perfect for maternity photos. It was even more lovely in the gorgeous location we chose to shoot these photos. And, because the woman wearing it was so beautiful and lovely too.
I give you these gorgeous photos, in this gorgeous location, of this gorgeous form and dress and phew, life really is beautiful.
Couldn't help but get creative in such a spot. This location is SO gorgeous.
So in love with this location!
Congratulations! Can't wait to meet your little one.
I knew this was going to be a fun session when, at my first conversation with the mom to be, she gave me a challenge, thus: "My husband saw a really funny newborn photo and now he wants to think of something funny to do." Hmmm. I like a challenge! There was no Star Trek convention, no Dr. Who geekery, though, from which to work. What I came up with didn't work out exactly (those wily babies never seem to do exactly what is planned), but we came up with something that I think is pretty awesome. I present: Harley-Davidson Biker Babe. Yes, that is a baby in a pair of jeans and a Harley jacket. I am only sad that we did not have baby sized motorcycle boots, but I do think this is one of my favorite images ever.
One of my favorite parts about being a newborn photographer is the people with whom I get to work. I am the luckiest photographer in Philadelphia, I swear, because the best people seem to find me. This guy's parents had me cracking up at their stories about how they grew up in a small town, with parents who were friends, and they were friends as kids too. Their little town actually sounds pretty awesome.
I love this one too. My sister in law M A D E (yes! she is that crafty!) me this hat. Just another way I am so lucky. I love this photo so much. <3
I love this little face. Those features. They are just perfect!
So sweet snuggling up with a bunny.
I'm a chatty lady. I love to make friends with my clients - and from time to time we will chat on Facebook or comment on each other's stuff on Instagram, etc. This family is no different - they are some of my oldest clients, and I just adore both the mama and the daddy. Not to mention their sweet, adorable, and funny kids, too. I've been photographing them for a long time; they were some of my first clients, and I photographed their youngest boy when he was born 4 years ago.
Soooo, imagine how happy I was when Mama J sent me a message saying that they were expecting another little one! Plus, have I mentioned how cute their kids are? I love seeing them. Biggest Sister cracks me up with her adorable precociousness and her gorgeous, shiny black eyes. (My own kid may have a crush on her just from seeing her photos...) Biggest Brother melts my heart. The way he talks, his pretty eyes and his soft voice and his giggle. Love. And, Baby Bro. He's funny and sulky and has blue eyes that look like a crystal blue sea. (Wow, that's a lot of eye comments from me. Weird.) I only have photos of the two older ones from this session as Baby Bro was not making eye contact with anyone just yet - not so thrilled about his new arrival, but has warmed up much to her at the time of this writing! :)
Anyway, when little lady was born, Mom and I chatted to set up the session and she mentioned her red hair. I didn't know it was going to be THIS red, or this abundant! I had so much fun choosing props and colors to match with her pretty hair (or make it stand out!)
I looooove her hair with this pink setup.
Her aunt made this beautiful quilt for little miss not so sleepy!
Purple + red hair and shallow depth of field makes my heart sing.
Thank you, H Family. Also - thanks Mama J for the info about the best and coolest everything for babies - from RagaBaby covers to custom diaper bags, you know it all sister. <3
If you know me in real life or from reading this blog, you may have already guessed that I am not shy with a superlative. Many things to me are the best, awesomest, greatest, prettiest, smartest - you get the picture. But, this time, it is not hyperbole. This nursery that you are about to see is actually THE coolest nursery E V E R. It requires creative capitalization and punctuation, people! I will blog the newborn and family/lifestyle portion of this shoot soon, but I couldn't keep this nursery to myself; I had to share it with you all. If you need information, I can ask the mama who designed this whole amazing thing herself (and, really. The rest of their house is just as cool. Don't hate her because she's awesomely creative. She's also really beautiful.)
So, the triangles, right? Swoon. Also, everything else in this photo. Lamp? I can't.
Seat cover win. Also, framed artwork is hip and not baby-ish but so graphic and cool. The font lover in me felt happy and jealous all at once.
In case you can't see that purple square on the right, it's a onesie that says "My mom has more tattoos than your mom". Awesome.
More of the awesome photos and the cute little crate/bookshelf.
More framed artwork that is just amazing. Plus, more fonts and nursery awesomeness.
I also love the gray chair, the red valance/cornice board and the artwork. I think this is the most fabulous nursery I've ever laid my eyes upon, y'all.
Gray, gorgeous light, clean lines, I love it so much.
I think this is the piece de resistance. They bought these at a sale and then cleaned them up and painted them. Old lockers. Could you just die???
Swoonworthy gorgeous rug - and more fonty goodness!
The whole of it from the doorway.
And, I gotta be honest: if you think this nursery is cute, wait until you see this family! :D
More to come!
Ever since I started my photography journey of taking on clients, I have offered mini sessions twice a year: Mother's Day and fall. The fall minis are often a Red Couch Theme, because everyone loves a red couch. And because a lot of us need to hire a family photographer in the fall for the holiday cards and the giving of photographic gifts to our parents and/or in-laws. And to ourselves, if you are anything like me. :)
I offer these minis by email to anyone who has inquired or hired me before, as these tend to sell out really fast, and I like to see my people again! Some of the people you'll see featured in these minis are people who hire me once or twice a year, every year. It's so much fun to catch up with "my" families, to see how big their kids are getting, to give them another piece of art for their walls.
Plus, who wouldn't love the gorgeous colors of the fall? Something about a red velvet Victorian couch and some beautiful, smiling families is about as pretty to me as can be.
I'll be announcing my Mother's Day minis in April! If you'd like to sign up for my mailing list, click here.
Ages and ages ago, the mama in this family emailed me to ask if I did birth photography. I mean, she wasn't pregnant, she was just asking. I love when that happens. I had been thinking that I would love to try my hand as a Philadelphia birth photographer for ages. Philly is such a great town for all things birth: we have great midwives, great birth educators, great lactation consultants, many of whom I know or maybe even used myself. Also, I love photographing itty bitty babies, and birth is the most amazing thing ever, so how would that not be fantastic?
As luck would have it, this mama DID eventually get pregnant. And, when I spied her announcement on Facebook, I sent her a message, we met (with her husband too) and decided YES!
Christy Santoro of Motherland Midwifery and her assistant Janean Sexton arrived as I did. Birth doula Valerie Monroe was there to support Mr. About-To-Become-A-Big-Brother, who offered me soup when I got there. He did. Best kid ever.
Mama was upstairs, laboring on a birthing ball while knitting and playing with her dogs
Yes, you read that right. She was just workin' on a hat, y'all. I labored by laying on my couch crying. Not this mama! I was awed by her in every way. And her husband, oh lawdy. He was the most intuitive, supportive, loving birth partner around. What a zen, centered event that this birth was.
It was a pretty fast labor, I think I was there for a total of five hours from walking in the door to going home. This was pretty much the most amazing thing I've ever witnessed. I didn't see my own son being born, obviously. Mama and Papa welcomed this wee one, Baby Carrot as his older brother called him in the womb, into a space with so much love, with so much respect, gentleness and support.
There were some quiet moments, when there was a little break in the contracting and business of being born. The photos that follow here were shot at 8pm in October in a room lit only by the midwives' headlamps. If you notice some grain, they were shot at ISO 25, 600. Yes, that is a thing.
I love this one. I love this face. I love what this feeling feels like - the joy of becoming a mother. Love it, this one is for all the marbles, I think.
And then it was quiet. For the drinking in, for the realizing, for the comprehending.
I felt like the luckiest person in the world. I photographed two of the most amazing, brilliant, calm and knowledgable midwives do their thing. I photographed a loved and much-wanted baby come into this world. I photographed a boy transformed into a brother, and I photographed two people become parents again, and create a new circle in their family.
Here is Baby Carrot being weighed.
Making things official.
Welcome to the world, Baby Carrot. I am so glad that I was able to document your journey earthside.