Little Mason is not so little anymore! I photographed Mason when he was first born, again, when he was about 6 months old and for his very 1st birthday!
Not all of my clients are comfortable letting me use their boudoir images for public display, which is totally understandable, but when they give me permission, I’m thrilled to show off the work! I love doing Boudoir Shoots because they are fun to shoot and allow me to do something that’s a departure from weddings and kids. I get the opportunity to be creative in a different way and I really love giving women the opportunity to feel like models. “M” actually spent five years thinking about scheduling a Boudoir Shoot, after I had done shoots for several of her friends. She finally bit the bullet and we did a shoot and assembled an album for her to give as a gift to her husband!
Just two short weeks after photographing Jill’s pregnancy, baby Joey made his appearance! Congratulations to Jill and Bob!
This cartoon totally sums up parenthood. I feel this way, most of the time! In between these moments of chaos and looking your worst, your kids grow and transform and overnight, they start doing new tricks and things that make your heart feel so full. These stages are so fleeting and soon, you forget what your child was like as an infant or you forget how chubby they were as a toddler, teetering on the edge of full mobility. We’re so lucky to have our smart phones within reach 24/7 to capture every single cute look or funny action but they can’t recreate the quality and the timelessness of a full sized image from a real camera or a gorgeous photograph, printed on archival paper and beautifully mounted on your wall.
It’s easiest to think about photographing your child’s milestones, before you look and feel like the woman to the right. When you’re in your second trimester and you have, “the glow,” and you picture yourself cradling a perfect baby, perfectly sleeping, with it’s perfectly clean onesie, while you’re wearing an adorable outfit, freshly applied make-up and gabbing away with your girlfriends. So while you are excitedly planning your perfect pregnancy and perfect baby, I will give you some clear advise as to when you should plan on photographing this perfect baby – no matter how tired and run down you may feel! If you have already reached this point, it’s not too late! I will make my advise short, sweet and to the point because I know you don’t have time to read a long and winded rhetoric the development of your child!
Pregnancy (between 6-8 months): Do a pregnancy shoot. You don’t have to strip down and show off your stretch marks, varicose veins and linea nigra but you will love reflecting on this unique experience. Some women feel amazing their entire pregnancy and love the idea of being photographed and others feel miserable and can’t wait to get the baby out! I’ve been in both places and no matter how crumby I felt at times, I still look back on both pregnancies wistful and a bit melancholy that I won’t be doing it 17 more times. One more note… your kids will LOVE looking at pictures of you and your belly.
Newborn (first two weeks): The best time to capture your newborn is within the first two weeks. While feeding every two hours will feel like it will never end, you’ll miss it two weeks later when it’s eating every two hours and wide awake in between those feedings! Sleepy, milk-coma babies are the best to photograph because they aren’t fussy and can be soothed quite easily and quickly. This allows you to set up a few different poses and plan a couple outfit changes without totally upsetting your little one.
Sitting Up/ Six Months: All babies do things at different ages so this is simply a guideline and in no way a suggestion as to when you should expect your child to do any of these things. At around six months, my daughter, Alexandra, was sitting up on her own but kids can do it anywhere from five months to eight months, typically. This was a great milestone to capture because I could really photograph her personality, her face and do some versatile setups without agitating her. Her teeth were starting to come in, she was crawling, she could show off all of the cute dresses that the grandma’s bought for her… it was a great and fun time to capture!
Standing / One Year: Once your child starts standing and walking, the fun begins… at least the calorie burning begins! Really, once your child turns one, it’s a totally different experience; they’re not babies anymore, they’re little people that walk and talk and mimic everything they see. Kids start walking anywhere from eight months on, but a good time to plan for a photo shoot is their 1st birthday – you can’t miss capturing this monumental and most celebrated of milestones!
Birthdays: After the first birthday, I made a concerted effort to do a photo shoot for every holiday or new milestone, like first ballet class and first day of pre-school and first day of pre-school at a new pre-school, etc… but realistically, after the first year, you can limit your shoots to annually – if you want to. Every birthday I find a unique and special outfit and make that part of the shoot. This past year, Alexandra turned three and welcomed her baby sister just two weeks prior, so this year’s shoot was a special sibling shoot – my favorite to date!
I try to find different inspiration when I plan a photo shoot, in order to give my work a fresh perspective and to keep things fun and exciting. Last week, my daughter and I stumbled upon the biggest frog (or toad) that I have ever seen in my life. It was about the size of a dinner plate and had a croak that sounded like the Barry White of amphibians! So a few days later, we ventured back out and did this Princess and the Frog inspired shoot. I also broke out of my comfort zone and into the Instagram age of filters and color manipulation and enhanced the image to give it a more mystical feel.
I LOVE when I am scheduled to photograph an event at a location I have never been and after nine years of shooting weddings, that doesn’t happen that often! The Hacienda in Santa Ana is a true hidden gem of a location. It’s romantic, private, spacious and so much fun to photograph! Wendi and Saul were my first wedding after delivering my second baby and it had only been six weeks! It was such a fun and great way to get back into the swing of things after being on maternity leave. Wendi and Saul were so wonderful and easy to work with and gave me the joy and pleasure to not only photograph their engagement and wedding but to capture this beautiful venue!
Heather and I went to high school together but didn’t really know each other. Through a mutual friend, Heather was referred to me to photograph her first pregnancy, about three years ago. Since then, I have not only photographed the Buchanan family on numerous occasions, but Heather has become such a wonderful friend! This past Saturday, I photographed the entire family at a gorgeous and small beach in Malibu, including Heather’s new baby bump, and on Sunday we went to Roy’s for an adult dinner with a group of girlfriends! Really, what more can a person ask for? I take pictures for a living, I watch families grow from engagement sessions to full family sessions and I make wonderful friends out of it!