Jenna and I showed up at their house early Saturday morning for Baby J’s baby photo session. Tony and Kelley warmly welcomed us into their beautiful home. Their little girl, G, shyly peered at us as we walked in. My eyes lit up when I saw the large windows in their living room and the soft morning light bathing the room. We started unpacking our bags of blankets and props. And despite our insistence that the family sit back, enjoy breakfast and take a break, Tony began hauling toys and this awesome home-made, kid-sized cardboard house out of the way so we could set up an in-home studio.
The star of the day, J, was peacefully sleeping in the next room. So I grabbed some pre-session pictures of J taking his morning nap still in his cute pjs. He was so comfortable stretched out with his piko peeking out. Kelley laughed and remarked that it looked a little funny to have two girls circling her bed with big cameras snapping away feverishly like papparazi.
J finally woke up and, surprisingly, stayed up for the remainder of our photo shoot. He was so charming and beamed with all the attention, we could not cajole him to fall back asleep. Instead, he stared at us and cooed all sorts of secrets to us that I can’t share. And boy, did he smile. Well, not at the camera, but at everyone he saw. As soon as the camera appeared, the cheeky smile would hide again. Oh, he knew what he was doing, he was playing with us and having a ball.
J is almost the same age and size of my daughter, so I loved the transitions between poses and set-ups when I had to pick him up. He was so sweet and huggable, I had to remind myself that I was there to take pictures. Reluctantly, I would put him down and pick up my camera. His older sister, G, was a little shy but fascinated by the whole photo shoot. She ran over to her toy bin and pulled out a toy camera and stood right by my my side snapping her own pictures. I was delighted to see another future photographer in the makings.
The following series are my favorites. I’ve noticed that my photo shoots with children tend to be girls. Not this month. Finally! Finally!!! These past two months, I’ve finally had some handsome little men grace my blog. It’s a little different. You can’t rely on adding more cuteness with tons of cute little hairbands, tutus, bows, flowers, and fairy wings. I had to simplify and still produce images that really captured J’s cuteness and innocent wonder.
Wait…prepare for it. I’m just warning you, he’ll melt your heart.
One of the things I had discussed with J’s mom, Kelley, was when to take baby pictures during the first year. One way is a little more traditional and to take photos at the 3 mo-6mo-9 mo-1 year marks. As an alternative, I like the creative aspect of doing three photo shoots for the first year of baby’s life. Tummy Time (3-4 months), Sitting Pretty/Handsome (6-7 months), and Standing Tall (11 months). Standing Tall is perfect timing to use those images for 1st birthday party invitations and favors and a cake smash session can be incorporated.
It’s easier to get creative with locations and poses once we hit the sitting milestone but I want to add a special touch only available for 3 month old baby photo sessions. It’s inspired by the amazing work of a mom, Adele Enersen, who began creating imaginative narratives with photos while her baby daughter napped. She created a blog called “Mila’s Daydreams” and she will be putting out a book with her photos. She creates 2D sets around her daughters using just fabric, stuffed animals, and things you might find around the house. I so love the idea and always wanted to try it with my baby daughter. But whenever my baby daughter is sleeping, the only thing I ever wanted to do was eat, sleep, or try to tackle the laundry piles. So I was super excited for the chance to play around with an idea I had and add a local twist. I was able to set up my first dream scene (although he was wide awake!!) with J. I was thrilled with how it turned out. I can’t wait to do more 3 month baby sessions!! When I showed Scott, the first thing he asked was “oooh, can we do that same photo with our baby?” Nope. I want to make all of them uniquely for each baby. That will be an awesome challenge.
Stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes breakdown of how this shot was created coming up next on this blog.