I like to give a questionnaire to all of my families to get to know them a bit better before I photograph them. I love reading all the sweet and wonderful things they say about each other, its just a small glimpse into their lives.
How quickly does time fly and when you have 4 kids, I can't even imagine how you can get anything done and savor every moment of what sweet precious time you have with them while they are little. Elizabeth contacted me about a month out so I had enough time to prepare for our session. I knew to keep everyone's attention may be a bit of a challenge so I researched, and asked around and then finally I started to think like a kid. I wrote down a bunch of games that I thought may be fun for the kids and keep them engaged with the family at the same time. This would involve me running, and asking a lot of questions. We did the usual running, jumping, and hugging things. But we also drew in the sand, writing our names and played a bit of freeze!! I think they liked running and chasing each other the most, and then they found this big hole that someone had dug so that was a great place to do show off their jumping and twirling skills. Before I knew it the sun was setting low to the ground and it was time to go. I love it when families are just able to relax and go with the flow of things and have a bit of fun. Needless to say I slept well!! I hope to photograph them again soon.
What in the world is a Fresh 48 Session? Well a Fresh 48 is a special photo session for those families who want the first few hours of their child's life documented but not necessarily the birth. The time after you have your little one goes by so quickly. After birth you are recovering, nurses, and family are coming in and out of your room visiting, and you are getting used to this wonderful new addition to your family all at once. I don't know about you but for myself it was all a blur. Once you get home and get into a routine you forget what it was like to feel that sweet baby in your arms where you looked into your baby's eyes and said how much you loved them, how it brought you to tears as you watched your husband hold the baby, being such a proud Dad!! These are the moments I try and capture for my families.
I think these Fresh 48 Newborn sessions have become my favorite because they are so full of emotion and love. When I arrived to the hospital for this sweet family's session, I got on the elevator and like always I was in a rush, that seems to be the story of my life. As I stepped off the elevator I see photos of kids and babies on the wall of the hospital. I became emotional and start tearing up. I just stopped and gave thanks to the Lord for the wonderful gift he has given me. I asked him to help me relax and create good memories for this family. I feel so honored by each and everyone of my families that choose me to photograph them, what an important job it is to document your life.
I entered the room to meet Baby Carter, I sat and held him for a bit and then I gave these family some precious memories that I hope they will treasure for a lifetime.
How I came to meet this sweet family is just the coolest story ever. I had posted on Facebook another Fresh 48 Session I had photographed and asked if anyone knew of a family interested please pass my name along. A sweet man named Tom Elkins who also happens to be a realtor in my neighborhood knew of a family that was the coach on his son's baseball team that was about to have a baby. So the whole team got together and decided to gift this session to the family, how Cool is that!! I mean really, this just goes to show you how other people value this precious time in the beginning of a baby's life and how quickly it passes!!
A few weeks went by and on a Wednesday afternoon I got a call saying baby Regan Grace is here name. So we set a time for me arrive to the hospital the next day, when I arrived at the hospital Grandma and Grandpa were there, and Grandma was holding her, she was just beautiful! She was sound asleep and no matter what we did she did not seem too mind to much. We even got Grandpa holding her for the first time, and she just slept right in his arms, it was just precious. Besides the crazy sun going in and out we are able to get some wonderful photos for this sweet family who just about made me cry when I found out this is their first baby. You can see from these photos that this is going to be one loved child indeed. I so hope I get to see them again as she gets older.
When Shelby contacted me she knew she wanted an In-home Lifestyle session but also loved the outdoors too so we discussed doing a bit of both in a location that was just near where they lived. I was so excited that she decided to book a in-home session I just find them so laid back for the parents, they don't have to worry about packing up the whole house and driving to a session.
Some tips I tell parents to prepare them for an in-home Lifestyle Session is that newborns are unpredictable and the session is all about them. Parents do not have worry about if their is baby crying or needing to eat during the shoot. Newborn sessions are purposely longer to allow for plenty of breaks, feedings and even diaper/outfit changes. Matter of fact, during my session with Baby Poppy she stopped to eat and for a diaper change, I used the time to look for light, get to know Dad and get some water. It’s usually a good idea to try and feed your baby right before your session so they’re sleepy and content this makes for the sweetest photos. I prefer babies dressed very simply in plain onesies, muslin swaddles, or just their diaper so we can see their sweet tiny faces because they do change so quickly.
Shelby, Ryan and Baby Poppy were a dream to photograph, they were so laid back! Poppy was a little ham in front of the camera, I believe she has a future in modeling, she did not mind the camera at all. She does love her Passy and you can so tell she is so loved by her Mommy and Daddy!! I can't tell if she is a Daddy's girl yet or a Mommy's girl!! I think she is a bit of both! I hope I get to photograph this dear sweet family again!!
I was very excited to do a In -Home Lifestyle Session with this family, Melissa had been my son's first grade teacher and she is such a sweet and kind person. I could not wait to meet the rest of her family, I knew they had to be just a sweet and adorable.
When I arrived their little one was still asleep so this gave us time to make a plan of where we should start. From the beginning of our time together it was so apparent that both Melissa and her husband Andrew were so in love not only with each other but their sweet baby too. They reminded me of when my husband and I had our first baby Elizabeth, we would sit and stare and her for hours, it was if time stood still just for a brief moment. I am so happy I am able to give them these sweet memories to keep because it does go by way too fast. I could have stayed so much longer to photograph them, but maybe they will let me come back again soon.
The Fresh 48 is such an awesome time to capture in your baby's life because let's face it, who remembers your time in the hospital, nurses and doctors coming in and out, family and friends visiting and you trying to get to know your new baby, its all a Blur!!
When Courtney and I spoke about her fresh 48 session, I knew she was very excited about documenting the first 48 hours of her baby's life, she seemed so excited to capture this sweet time. She returned every bit of paperwork and questions back to me as soon as I got it to her. They even had the baby's name picked out well in advance her arrival. Now all there was to do was wait!!
Finally the call came, "Courtney has had the baby," I remember anxiously driving to the hospital. With all my camera gear on my back I knocked on the door to meet this sweet family and their new baby Girl.
I do believe I love photographing these fresh 48 sessions indeed!!
I am so excited to be offering Mommy and Me sessions again this year they were just so much fun just year and a break from my normal Family Sessions. When Courtney contacted me she told me she had three children and two of them were twins, so naturally I was excited because I had all these great ideas in my head about how I could photograph them showing love to their momma. This would be such a sweet time for mom to just stop and spend some time with her children because they grow way too fast.
The first time we set our date and time Fog and a bit of rain decided to show up. The second time we scheduled our date it was gorgeous day but the wind decided to show up and I mean really windy!! All the wind also made the air a bit cool, but we decided that our session would go on as planned. The girls did so awesome playing, flipping and twirling in the sand with momma and brother, brother even got into the fun digging into the sand. Even though the wind was strong I think it fits this session quite nicely adding a whimsical look and isn't that what they call the" Salt Life Anyway!!"
If you look at my work, you will see that I Love kids!! Most of my experience has been photographing families and kids, until recently taking on a few In-Home Newborn Sessions which I have enjoyed. Several people have asked me have I ever considered doing Fresh 48 Sessions. Fresh 48's, "what is that" I said, For those of you who do not know what a Fresh 48 Session is, it is a special session for those families who want the first few hours of their newborn's life captured without having the labor or birth documented. What a wonderful idea as I thought about this more and more. Let's face it who even remembers their time in the hospital with the baby, its like a big blur right!!
When I spoke to the Smith family about what I wanted to do and that is would be my first time photographing this type of session, I felt at ease because Catherine is a labor and delivery nurse so she had to be laid back, I knew i had nothing to fear.
Close to the time before our session was supposed to happen I was very nervous, At dinner one evening I shared with my husband what I was going to do, he said that is cool because "I do not remember anything much about our time in the hospital with the kids! I wish we had more photos of that time!!" For my husband to say that, I knew what I was about to do was going to pretty darn special.
The day had finally arrived, the baby was here, I must tell you, as I knocked on their door to the room at the hospital, my heart was pounding with excitement, nervousness, and joy, but as soon as I saw the family with this sweet baby boy whose name is now Rowyn it all melted away and just pure joy was there. I love, loved this session and I hope I get to do more!!
My idea of wanting to offer a tea party session all started when I was going thru my daughter's armoire, she had all these princess dresses and tea cups, I remember thinking to myself how sweet would it be to have Belle and Cinderella all at the same table having tea. It's hard to believe this is now the third season I have offered these Tea Party Sessions and each time they have taken on different look. I love offering these sessions in the winter just before the family beach session starts.
This year I decided to change my location because of the camellias that bloom in Florida in January and February. We had such a cold January that I was worried about the blooms but there was just enough to compliment the beautiful setup which is Matilda Jane's line designed by Johanna Gaines.
When this mom contacted me about this session she asked me if she could be in the photos with her daughter and I thought what a wonderful idea! I was so excited, my first Mommy and Me Tea Party!! Our lives are so busy, how sweet is it to take that time to sit and play with our children. These ladies had fun serving tea to each other and had some bonding time together. Candy the unicorn even had a spot of tea and a pixie stick. We ended our session with some walking and crazy twirls!! I believe the youngest one will be back for her very own future tea party as she was very into the tea pot!!
Having red hair is always something I wished I had, as a child I had a friend with red hair and I remember thinking how unique she was. I had blond hair and looked like everyone else, why could I not be unique in my look.
Well fast forward to now, I can't even imagine what its like to be a teen now with all of social media and everything that comes with it. This young lady is such a sweet teen, she loves sports, soccer in particular. She loves to laugh and we laughed a lot when I was photographing her as I asked her to flip her hair and jump. I asked her if she minded her curls and she said not at all, which made me smile because I know this is one grounded teen. The world needs more children like this.
There is just something so sweet about capturing a babies first year especially surrounded by the beauty of our pure white sand. I joined this sweet family at Pensacola Beach's National Seashore for their Lifestyle Family Session, and this little one quickly decided he loved the way the sand felt in his hands, he made silly faces at us as we laughed and giggled at his many expressions. Mr. Elephant even joined in the fun in the sand for a bit, before mom and dad could get a few snuggles. It may have been a cold January Day on Pensacola Beach but it did not seem to phase this little guy in the least. We ended our session with his favorite blanket made by his grandmother and then off to the car we went to get warm.
When I first walked into Kristie's house, there were photos everywhere of her family. I must admit I felt a bit intimated, I wondered if I could capture the same beauiful images as I saw hanging. She had also shared with me that after several miscarriages, God blessed them with this sweet baby Girl!! They had never had Lifestyle In-home photos taken in their home and they wanted to get some photos of the nursery to add to their memories.
I asked Kristie what "Lifestyle Photography" means to her I she wrote the most wonderful thing back to me....
"Lifestyle photography, to me, means that you are capturing real moments in real time. I think there is something so special about having pictures taken In-home, where you spend all of your time LIVING! I am so excited for you to document these precious moments in our family’s time and I know that I will cherish the photos forever!"
One of the perks about living at the beach is having family come to visit, there is always so much to do here with our white beaches and warm weather! I remember the first time someone contacted me about an extended family photo session, I was so nervous I thought to myself how can I get everyone in focus and to smile at the same time. With a bit of practice and some very patient families I now love extended family sessions. It is a wonderful time for some great memories and since I have taken them on, I have had many families tell me that this would be the first time they have had photos in 5, or 10 years and sometimes even ever together and that makes my job all the more special!
This family in particular is special to me because our children have known each other since Kindergarten, her husband has coached my son and they are such sweet family and always makes me laugh. And this session was no surprise when I met the sister who was just as funny. I love families who can laugh and have fun!!
When we first moved to Pensacola my kiddos used to ride thier tricycles in the cul-de-sac of these boys neigborhood, they were all so little. Since that time we have all moved from each other but I have enjoyed being able to photograph this family each year to be able to stay connected. They are so handsome and just so funny, I look forward to my time with them because their is never a dull moment!!
I have known Micah for several years now, and I was so excited when she contacted me to photograph her family on the beach. Their wish was to be photographed on the beach before their big move to Italy. For several years now they have considered this their home but in a few short months their family will start on a new adventure out of the country.
The beach had been so calm leading up to our session but the few days before it became cold and a bit windy. Do you think it stopped these active kids from having a little beach fun, NOT at all!! The water temperature was actually warmer than the air. Oh how I love Pensacola Beach in the Winter!!
Corey and Kim are just the two sweetest people I know always full of energy and smiles and I was so excited to photograph them with their sweet baby Matthew who I just adore. I think you can see that this family is very close and there is much love that surrounds them and at the end of our session they let me in on a little surprise that they are expecting baby #2!!
When this mother of two boys contacted me, she wanted to get photos taken for her Christmas Cards. Just the week before their session we had a hurricane come thru and damage the National Seashore which is where we had planned to have our session. We managed to find this perfect little spot surrounded in a little quiet area of Pensacola Beach and you would never know by the beauty that surrounded us that we had such bad weather just a week ago.
When I asked mom what was the thing she would like to freeze most about her family, she wrote "the sweet hugs and cuddles from my boys" I think she got her cuddles and with boys there always a bit of running involved as well!
This mom contacted me to say she wanted a session for her newborn twins but it almost did not happen. This babies were born early and had to stay in the hospital for a bit, then life of course gets in the way and then what do you know a hurricane comes to town. But that did not stop us, I came to visit this sweet family on the Saturday before Hurricane Nate came and we just had a bit of fun reading and playing with the twins.
Vy grew up here in Gulf Breeze but now lives outside Dallas, she shared with me that she had her family come and visit her baby 3 years ago and they never left, I love that!! It is so nice to have your family close because your children grow up so fast. Vy said they get to visit Florida several times a year but they had never had photos taken at the beach, they wanted to enjoy the our white beaches and our beautiful water. I hope I was able to give them some wonderful memories for years to come!!