Let me just start this blog post by saying we LOVE photographing babies! It is one of the hardest but most fun sessions that we do. Newborns are especially difficult because these sessions can take hours! But who doesn’t love an opportunity to love on a squishy baby for a few hours! We highly suggest any parent who is choosing a newborn photographer to choose someone with a lot of baby experience because handling babies is a fragile and delicate process! BUT. SO. FUN.
Anyway, Matt knows Elissa because they used to teach at the same middle school over ten years ago! Shortly after Matt and I met, we went out to celebrate Elissa’s husband’s (Stephen) birthday at Dave and Buster’s. That was the first time I was meeting any of Matt’s friends and I remember being really nervous! Elissa and Steve are the sweetest couple and they made me feel comfortable immediately. You can tell just by looking at them that they are so in love. They’ve been together since high school, and they are still just the cutest. Matt and I had been waiting and waiting for a pregnancy announcement from these guys for a while (I’m sure all their friends and family were waiting IMpatiently) and we were SO excited when we finally got one Thanksgiving of 2015. We were even more excited when they asked us to shoot their maternity and newborn sessions. Shortly after their newborn session, they asked us to create a package to follow sweet little Vivienne’s first year. We had the pleasure of shooting Vivi’s newborn, 6, 9, Christmas, and 12 month sessions!
We have loved watching this sweet little girl’s progress through her first year! During her newborn session, I kept mentioning to Matt how TINY she was. Her “peanut” picture is one of my favorites I’ve ever taken because it shows off all her little features. She let me circle the pink wrap around her perfectly so that her legs (which she crossed all by herself!) and hands came out of it and it is just one of the sweetest little images ever.
Her 6 month pictures were the first time we ever got to see her sweet smiles and she was still practicing sitting up so we edited dad’s hand out of every single image! By Christmas, Vivi was sitting up all on her own and by her 9 month shots she was standing up. We were able to take the cutest Valentine themed images of her. Elissa even brought along the red rocking chair that had belonged to her as a little girl! It was so special to take pictures of Vivi in the chair that belonged to her sweet mama.
We shot her cake smash images this past weekend just in time for her birthday party this Saturday. We were thrilled when Elissa wanted to create her own hot air balloon for the shoot. She is so creative so we knew it was going to look beautiful! We supplied the ONE banner, basket, blanket, and cake, and Elissa decorated the hot air balloon to fit perfectly with the theme of Vivi’s birthday party! After some gorgeous images of Vivi with her balloon and in her cute little outfit, it was time to smash some cake!
Vivi enjoyed the cake smash for about 3 minutes before she totally broke down! But we managed to get some smiles and some funny crying faces for her parents to embarrass her with years from now!
I have really loved spending the past year with this wonderful family and I’ve learned some things from shooting these sessions with Elissa, Steve, and Vivienne that I want to pass along to you if you’re looking to invest in a photographer for your little ones.
Use items that have special meaning for you during your sessions. We shot Vivienne’s newborn session in her hot air balloon themed nursery so how cool was it to shoot her one year pictures in a hot air balloon?! And that sweet red rocking chair that used to belong to Elissa and was now being used by Vivienne?! SO SPECIAL!
Prepare for tears and fussy babies. Mommies, let me tell you a secret: babies cry! It is completely normal! Your sweet little babies will not smile for every. single. picture. That is OKAY! We’re still going to get some gorgeous images that you’re going to love! My favorite image from Vivienne’s six month session is one of her with those dreamy white drapes behind her looking deeply into the camera and she’s not even smiling but, man, she looks like a little model!
Babies do not automatically love cake! Don’t expect the laughing baby with the completely destroyed cake and the ton of icing all over their face and neck! It’s not going to happen, not by itself anyway. Your baby will most likely stare at the cake in amazement, get a MINISCULE amount of it on their hands, and then proceed to cry hysterically because they are now STICKY! It takes some help from mommy and daddy to really enjoy that cake and get some nice shots. So don’t worry if it doesn’t happen on it’s own!
Speaking of cake smashes. Bring wipes. LOTS OF WIPES. And a change of clothes for baby and for mom and dad as well!
Vivienne, we hope you have a very happy birthday! It has been a pleasure watching you grow right before our eyes this year! I know mommy and daddy still remember when you were just a tiny poppy seed in mommy’s belly and now you’re a walking, talking ONE YEAR OLD! The old cliché is true: time really does fly!
Happy First Birthday Vivienne!