It's no big secret that every newborn session is different, whether it is in-home like the following session or in-studio like this session or a combination of both. You never know how the baby will do... will he sleep? Will he cry? Will his siblings want to cuddle him? This was one of those newborn sessions where the (1) the baby slept (2) the baby was happy as a clam and (3) his sisters could not get enough of him... a perfect kind of session! This beautiful family had been through a lot in the weeks prior to the session with one of the children being hospitalized and needing an emergency surgery right after the birth of the baby. But this amazing family powered right through it all and when everyone was recovered, we had one awesome session. Take a look and see!
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love visiting Louisiana, especially for a good family session. I recently traveled to back to this beautiful spot in Louisiana to capture a wonderful family and their baby girl who was about to turn one. A few weeks back I did another one year old session and I have to say this again... one year is the perfect time to capture your baby. Give that little another couple of months and they are officially a big kid! This session was so special because the older brother and sister were so loving with their baby sister and wanted to make sure she was the center of attention. That is so rare and so special! I absolutely love this beautiful family. They remind me why I love family sessions!
A pair of beautiful sisters recently welcomed home a brand new, tiny baby sister. They were very careful and sweet with their newborn baby and made sure to tell me how special she is. When you meet a group of sisters as kind and gentle as these, you know you are in for an awesome newborn session. I actually shot these as two sessions, first a newborn session about 7 days after the baby was born in my studio and then a separate family session in the family's home about a month after the baby was born. You can really see how much she grew over just three weeks!
It's time to mix it up and find some new shooting locations for child and family sessions. I'm always finding fun spots, but this new one might be my favorite. Because this location had a hill suitable for rolling, rocks suitable for throwing and a pond suitable for splashing, it has been approved by the McLendon children.
At least for moms, a child's first birthday has got to be the most memorable of birthdays. The twelve months leading up to that special day were filled with all those important firsts, days and nights of round-the-clock care and SO MUCH LOVE. After that first year passes, your baby slowly becomes a big kid, so a child photography session to capture those chubby cheeks and pudgy hands at twelve months is important. This first birthday photo session was so much fun for me because we got into the studio and were able to focus on all the special baby features of this birthday boy and we also were able to capture his sweet, charming personality. If your little one is rounding up on twelve months, schedule your session here ... because your baby will only turn one once!
Those first few days home from the hospital with a newborn are both exciting and exhausting. Everything happening is so special and new and it seems to go by so quickly. Newborn photography is so important because it allows you to freeze every little yawn, finger grip and sleepy smile you see. When shooting a lifestyle newborn session like this, I like to take my time and let the baby direct how fast or slow the session goes. I love to look around the nursery and capture the baby's little world and all the important bits and bobs of babyhood. If you follow me on Instagram, you know this beautiful new mom is my cousin. But maybe you don't know, and I hope these photos truly show, she has taken to motherhood like a pro. I was so proud to capture this in these pictures.
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If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love visiting my home state of Louisiana, especially for a good family session. Last weekend I traveled to Natchitoches, Louisiana to shoot a few family sessions at the Oakland Plantation. The rows of beautiful old oak trees and historic plantation home and outbuildings created the perfect setting. The beautiful children of this Louisiana family helped me explore and pick out the perfect spots for all our pictures. We climbed trees, picked flowers, collected acorns and took some amazing pictures. A perfect family session!
My favorite place to take pictures is my the grandparents' house. They have the most beautiful flowers growing year round. It is late summer, early fall and the most beautiful flowers and lemons are growing. Makes for a pretty perfect backdrop.
Camera & Settings: Canon 6d, 50 mm 1.4, f/4.5, 1/400, ISO 200 (outside, midday, very cloudy). All edited with a VSCO pack 1 preset, with some minor adjustments, in Lightroom.
Sometimes it is totally worth it to wake up early, play in the fog and find a grasshopper or two. We are always finding the most beautiful places to take pictures in The Woodlands. Next time we will wear our rain boots so we can splash in the little stream too.
Camera & Settings: Canon 6d, 50 mm 1.4, f/2.8, 1/640, ISO 160 (outside, in the early morning with a deep fog filtering all the morning sunlight). All edited with a VSCO pack 1 preset, with some minor adjustments, in Lightroom. I also added layer of highlights to make my fog look a bit more dense because my eye seemed to catch that more than my camera.
Tip for taking pictures in the fog: meter off the skin of the person you're shooting or whatever you want to be properly exposed. Fog really illuminates the sky, so if you you meter somewhere in the foggy background, you might end up underexposing your subject. Also, sun coming through the fog really makes for some nice back-lighting, so be sure to try that too!
Shooting newborn sessions doesn't have to mean an indoor session with the heater on full blast. In the South we are lucky to have warmth practically year round, allowing for an outdoor newborn session. We headed out early for this session to avoid the heat, but we didn't expect getting swarmed by mosquito's. Luckily we had mosquito spray and mosquito netting on hand to protect this beautiful baby girl. Everyone was in a happy mood and I made sure to give big brother lots of tasks to help the session run smoothly. With sessions like these, the newborns are usually the star of the show, but big brothers and sisters are what keeps the shoot alive.
Here are some tips for involving big brothers / sisters on newborn shoots:
- Find something for them to hold ... I suggest a little rock or leaf. Tell them that it is important and you want to make sure they take good care of it.
- Tell them in advance that the baby might cry (they know that well enough) and that when it happens, you will need big brother/sister's help in calming down baby.
- Ask them if they want to take a picture of the baby or mom and dad with your camera. They really love this.
- Make sure to get some important shots of just them by themselves and just them with the baby.
- Ask them if there is something cool they can do ... like jump really high, run really fast or make a funny face... and get lots of pictures of that.
- When the shoot is over, make sure they know they did an awesome job!!
Meryl McLendon of All the Gold Photography is a family and child photographer based in The Woodlands, Texas. Meryl loves doing newborn sessions like this one here.
These little guys had a great time scampering through the woods for this fall family session and I had a great time following after them! I can't believe that this sweet family has grown by one big and bouncing baby boy. Between the light that poured in through the trees and the crisp fall breeze whipping through the leaves, we all had a wonderful afternoon taking some pictures and walking the trails of this North Houston nature preserve. I can't say enough good things about this family. They are always smiling and always so sweet with one another. It makes taking picture an easy (and fun!) job.
Sweet Claudia. Your first day of kindergarten was a success. Though your feet trod as slowly as they could down the street and around the corner to your school, your heart was all aflutter. My heart also skipped a beat when I picked you up. It was a long day wondering how you were doing and a big relief to hear it was “the best day ever!” I love you, big girl.
First, let me say hats off to the moms who are busy raising boys. It is not easy, I can tell you that. This special mom, who is a very special friend of mine, does it with style, grace and a calmness I can't even begin to imitate. Shooting pictures of her beautiful family, grandparents and sister included, I am reminded that with all the excitement of family, comes great joy. This was a perfect spring day to day some pictures of a pretty great family!
I have to say these two boys put on a good show for me, chasing and terrorizing each other, but I happen to know they are each other's very best friends. Following them around this morning, I couldn't help but notice they are two peas in a pod. Where one goes, the other goes. What one does, the other does. These are two lucky parents. The boys keep them on their toes, but they also keep them full of joy. This was a family session to a remember!
Those days following that moment when you bring home your first child from the hospital are pretty defining life moments. It can be the most joyous, most confusing, most exhausting and most exciting days you've ever experienced. After visiting with these two new parents, I was in awe of their ability to take it all in stride, enjoying every last little thing about their little guy. From the tiny finger grabs, the curious little eyes to the long naps in mom's arms, everything is special and new. I feel honored to have gotten to spend a little time with this new family of three!
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, ran a sweet, wee toddler asking whats this about? With her red stocking cap and her gorgeous blue eyes, she dug under the tree to look for a surprise. She found a farm set from her sweet mommy dear. From the next hour on she was filled with good cheer. Such joy it was seeing this family laugh and play, there is nothing more special on Christmas Eve Day.
We managed to squeeze in this city maternity session a few weeks before this beautiful mom-to-be had her sweet baby boy. The rocky cobblestone streets weren't the easy to navigate, but this amazing mama, who is also a dear, dear friend, did it with ease and style. Big brother did a great job too and was most excited when I found the vintage Trabant for him to pose by. I'm pleased to report that he is an amazing big brother these days... I can't wait to share their session as a family of four!
A fun fall session with one of my favorite families ever. Once these sweet girls got going, there was no end to their laughing, running, hugging and dancing. I tried my best to keep up with them! We played in the field and took a few pictures until the sun set on this beautiful day. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!
We couldn't have asked for more beautiful leaves this cool, crisp fall day. They came in every color and had collected themselves in big piles perfect for jumping. This sweet girl and her little brother were the best. I never once asked them to smile, they just wore them the whole time. Now I just need to go get myself a scooter like hers!