Baby Andrew was one of my very first “Simply Baby” Sessions and he was such a joy to photograph. Andrew’s mama and I went to college together and I it has been so much fun watching her become a mama and to photographer her two little men. This little dude just turned ONE and although I would love to be photographing his one year session, it is safer during #socialdistancing for me share some of his simple studio newborn photography session from last year. Andrew started his session WIDE awake (just as most newborns do) and we captured some super cute expressions and even gave me a few grins. Once he was wrapped up, he passed right out and was a dream to work with.
There is just something about the simplicity of a plain white onesie and a simple white background that I just love. Baby details stand out and you really get to see their features up close and personal. If you have been following me for a while, you know I LOVE baby toes…like near obsession. These simple sessions are a great way to capture the tiniest of feature like toes, finders, lips, hair and eyes. These natural baby-led sessions are some of my favorites and I can’t wait to do more when we are allowed back in the studio.
Let’s be real – the last few weeks of isolation have been rough on everyone. As a birth and newborn photographer, I have struggled not being able to support mamas and photograph these tiny little humans, so I will be sharing some of my favorite sessions over the next few weeks. My heart goes out to all of the new mamas giving birth during this time. I look forward to being back in the studio soon but for now, I wanted to share a few ways that I can help you during this time.
FREE Downloadable Guide taking Fresh 48 Hospital – Since I can’t be in the hospital with you these days photographing your sweet new babies, I wanted to come up with a way to help you document those first few days on your own. I have created a FREE Downloadable Guide taking Fresh 48 Hospital pictures of your own baby during social distancing in New Hampshire. Download your FREE Guide Here: https://bit.ly/WWP_5TIPS_Hospital Feel free to share with any of your friends/family who are expecting!
Online Community Support: I have created a Private Facebook Group for Moms where we are currently doing a 30-Day Photo Challenge but it is also where I share a TON of online support for my mamas. All of my birth colleagues have been sharing virtual education and support since this COVID-19 crisis and I have been sharing a TON of it in this group. Check it out: White Wave Photography Moms Group
Kids Activities to Do at Home: For those of you with older kiddos, we are all adapting. New roles of teacher while also running a business has taken a bit of getting used to with 3 kids home now but we are making it work. Are your kids constantly saying that they are bored? Running out of ideas to keep them busy? I have got you covered. Check out this blog post that I did last week: Kids Activities to Do at Home Now, let me be real – I am NOT a Pinterest Mom and I SUCK at baking but we are all doing things these days that we may not normally do. Give yourself grace, enjoy as much as you can and just love on those babies!!!
Phone Consultations & Advice for Photographing your Newborn: I am still doing phone consultations for spring & summer babies, but what if I JUST had a baby and want to get some photos. Well, we can do a virtual session. What I mean by that is that I will get on a call with you and give you tips and tricks to photograph your baby yourself (even if just with your phone). I know it doesn’t replace a professional newborn session but at least your baby’s first few weeks will be documented. If you are interested in learning more about these “virtual newborn sessions” contact me today.
Stay safe, keep smiling and I hope that some of these things help get you through these uncertain times and know that I am thinking of you all and sending virtual hugs. (Seriously though – I cannot wait to HUG EVERYONE again!)
Wow…that escalated quickly. Over the past few weeks we have all needed to make some serious adjustments in our everyday lives to accommodate working from home, remote learning for our kids and keeping the kiddos busy all while practicing social distancing. If you are anything like me – the first week was full of unknowns and the first thing you did was google Kids Activities to do at Home. Well, let me save you some time and highlight a few of our favorite things.
#1 GET OUTSIDE & EXERCISE(NOTE: The beaches are now closed here on the NH Seacoast but many hiking trails are still open – these beach images were taken BEFORE the beach was closed)
Whether your are just in your own backyard or choose to hike one of the many trails here on the Seacoast of NH, it is essential for everyone’s mental health to get outside and enjoy nature together. We love to play with bubbles, kick the soccer ball around, draw with sidewalk chalk and hike the local trails. Side Note: I busted my foot a week in and am in a boot – YUCKY – but STILL GETTING OUTSIDE daily for sanity:)
If you are looking for virtual fitness classes to do at home, check out the Exeter Area YMCA .They also have virtual art classes and STEM programs for the kids.
Building projects are a great way to not only keep the kids busy but it helps them to problem solve. Legos are a HUGE hit in our house and this is a great way to keep older children occupied while you jump on that conference call at your day job:). Plus, if you get a big enough kit – they can do it together FOR DAYS ON END! #MOMWIN
Kiwi Crate– A science and learning subscription box for kids.
Let’s be honest, keeping those youngest kiddos occupied is a challenge and expecting them to have the attention span of the older kids will lead to frustration. Finding activities that they can do while just hanging out next to you while you work is key. When we first got the word that daycare would be closed, I made a list of things that my daughter does on a daily basis and we stocked up on those supplies. For example, I bought a big clear tub and filled it with orbeez and some sea creatures (and unicorns OF COURSE)…BOOM, instant sensory table.
Art is a BIG hit in our house. We paint, we color, we draw and we take photos cause well duh…MOM IS A PHOTOGRAPHER. This “Stained Glass Door Project” is something I saw people doing on Facebook and thought it was cool so this was our art project this week. Yes, there was paint all over the floor; yes, I got frustrated with the mess; BUT you know what – THEY HAD A BLAST and it looks pretty cool too.
NOTE: We just used what we already had which was washable paint and painting tape but some people say that 1/2 dish soap and 1/2 acrylic paint work really well.
Coloring – A coloring book and some crayons can be all you need for fun. Don’t have a coloring book around the house? Download over 1000 Free Disney Coloring Pages.
Finally, one of our favorite things is to bake – I mean heck we are in the house all day so NEED TO EAT. Just yesterday my daughter got an easy bake oven and made me some chocolate cookies. No, I will not be skinny by the end of all of this but cookies definitely make me smile (especially when baked by a 5 year old).
Now, let me be real – I am NOT a Pinterest Mom and I SUCK at baking but we are all doing things these days that we may not normally do. Give yourself grace, enjoy as much as you can and just love on those babies!!!
Documenting this time is also going to be really important so that we can look back on some of the fun we all had while social distancing so I encourage you to snap pictures of your kiddos (and fur babies) along the way. I am starting a 30-Day Photo Challenge to Celebrate Life this weekend and would love for you to join me. There is not pressure – it is just a fun way to help find the joy in all of this. If you would like to participate, head on over to join my private Facebook group to learn more and join the fun –White Wave Photography Moms Group. Post your pictures on Facebook or Instagram and tag you photos with #wwpjoyful30.
YOU (mom) need to mentally prepare…to HAVE FUN! Kids (and dads) may not always cooperate and that is ok – I HAVE YOU COVERED. If you are stressed, the kids will be stressed so just relax and have fun. Going with the flow will ensure that we have a blast and capture those amazing memories. Typically, men don’t enjoy the photo session, but a bad mood can spoil it for everyone. Emphasize how important these memories are to you. Dads are great at playing with the children and that’s what they should be prepared to do. It’s the same fun they always have, but just all dressed up. Once he sees the photos with his real smile and the smile that he can add to those sweet faces, he’s sure to fall in love. Try This: Have him help you come up with some fun ideas for the session or choose the jokes for the kids. The more invested he is in the experience, the better.
#2 CHOOSE A FUN LOCATION
When choosing a location it is important that you choose a place that your family will enjoy. Whether that is an apple orchard, a park or your own backyard, it should be a place that means something to you as a family. Some of my favorite locations for fall sessions are Wagon Hill in Durham, Vernon Family Farm in Newfields and Fort Foster in Kittery. The beach makes for an amazing backdrop in the early fall since the crowds have left and the temperature is still warm but cool enough that you are not sweating in the photos.
#3 DRESS IN LAYERS
Fall in New Hampshire can be very unpredictable. One day it is 75 and warm and the next day there are morning flurries. By dressing in layers, your family can be prepared for any changes in the weather. Add a scarf, vest or jacket that coordinate to add pops of color to your wardrobe choices. View the full What to Wear Guide.
#4 GIVE BREAKS & Ignore the kids (say what?!?!)
We play a LOT during my sessions and kids love it. We will warm up with some games and I promise to get those sweet smiles you are looking for. The key is to IGNORE THE CHILDREN. I know, it sounds crazy but when parents are looking down trying to get little Johnny to smile, they end up ruining the shot. Kids love this rule and when I say it – they tend to LOVE ME and I promise I will get them to look when needed. Have fun and enjoy your kids – even when something unexpected happens…do everything with a smile:).
#5 THINK AHEAD: How can you use these photos for presents?
Fall Portrait Sessions are a great way to get some of your holiday shopping done early. Grandparents LOVE photos of their grandchildren and they make the perfect Christmas Gifts. One great idea is to split up a wall gallery into one to hang in your own home, one for Grandma and one for Nana. Get some ideas for gifts here.
When I met Emma & Kent back in December, I knew that their home was going to be a magical place to deliver their first child. When they purchased the house last year, Emma envisioned having a beautiful home birth here someday, just as her mother had done with her 30 years prior. Now that they were expecting, she had the most beautiful room set up for the arrival of their son.
On the evening of March 9th, I arrived along with her midwife, Jessica from Roots of Life – there was snow in the forecast and with both of us an hour away we decided it would be better to get there before the storm hit. After a quick vital check, we gave mama space with her birth team (papa & her mom).
Emma has written her birth story beautifully and I am honored to be able to share it with you below.
To my Dearest Clyde,
It all began at around 5AM on Saturday, March 9th, when I awoke to noticeable contractions. I then woke your Papa and we discussed how this was feeling in comparison to the nights before, which were more like menstrual aches. Earlier in the week that Thursday, I had lost my mucus plug and then on Friday we met with the midwife for our prenatal visit. During that visit I remember speaking to her about how to get into the right mindset, considering you could come any day now or two weeks from then. As we discuss below, you came in due time. Papa and I thought this might be early labor based on the intensity and frequency of the contractions. Early labor lasted around 14 hours total which we spent documenting the contractions, drinking lots of water, eating nourishing snacks and listening to music. It was helpful that we also passed the time by taking our dogs for a walk, watching the KU basketball game and listening Jim Gaffigan, a comedian that always makes me laugh. It was a sign to me that it was still early labor because I could laugh through the contractions.
The surges of energy continued in my lower back and the bottom of my uterus. Throughout the day we documented how often you moved and when I felt the most intense contractions/surges thus far. As the surges began to elevate, your Papa was in contact with the midwife, sharing our progress. It was determined that she would arrive that evening as the tempo of surges increased. Your Papa and I labored through the night as the birth team helped to support and give us space. The team consisted of the midwife and eventually her assistant, your Oma (my mother), and the birth photographer. To help move labor along and manage my surges, we walked the stairs and utilized the heat of the shower. We also spent time in the birthing tub, it was comforting but we both were so tired from a long day of labor that we kept nodding off. We also tried other positions and activities like walking throughout the house, climbing the stairs, sitting on the toilet, as well as using the bed to lean on the birthing ball.
As labor increased and transitioned to active labor, we also listened to our hypnobabies tracks, attempted to rest between surges, utilized a heated rice sock on my back, used the rebozo cloth to sift my lower back and belly to relieve the energy, massaged my feet, and massaging my back by moving the energy down from my lower back to my feet. This lasted for about 16 hours, so I utilized breathing techniques to breath the energy out of my body and keep my mouth open and loose. Many times we found ourselves moving positions and leaning over to cope with the elevated energy from my surges. I cried once not from the intensity of the surges but out of frustration because of the vague timeline of labor. Throughout the process of labor the midwife was always nearby observing but never intruding. Her patience, trust, and wisdom were vital in allowing our labor to continue to progress at it’s necessary pace. I received two vaginal exams over the 16 hour active labor period and at each I was around 5 cm. This came as both frustrating and motivational, we discussed that my belly shape protruded quite a bit and that you (baby) may need more help getting down lower in my pelvis. To help reposition you, we utilized the rebozo cloth to hug you up and into my body. During this phase of my laboring I became vocal, trying to express the energy out of my body through my lungs and mouth. Our bigger dog Bo kept nearby and seemed to be interested, while our smaller dog Bella, didn’t seem interested whatsoever. We were very curious how they would react during the labor process and interestingly enough their roles seemed to shift later on.
By 11AM the next morning, we progressed through labor with the midwife often checking your heartbeat with her fetal monitor as well as checking in with me. As I sat in a rocking chair, attempting to rest between a surge, all of a sudden I felt and heard a large GA-GUSH! I exclaimed “My Water!” Everyone around thought I needed water and jumped to grab me a glass, but I clarified that my water had broke. The midwife informed me that things would possibly become more intense from here on out. She suggested we go and utilize the shower again to cope with the coming intensity. The dress I was wearing was now soaked with the amniotic fluid. While in the upstairs shower, I became very vocal and from then (11AM) until your birth (2PM) the energy was so intense, I didn’t know what to do with it. Earlier on, I could breathe through it and release that energy, but this lower uterus and back energy was big. As I progressed through the labor, my mind initially went to thinking that I was on an endless merry-go round, just continuing to cycle with no end in sight, but then I reminded myself that I was on a mountain headed to a summit. Your Oma (my mother) put on some very centering and instrumental music that helped me through the surges. I tried to harness it and focus on using it in my body as you moved through my pelvis.
I began to feel my pelvis expanding and wasn’t really sure if I should be “pushing” but it felt like things were progressing in that direction. Your Papa was a huge support as I leveraged him when I breathed and “pushed”. The feelings were intense and I rode the waves of energy slowly moving from standing, to leaning, and eventually to kneeling. I gripped your Papa’s forearms and squeezed as the energy passed. This was so intense and so exhausting. Eventually the midwife suggested I get on the bed, as I was on all fours on the hardwoods floor with a large amount of fluid around me. At this point, our bigger dog Bo had moved to snoring at the foot of the bed. Our smaller dog Bella, was now in the doorway listening intently but keeping her distance. I was primarily on all fours as I moved through the pushing surges for about 35 minutes. I felt very constipated through this transition and pushing phase, my body released a good amount of reddish fluid and eventually bowel movements. The midwife was supportive in reassuring me this was normal and provided support in cleaning all of the fluids up as we progressed. I let my body tell me how and when to push. At first it felt foreign and unsure, but as I continued I let my body take over and lead the way. As I pushed and breathed, eventually the midwife asked “ Do you want to feel your baby’s head?” I was so happy to hear that you were that close, I now had sight of the finish line. I reached down and felt the top of your head! What a motivation to meet you and a light at the end of this 33 hour tunnel. With these last pushes, I did feel the ring of fire as my body stretched to move your head through. I knew I just needed to get your head out and your body would follow!
Finally through breathing and pushing you came out! What a relief! The midwife passed you up underneath of me to your Papa and I. I exclaimed “ It’s a boy!” as you proceeded to pee. After a long labor of love you were born at 2:04 PM on Sunday March 10th, the day before your due date. It had been snowing big fluffy snowflakes throughout the day, but I was so focused on meeting you that I never had a chance to even look out the window. The midwife and her assistant checked you out and made sure to help you get the fluid from your mouth that you picked up on the way out. You cried to help get the rest out. I explored your beautiful body and rubbed the vernix that was all over your body into your skin. Your Papa and I got you into a blanket and hat as you rested on my belly and we held your hands. We gazed into your eyes with amazement. As time went on, the midwives refocused on me to make sure the placenta came out as it should. After just a few pushes and it came out intact, it was a gorgeous umbilical cord and placenta. Once all the blood from the placenta was transferred to you, it was time to cut the cord, your Papa did the honors. Then it was time to weigh and measure you. As the midwife assistant did that, the head midwife stitched up my third degree perineal tear. Your Papa comforted me as we gazed at you being weighed next to us. You had a long journey out, so you were ready to rest. The midwife team made sure that all was well and cleaned up before they headed out. We were so grateful to be able to settle into our comfortable home already.
The following weeks, we made sure to take it easy as we transitioned into our new little family. The midwife came to the house to check in with all three of us both physically and mentally. Making sure I was healing and you were growing! In order for you to grow we tackled the new task of breastfeeding, which was a group effort. You learning to latch, me learning to help you latch, Papa, Oma, the midwife, and postpartum doula providing unwavering insights and emotional support. In order for me to heal, I ate nourishing foods, drank lots of water, moved with postpartum grace and took in all the Clyde snuggles I could. Your Papa and I felt very supported by Oma, the midwife, the postpartum doula, and close friends. This was vital, because then we could make sure to focus the majority of our energy on you! We took the next 6 weeks to learning your cues and attempting to address your needs. We transitioned every week into more confident roles as you continued to grow. You have given us one of the most beautiful roles of our lives, parenthood. What a journey we have been on to get here and what beautiful horizons we have ahead of us, Love, Mama
I recently attended the most amazing photography expo and conference in Atlanta where I learned a lot and came home with a bunch of super cute new wraps, backgrounds and a few new baby bows. In honor of my new in-home studio Newborn space finally being complete, I would like to offer this special Studio Newborn Limited Edition Photography Session.
Simply Baby Session Includes | $595
90 minute session of baby only*
Two sets (white plus either pink or blue)
8×8 Linen Book with 10 images
5 Digital Images with a Print Release
Personalized Design Session
Simply Baby Sessions will be held mid-week at my in-home studio in Newfields, NH. There is limited availability for these sessions so please click the link below to schedule a phone consultation today!
*Simple Baby sessions do not include sibling or parent shots. If you wish to have siblings or parents in the photos, please contact me about booking a Fresh 48 or Lifestyle Newborn Session Separately.