My job as a photographer is to capture moments in my client’s journey through life and I love when they entrust me with multiple moments along that journey. Natalie and Jeffrey did exactly that when they booked both their Maternity Session and their Newborn Session with me. Jeffrey is the brother of my good friend Julie, and I had the pleasure of meeting him and Natalie at a New Year’s Party. Natalie and Jeffrey immediately struck me as such sweet and warm people, so I was ecstatic when Natalie reached out to me shortly after the party to book my Maternity + Newborn Session Special. It turns out that they had just found out the day before we met that they were expecting!
I typically recommend that moms schedule their maternity photos around 28-32 weeks of pregnancy. While every mama (and every pregnancy for that matter!) is different and couples can book their session whenever they feel they’re ready, I find that usually this timeline is the sweet spot for the bump! Moms are not so pregnant that it is uncomfortable for them to by walking around locations or on their feet, but their belly has “popped.” Natalie and Jeffrey chose to do their session right in that belly timeline sweet spot. This set their shoot towards the end of Chico’s warm summers, and they decided to take advantage of the season and use the dry grass lands of Upper Bidwell Park as their back drop. We started their session in an oak grove and took some sweet shots of both Natalie and Jeffrey and the growing belly as well as just Natalie and her bump. Many couples chose to bring along props such as baby shoes, ultrasound photos, balloons, or even gender reveal props for their maternity session. Natalie and Jeffrey elected to keep it simple and forgo props. One outfit change and a trip a little deeper into the park later, we wrapped up their maternity session up by the Chico Community Observatory just as the sun was fading and moon was starting to peek through the atmosphere.
A few months later, I got the call that Natalie and Jeffrey had welcomed baby Benjamin into the world! I recommend that parents contact me 2-4 weeks after their new addition has arrived. I specialize in lifestyle newborn sessions, which means the shoot take’s place in the families home and can be taken at any point in baby’s first year. Traditional newborn sessions where itty bitty brand new babies are propped in poses with props in a studio environment. If my clients are interested in something like that in addition to or in place of a lifestyle newborn session, I encourage them to schedule their maternity session with me and refer them to other talented photographers in the area who specialize in that style. (You can find my typical referrals below!) The thing I love, and that my clients value, about Lifestyle Newborn photos is how sweet, natural, and intimate the images we capture are. The focus of the session is the parents holding their newborn, interacting with them, and spending time together as a family in their home. It’s a safe and relaxing environment where both the new parents and new baby have everything they may need at their fingertips for feeding, diaper changes, outfit changes, and anything else that may occur. It also gives me a chance to photograph all the sweet details parents put into their little one’s nursery.
Natalie, Jeffrey, and Benjamin welcomed me into their home in Durham on a bright morning in November. While some families worry about their home not having enough light, I find for the most part that if their is a window I can utilize, I can work with that. (Though I of course bring portable lighting with me just in case!) Late morning to mid-afternoon tends to provide the best natural light in homes, and typically means that we will have the opportunity to capture the little one both awake and alert as well as some sweet snoozes. We were able to create so many beautiful images of Natalie, Jeffrey, and Benjamin in multiple locations in their home. We made sure to get shots of three of them together, each parent showcasing their special bond with their son, as well as just Benjamin, and his adorably full head of hair. Because they were at home, the family was also able to include their faithful pups in the session.
Booking packages like my Maternity and Newborn Session can make the photography experience easier and better for new parents. Working with the same photographer means that your maternity and newborn photos will have the same feel and tone, but beyond that, working with a photographer you already know and in your own home allows everyone to feel relaxed. Getting to know my clients, see their stories unfold, and follow their journey is one of the joys I experience as a photographer, but ultimately the greatest joy is capturing authentic images that will last lifetimes. I know that Natalie, Jeffrey, and Benjamin will be able to look back on these photographs for years and years to come and remember how the summer sun felt in Upper Bidwell park, and exactly how the afternoon light streamed through the windows of their home, and how wonderful it was to be curled up altogether on the couch with dogs at their feet.
You can inquire about my maternity sessions, lifestyle newborn sessions, and packages here.
For information on traditional newborn sessions, I recommend contacting one of these talented Northern California photographers: