I have a son, who is my heart. A wonderful young man, daring and loving and strong and kind. – Maya Angelou
And I am certain this gorgeous mama shares the same sentiment when she thinks about the young man walking through life with her.
Those who know me well know that I am a dog lover through and through. Those Internet memes that show a sliver of space left on the bed due to dogs sprawled out here, there and everywhere? Soooo me.
So when they hopped out of their car holding a new puppy, I very nearly melted. Like, seriously melted. In a puddle of sweet, new puppy kisses and that sweet puppy smell. With his suede coat, clumsy wiggles and those green/gray eyes, I swore I’d just put him in my pocket and head home. (They wouldn’t possibly know, would they? Hmmmmm ….. )
But, although the tiny, four-legged one had me swooning, it was her “biggest boy” that stole my heart.
Such a gentle character and polite soul, he surprised me with a spontaneous hug during our session AND offered to carry my camera bag. He was game for anything I suggested as we moved through different locations and poses, never got restless and smiled a real smile every.single.time. It honestly doesn’t get much better than that.
Some of my favorites from their southeast Houston family photography session out in the country with its tall grasses, big trees, horses (plenty of horses!) and all that beautiful sunshine:
It was clear during their southeast Houston maternity session, they were already mad about this little guy. Mad(ly) in awe of that sweet face. Mad(ly) in love with the newest addition to their family.
I see both mom and dad in his delicate features, but mostly mom from the nose down. I get asked often by clients how you can tell. As a photographer, we’re so used to paying attention to the details and staring for hours at the faces, eyes, noses and mouths of those we are editing. I can’t explain it … I just “see it”. And it’s something that pops out at me from the moment we unwrap the baby from the carrier, whether or not I’ve met mom or dad previously. Granted, babies become children and teens and adults, and may favor one parent or the other more as they grow older, but that very first impression is – for me – nearly always spot on.
In this first image, our goal was to create a signature image for display in his nursery that would match his decor, and to also show his tiny size and scale compared to his name-print wall canvas. I adore the final result almost as much as I adore Max and the three, beautiful humans who adore him. 🙂
Enjoy some of my favorites from his Signature Newborn Session here in my Southeast Houston (NW Pearland) boutique photography studio:
I like the no-hat version of the image above as much as the with-hat below, so both made it into their final gallery.
noun | ser-ren-dip-i-ty: Luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for
I think that’s the perfect word to describe the capture of this first image from a pre-Christmas session here in my NW Pearland newborn photography studio.
Toddlers in newborn sessions are almost always the wildcard. And by wildcard, I mean busy little people … shy little people … scared little people … and, yes, sometimes wild little people. After all, a new baby has invaded their lives and taken attention away from them – something the 3-and-under-crowd is either quite curious about or incredibly frustrated by. Add to that the fact that a stranger behind a large camera is gently coaxing them to sit, lie down, kiss, snuggle and a host of other things designed to safely capture those first professional sibling shots … and you have a largely unpredictable situation. While we have time-tested tricks up our sleeves in the form of Photoshop composites, songs and bribery, photographing toddlers and preschoolers with new babies truly requires the greatest degree of skill and patience so as not to overwhelm big brother/sister. And timing is everything – both for the toddler and baby. Sometimes timing during a newborn session syncs up perfectly; other times, it doesn’t.
If baby is sleeping soundly, sibling shots are more easily achieved because I can photograph baby in a basket or other stationary prop and then safely add a sibling in the same set with sleeping baby OR work mad Photoshop skills to merge an image of the toddler alone in the same set with an image of baby alone to create one “together” image. However, if baby is wide awake and wiggly but not fussing or rooting to nurse, I typically swaddle tightly and go with it.
And sometimes baby has another idea altogether … breaks out of the swaddle, looks right up at the camera and smiles at the exact same time big sis is smiling. At.the.camera.
You just don’t get more serendipitous than this. Still pinching myself.
Meet Sweet Kenna and her proud family:
She’s been one of my all-time favorite child clients to photograph since our very first session together four years ago. I honestly can’t believe how little she looked then:
Note: This sunflower “field” above was really just the last remnants of a late summer crop in a tiny 6-foot patch off the roadside. (A ditch might be a more accurate description, but I like to say it was a little piece of wonderful).
And each year since, we’ve done individual, annual sessions around her and her siblings’ birthdays – something I highly encourage all parents to consider, especially at the pre-teen or “tween” stages. Sure, the developmental milestones aren’t as grandiose as they were that first year of life, but the changes are just as significant to capture. Yes, even the braces, the toothless smiles and gangly limbs. And it goes so far beyond simply checking it off as a future keepsake (even though having and holding physical printed images for generations to come is something I believe in wholeheartedly).
In addition to forever preserving these amazing moments in time, a custom photography session allows a child – especially tweens and teens – to stand out from the crowd. To express themselves. To compose an outfit of their very favorite things and be unapologetically, undeniably confident in how they look. To truly shine from the inside out.
Just like this beautiful soul.
Ever vibrant. With personality for days. And enough smize to make Tyra Banks swoon.
Just look at her … Can you feel it?
Ever the light, ever so bright.
In less than four days, this beautiful family will grow by exactly two feet (bearing 10 of the tiniest, sweetest little toes they will swear they have ever seen.) In what will surely seem like a blink, these bright-eyed preschoolers will become big brother and big sister … bearing four extra hands capable of holding and hugging and helping.
And, in what will someday be the way it’s always been, mom and dad will wonder what life was like before they met her. Before three little people climbed into one big bed in the middle of the night with legs and arms sprawled in a chaotic tangle between them. Before they always requested a table for five.
In less than four days (and the weeks and months following her birth), well-meaning strangers will often say, “You’ve got your hands full!”
To which they will kindly reply, “You should see my heart.”
A quick note about the image above: The sunlight was reflecting at that very moment off the metal base she was standing on and it shown straight up onto the bottom of her belly. I could not have planned that if I had tried. This is completely as-shot, no Photoshop.
Below are more of my very favorites from their family maternity photo session in downtown Houston. Our goal was simply to capture the anticipation and love they already have for this new baby. The vibrant colors set off by the cityscape and our ambient surroundings was merely a bonus. And, if you know my artistic style, this was a very, very big bonus. Hands-down one of my all-time favorite family maternity sessions. Stay tuned for favorites from our newborn session. I think I may be as excited to meet her as they are!