On Friday, October 24, I messaged Evangeline's mama and said I hoped she was doing well as she neared her due date. Not an hour later her daddy texted to say they thought the baby was coming that day. As the day progressed labor slowed, so I didn't hear back until evening when I received a "it's time" text. Two years ago on Christmas Day I photographed the arrival of Evie's big sister, and she arrived so fast that I hurried to the birth center. Evie decided on a slower pace, though, so it wasn't until the wee hours of October 25 that her mama delivered her into her daddy's hands. Beautiful and healthy and with lungs ready to go, Evie captured her parents' hearts immediately, and I am so grateful I got to witness the miracle of new life. She is a perfect fit in her family, and these photos don't do justice to the warmth and love that filled the room.
She was just shy of two-weeks-old when I met her, and Anya's grandparents had gathered in her parent's home to help welcome their granddaughter and care for big brother Bowen. In the space of time between his two-year photos and the arrival of baby Anya, Bowen grew in confidence and words, and he showed off his sister and beamed as he nuzzled her forehead and counted her toes. Anya, meanwhile slept, primarily, as she was passed among pairs of arms. Her contentment made the session interactive and warm. It was as if she knew she was safe and loved. Even with a busy two-year-old's clunky affection she seemed at ease. It's beautiful to see the way a newborn fits into a family just so, every time. It doesn't get old to witness the fullness of love that surrounds a brand new baby, and in Anya's world the fullness spilled over into a gorgeous collection of photographs. Anya's grandma brought bright fabrics and stuffed tigers, protectors in Chinese culture, with her from their homeland. These items brought elements of Anya's cultural inheritance to the session. This will go down as a favorite newborn session to date.
On her two-week birthday Harleigh arrived in the studio with her mama and her cousin, and she smirked and slept and showed off her bright eyes. Those bright eyes captivated me. The wonder of a newborn added to the family created a lovely warmth in the studio. I listened to the story of this very-much-wanted but somewhat surprising addition as I watched her mom cradle her girl with tenderness, crooning adoration. If Harleigh had any strong opinions, she kept them to herself. She fussed very little. When her cousin scooped her up for photos, though, she wailed. I think she knew that her mama's helper since her arrival was leaving the next day and had some protesting to do about the situation. That seemed appropriate. That momentary meltdown did not even for a second threaten the joy of celebrate this baby girl that this session allowed.
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye," so says The Little Prince in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's classic book. McKai's mama kept calling him her little prince, and she and his daddy seemed to know these words to be true. They so love their tiny guy and each other, and I'm pretty sure that's most essential to a newborn baby becoming a well-adjusted little boy who will go on to become a good man. I saw a bright and beautiful future for this adored little prince, for he has captured his parent's hearts and in their arms is home.
The plan for Pate's newborn session was to keep things very simple- create a collection of photographs of the week-old baby just as she was- no fancy props or outfits. Pate seemed to agree with this plan; she stared and slept and stared and slept some more. I love her teeny features and wide-eyed wonder. When I see the photographs with her mama, my heart melts. A baby transforms her parents to be more of themselves; suddenly they are more able to give of themselves fully, more capable of loving more deeply than they ever imagined possible. I see this, time and again, at a newborn session, and it never gets old. Not everything about having a baby is easy and fun, but to have a child is certainly one of the greatest gifts to both be given and to give the world. It is so special to come into a home with a baby so new. To meet Pate and see how loved she is made me excited for this little life. She was so lovely and sweet, so wanted and new, and that is just right for a brand new girl. I cannot wait to watch her grow.
I met little Lucia on her ninth day earth-side, and she was equal parts bright-eyed and sound asleep with not a bit of squirmy fuss in between. Lucia Alessandra was named for her grandma in Italy and her aunt Sandy, her mom told me. She'd pulled out two blankets her grandma made for her brother, showing me the gorgeous work her mother-in-law had created for her grandson. Her grandma passed away a few months before Lucia was born. Using her grandma's handiwork as a backdrop and prop for the baby's photographs reminded me that even the tiniest of humans have big stories, and this baby's story includes an Italian family, a transcontinental love story and a busy big brother. We'll be doing full family photos next week. This session was about capturing Lucia in her newness. She is a sweet one, this baby, beautiful and lovely and very, very loved.
Finn's newborn session was unique for several reasons. I photographed his birth two weeks before his newborn session. That in and of itself was incredible. He'd already grown and changed so much. Finn is also the 4th little guy in his family, his family is the first for whom I've done four newborn sessions). I loved both of those continuity pieces, of capturing the moments he arrived alongside his "newborn-y" newborn photos as well as having seen four brand new babies expand the love a family has to share. Additionally, Finn was the very first newborn I photographed in my brand new Bishop Arts studio space. This space will primarily be used for photographing newborns and babies, as it has great natural light (so expectant mamas, get in touch!!). I will continue to offer lifestyle, in-home newborn sessions, but this option is great for families who'd like an alternative location.
Finn snoozed and cuddled and curled and barely cried as we did his session. His mama, an old friend, and I managed to catch up on life as we did the photos. Speaking of his mama, isn't she beautiful? She has such grace and poise. We didn't do a full family session for Finn's newborn photos, but I love the photos of mother and son together. I hope you enjoy viewing these photographs of Finn as much as I enjoyed taking them. He is a love, and the world is better for having him in it.
I will also use the space for some family and Honey and Salt projects as well, however, this is a blog about Finn, so we'll save that info for a future post. In the meantime, Finn...
Here are some things about Holden's newborn session that make me smile as I blog these photos: first of all, baby Holden himself seemed to think a photo session meant extra time to snuggle with his family and to stare and sleep and be all around precious. Then there was his mom whose gentleness and tenderness with her tiny son demonstrated the amazing way a heart instantly expands to love new life. And his dad was similar but as he followed his toddler daughter around (you can't leave a two-year-old untended!) turned to me and said, "I just love my little girl." We wondered at the maternity session how Lauren would adjust to a newborn in the mix. She's precocious and busy and, well, two. The answer (and this is what I loved seeing the most): she adores him. Here's a sneak peek of Holden's session so that you can see for yourself.
Ruby preferred snuggling in the arms of her parents, who absolutely adore their firstborn baby girl, to being photographed. We moved slowly, passing her back and forth, waiting for that lull that frequents newly arrived baby life. When she settled, I took her photograph, using some of the many beautiful gifts Ruby had received to capture the sweetness of a newborn. It's said time and again of this stage- they change so quickly- so I'm always delighted when a family invests in photos to remember the early days when she won the hearts of all who met her. Witnessing that never ceases to mesmerize me through my camera lens, time and again. So pleased to share these.
On our shared birthday, Nicholas' 2nd and my perpetual 25th, I took photographs of big Nick and his (8-days-new) little brother Evan. It is such a treat for me to work with families on an ongoing basis to update the stories of their family as tiny babies turn into precocious boys and especially when a new addition arrives. Nick wasn't sure he wanted to actually be in photographs with Evan, but he was happy enough to play and engage as long as we didn't push him. And Evan was so precious, cuddly and content. He had a lot of smiles and smirks for such a brand new guy. I love that we got to use the "life is beauty full" hanging, a tradition we started with Nick's six-month session. Seeing the beauty fullness of new life alongside a growing boy is as good as it gets.
This tiny guy has filled his family's home with love and warmth. His daddy is so, so attentive, and his mama is so, so proud. His grandma was visiting to help out, and she too is quite taken with her newborn grandson. John was eight-days-old at his newborn session, and we started out with a wide-eyed little wonder who stared and stared at me. Then his eyes got heavy, and he settled into dreamland. I love this entire set of images. When the weather allows for a few outdoor photos of a newborn, I get excited, and John didn't seem to notice the shift from inside to out. In mid-April, John's parents celebrated their five-year anniversary with a maternity session, and by the middle of May, their arms and hearts overflowed with their firstborn son. I can't wait to watch him grow!
Just a few weeks after his newborn photos at home in Raleigh, my sweet little nephew took his first plane ride to Dallas with an entourage of my sister, his daddy and my niece. We used that trip as an excuse to do a few more photos, and I am so glad we were able to. Raleigh was rainy and cold when I visited to do his initial set, so having some spring warmth and light let me show off my handsome little love in more ideal conditions. That first photo in this set? It slays me. I adore this tiny man.
Just a few weeks ago, I did maternity photos for Alexa's mama, and on her thirteenth day earth-side, I got to follow up with newborn photos. Alexa gave me some bright eyes and sleepy sighs, and it was so lovely to watch her parents work alongside each other to care for their baby girl. The anticipation I saw in the maternity session became adoration at this session. Just a quick sneak peek tonight...
Claire arrived ten days before her newborn session, and her daddy had taken her big brother to school so that her first photo session could be a just-the-girls affair. I love her newborn chub and quiet demeanor. It was so obvious she knows and loves her mama already. Once she'd been fed and rocked a bit, Miss Claire settled right in for photos, and I didn't mind a bit when she needed a few mid-session snuggles. Getting to hold brand new babies in my arms feels miraculous every time. I love that for these first few photos it was just Claire, but it served to make me excited to do family photos in a few months. Here is a sampling of photographs from Claire's newborn session. I hope her perfect sweetness shines through in each image.
Mae belongs to some dear family friends, and I was most grateful for the opportunity to take her newborn photos. Mae seemed inclined to mostly sleep through her session, though she definitely wanted to take a few snack breaks. She reminds me of her sister when she was a newborn; the two look quite alike. Said big sister stepped into her older sibling role with grace and poise. She was quick to remind me, "Mae is our baby." I think she's learned in just a few days of being a sister that newborn babies who snuggle into your arms and settle in to sleep are hard to put down. It's so sweet to watch a family expand to include a new addition, and Mae's family has done that beautifully. I'm excited for this sweet girl. I can't wait to see who she becomes. Her parents are two of the most incredibly gracious and kind people I know, and Mae is blessed to be born into a family who treasures and dreams big for their daughters. Just a few photos from her session...
When we did maternity photos before Cole was born, his family didn't know he was a boy. Cole arrived and surprised them; they'd suspected he was a girl. Cole, though, is a perfect fit in his family. A second little boy is exactly who they needed. This was a sweet newborn session, one that was straightforward and simple. The baby ate and slept. His brother napped until the end. Everyone was relaxed and happy to be doting on this tiny man who'd joined their family the week before. My favorite moment of the session occurred when we put the two boys on the couch together. Tell your brother a secret, I urged Beckett, who was lying on his stomach looking at the baby. "I love you," he whispered, kissing him on the forehead. His parents just beamed as their older son expressed his heart to the younger. When I started editing this set of images, those photos stood out. I like to think years from now that story will be told and retold whenever Cole's newborn photos are revisited. It's the good stuff of real life, and it's a huge piece of why I view my job as a privilege. So grateful to have spent a few hours celebrating baby Cole. I'm excited to share a few of his photographs here.
My longed for nephew Bennett Michael arrived a few weeks ago, and I am thankful that I was able to go to Raleigh and capture a handful of newborn images. They'll be in Dallas later this week, so these photos are just the start of the collection of photographs that will tell the story of this sweet little man. His big brother and sister think he's something amazing, and Bennett thinks he'd like to get a bit more sleep, I think... He's a treasure of a baby, wanting snuggles and love, and he's most content in his mama's arms. Thankfully, he's happy to be passed around a bit too. I'm amazed at the grace my sister shows as a mama, and I'm so excited for she and Brian. They have an adventure ahead of them with these three amazings they've been entrusted with. Bennett is already adored by all his aunties and uncles, and we are so blessed to have this wee man to call ours.
On February 6, Georgia Suzanne arrived, making me an auntie for the second time. She lives in Delaware, where my brother serves in the Air Force, so I planned a trip as quickly as I could. Trying to find the words to express the joy I felt when I met this little peach is difficult. Her disposition is quiet, peaceful and sweet. Georgia cries when she's hungry and sleeps easily, and she is every bit as heavenly as a newborn could possibly be. I cannot wait to see who she becomes as she grows, but at the moment I want to relish her newness. New life brings a freshness and delight to a family, and ours is delighted to welcome this much-anticipated little girl. Seeing Jaybo and Kendall step into their roles as parents is so fun to watch, and I know they will do an incredible job caring for their daughter. I love her so much, and while I'm not sure these photographs express the fullness of my heart in regards to this baby, I'm excited to share them nonetheless.
Her mama and I had talked on the phone several times before Miss Stella arrived, and we'd planned a good bit. I arrived for newborn photos to a very awake and busy little newborn, beautiful as could be but decidedly not in the mood for photos. We took our time, though, and between her mama, her daddy and I, we eventually convinced this sweet baby girl that having newborn photographs was in fact a brilliant idea. I so enjoyed this session. Seeing the way Stella's parents work as partners and with such consideration towards one another was compelling to witness, and their complete smitten-ness with their daughter warmed my heart. I'm so pleased to share a sneak peek of Stella's newborn session and look forward to continuing to document her story as she grows.
Bad weather prevented Emmaline's parents and I from connecting for a maternity session not once but three times. Ultimately, I never got to photograph Emmaline as a baby bump. When I met her last week at ten-days-old, she slept. And slept. And slept. And ate a little then slept some more. It's hard work being not yet two-weeks-old, and Emmaline opted to get her beauty rest throughout her first photo session. And what a beauty she is, with her yummy cheeks and fuzzy baby hair. Her mom and grandma and I chatted easily during the session, talking about the miracle of a newborn and the wonder a baby brings to a family. I loved the details that were set out to be used in the photos, vintage yet fresh. It was tough to narrow selections to share for the blog, but I am excited to share a handful of photos from this tiny girl's newborn session. As I post these I am already excited for six-month photos!