I had a fantastic afternoon yesterday with none other than baby Willow, my first birth photography baby. She is/was the best little model I could have asked for. I have been doing photography for 9+ years in a studio setting but this was my first session in the private photography endeavor. I’ll admit I was a little nervous, but it was less about getting the pretty pictures and more about the fact that at the time I booked her appointment I totally spaced telling her mother to make sure she was awake and or had just fallen asleep, had a clean diaper, full tummy, and her first outfit on so we could get started right away. That was a rookie mistake on my part to be sure. The morning started off with a flurry of activity, I completely overslept and I had ordered something special for Joanna and Willow that I still needed to go pick up. I had originally planned to get up, take a shower, get dressed and go to the store…. I wound up getting dressed and leaving with no shower. I did, however, manage to still arrive promptly at 1:00 for our session at their house.
To start off with, I could not have asked for a better space to take pictures in with natural light. They had the best windows and a nice neutral wall to shoot against. Of course, little Willow was out like a light when I arrived and I was told she’d been that way for about 4 hours…. OH NO!! She also did not have her little outfit on (again this was ENTIRELY my fault for not letting mommy know). So it was time to wake little miss thang up for her outfit change. This, in turn, led to the serious “I’m hungry” tears and wails of a newborn that will not be pacified with anything other than nummies. So we sat chatting while she ate and got her in her cute pink tutu.
I was able to capture ONE photo with her eyes open before the tears started
Happily sucking away we at least got her maneuvered into her first position and she dozed off enough to remove her bottle of goodies for a few seconds in order to snap a few shots. I learned another valuable bit of knowledge yesterday, my bean bag newborn poser needs at least another bag of beans. That thing was not cooperating at all the whole time. I was able to have a “Make it Work” moment as Tim Gunn says on ‘Project Runway’ but I was seriously stressing out. I didn’t want to mess up on this shoot. Not only are Willow and Joanna my first birth clients but as I said they are my first non-studio newborn shoot as well so I was internally freaking out the whole time. I have to say what made these pictures so adorable is definitely Willow. While I would LOVE to take credit because of photography skills, she is what made these pictures so beautiful. She is all wrinkles, peeling skin, and pink in all of the right places and she has an absolutely stunning head of dark hair. She is quite beautiful, just like her mommy.
The smiles by far were too cute for words. She really is a stunning angel baby. Next up on the to-do list was getting some photos with her daddy’s Army gear. This was very important to the family and I couldn’t wait to do these because she was so cute and pink and his gear was the urban digital fatigues so the contrast was/is quite lovely. It was around about this time that I realized it might benefit Willow to have the heat in the house turned up every so slightly because I could tell she was getting chilly. Once she was situated on her Daddy’s gear and we wrapped the arm of the jacket around her with the heat turned on a little higher she was quite content to go right back to sleep after finishing her second bottle. There are some gorgeous photos of her with her dad’s dog tags but due to safety, I will not be posting any photos where you can see the information on his tags. They are very sweet though and I’m happy that mommy and daddy loved them a lot.
So after successfully managing to remove her tutu and her headband without waking her up. Joanna handed me an adorable pink sparkly teddy bear that had belonged to her as a child and a tan blanket that said “Willow Love, Papaw”. I loved how pink the teddy bear was and the pictures turned out very beautiful. It has definitely been a learning process for me as well in this. As I edited pictures there were things that I wished I’d done a little differently or additions that I should have thought of, however they are super precious pictures and I love each and every one of them.
Lastly, if you have been on my facebook page you will have seen that I have some super cute little knit outfits for newborns that I’m using as props. I asked Willow’s parents which one they would like to do and they decided to go with the turtle outfit because apparently, they have turtles (?). At first, I did them without a bow, but I didn’t like that she looked like a bow so mommy found a cute little mint green bow to add to her outfit and perfection ensued. Willow was the absolute perfect little model and I hope to continue taking her pictures over the months and years to come. (Outfits are: Turtle, Fox, Mermaid, Snail, Ladybug, and angel wings. I plan on getting a peacock, bumble bee, and a fish as well.)
Thank you again to Joanna, Damon, and Willow for a wonderful day. I loved staying and chatting after the shoot and talking about your special day when Willow arrived.