Abigail / The Woodlands TX In home Newborn Photographer

It’s always such a gift to me when people ask and trust in me to capture their newborn pictures.

That family time after having a baby is precious, sacred, raw, and at times overwhelming as you navigate taking care of a newborn and meeting other needs.  It’s too much to think of leaving the house to go to Target, let alone trying to get everyone ready and out the door to go get those “perfect” newborn photos made.  So don’t.  Stay in the comfort of your home and let me come to you.

My favorite newborn pictures are the perfectly imperfect ones.  The ones that capture genuine love and affection for this new little one and allow for plenty of breaks and snacks/bribes in between for big brother or sister. Can I get an amen for Daniel Tiger and cookies?   I love to capture all the in between stuff too…feeding the baby in the your favorite chair, giving your first born a needed cuddle, or receiving a needed look of encouragement or hug from your spouse.  Because even though life is crazy those first few weeks, it’s so crazy beautiful and you are going to miss these moments….trust me.

I adore this family so much.  I’ve been blessed to work with them for several years now and consider them sweet friends.  And don’t get me started on big brother.  I could listen to him talk all day.  He would probably take Daniel Tiger over me, but I don’t take it personally.  I know we’re still buds. It’s just when you’re two and there is Daniel Tiger….I know who’s usually coming out on top on that one.

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August / The Woodlands TX Baby Photographer

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a happier baby than this little guy.  His eyes and smile just lit up …especially for his mama.

We did this Happy Place session at home, which is just perfect for six month pictures.  I love getting to incorporate different areas of the house such as the nursery, mom and dad’s room…even the Christmas tree for this session!

We also were able to entertain August with story time, playing with mommy, and even a little snack time…and I continued shooting through all of it.

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Allen / Family Photographer in The Woodlands TX

If you promise not to do the math, I’ll let you know that this year was my twenty year high school reunion.  I went in to it with very little expectations, but ended up having the best time reconnecting with old friends….many of whom I hadn’t seen in that long.  It’s such a kick to see how at the same time it seems everything and everyone has changed, in some ways, nothing has changed at all.

One couple I had a chance to see and catch up with was this sweet one.  Miranda reached out to me a few months back to see about getting family photos.  I was so excited to get a chance to do it and meet their boys who are just the most beautiful blend of both Miranda and Greg.

 

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Olivia / The Woodlands TX In home newborn photographer

One of the sweetest things to watch unfold in a newborn session is the bond between siblings.  They literally just met each other.  Often those young, siblings that just got promoted to big brother or sister status are unsure about this new little person.   Those babies sure do get a lot of attention from everyone!   That sibling bond that is so new but already strong.  Curiosity and love usually wins out and they become a magnet to their new best friend.

Olivia’s big sister could not get enough of her.  She wanted to explore and cradle her tiny toes…who could blame her?  I can’t get enough of baby feet.    She held her so naturally and with such a careful protectiveness, I couldn’t look away.  Olivia was totally at ease when in the arms of her sister and even gave us a few smiles in those perfectly sweet moments.

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Victor / Newborn photographer in Houston TX

Those first few weeks home with a newborn are some of the most intimate.  I remember wanting to accept as much help as was offered from my mom, my in laws and friends (bring all the food). However, I also remember wanting to hunker down and ignore the outside world so I could just get to know this little being who had just made us a family of three.  It’s so beautiful watching a family in those first few days.  They are still getting to know each other, all while feeling like they’ve known this little one forever.  They can’t remember life before.  Well, they can possibly recall getting more sleep once upon a time, but really… life just took on an entirely new meaning.

You can’t help but stare at those tiny newborn toes…those eyes that peek into your soul.  You look at your spouse in awe that this baby is part of both of you.   Your heart bursts a little more watching your partner take on their own new role as a parent.  It is not all easy, not at all, but man, it is beautiful …more beautiful than you may ever have imagined.

The most beautiful and favorite shots from my newborn sessions are almost always organic.  There is no need to contrive something when the moments themselves are already so perfect.  This little seven day old guy already has such personality and mannerisms.  He grasps his mommy’s hand and finds a way to pull his arms out of that swaddle and settle in just so.  And then he would need to be changed or fed as they often do.   Each moment is beautiful because many years later, even months and weeks later when they have already changed so much, you will want to look back and remember it all.

 

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Beam / Fall Family Pictures in The Woodlands

The last time I saw this beautiful family, we were doing an in home happy place session.  Their little guy has grown so much since, and he gave us all quite the workout for this session.  Here is the thing about two year olds.  They are some of my very favorite age of kiddos to photograph.  Don’t get me wrong..toddlers can WEAR me out, but I love their spontaneity and their expressions.  Those little ones get a twinkle in their eye that lets you know they have their own plan for the photo session, and often it’s usually better than my own.

Toddlers wear their emotions on their sleeves, and I love to capture it all.  I have learned not to force anything with kiddos this age, but instead like to let them guide the session a bit.  If they aren’t having being held or cuddled, we try chasing them.   I want mom and dad to forget about the traditional photo session and just play with their kids. We change things up quickly with tickles, peek a boo with the camera, funny sounds…anything to engage with them.  A good photo session leaves everyone exhausted and maybe even rewarded with an early bedtime!

For this session, we pulled out all the stops and were rewarded with megawatt smiles and giggles.  I’m also not above bribery.

Turns out this guy will do almost anything for M&Ms!!

The Woodlands in home photographer / Greene

Sometimes it’s really hard to figure out where to have your photo session.  I always love when a client decides to have their family pictures done as a Happy Place session in their home.  However, I also love beautiful outdoor natural light.  I was over the moon when this family decided to do both!

When deciding on a photo session location, there are a few things I look for.  The most important is available natural light.  I am a natural light photographer, meaning I prefer not to use any external flash.  I am always looking for beautiful light and potential photo locations.  Light can so different depending on the location and time of day of the session.  Often, I’ll be at a soccer game or sport practice and be inspired by pockets of beautiful light I see filtering through the trees.  Sometimes I grab my camera while my kids are sitting at the kitchen table because I’m gushing over the way the window light is blanketing them in the most beautiful way.

Light doesn’t always have to be luminous and bright either.  I kind of love when I crack open my son’s door when he should be asleep and find him playing on his tablet (not that part), but the way just the light from the screen lights up his face while everything else in the room is enveloped in darkness.

Another very important factor I look for when choosing a location is safety.  Is it a location a place where both my clients and I will feel safe?  Is parking close by?  I love the look of a rustic, open field, but that’s not always a good option for families with wandering children.  Other things slither, I mean wander in fields.  This girl has a healthy fear of those wandering things.

I adore this family, and we’ve worked together for several years now.  They are honestly the family that made me fall in love with Happy Place sessions.  We’ve done several of them together.  Originally, we had scheduled this session to take place at another location. That was when we thought October in Houston was reasonable.  After looking at the crazy heat index, we decided to move their session back home because air conditioning always wins out.

One of my favorite sessions I’ve ever done with my own family was a hybrid. It took place part of the time in our home and ended at a favorite outdoor location of ours.  I loved that it was the best of both worlds.  Encouraging this family to do the same, I asked Brooke to be on the lookout for a location with pretty light near her home.  I knew she would nail it because she has such a great eye.

Even I was a bit skeptical when we arrived at the chosen location because it was basically a construction site for new homes.  Sometimes the most obscure places are hidden gems.  Once I got my favorite portrait lens out and got to work, I knew it was the perfect location.  Make sure to scroll all the way down to see what I’m talking about!

Family pictures in The Woodlands / Amend Family

Life can be so busy, it’s hard to find time to even get together with friends as much as I would like.  This time of year my weekends are full of family pictures, soccer games, more fall photo sessions, and more soccer games.  Lucky for me, I have clients like this family who I consider friends.  It helps make work feel a lot less like work.

Last year we did their family pictures as an in home photo session at their gorgeous new house. This year they allowed me to try a new location out with them.  We actually had to reschedule this session due to some of those sports schedules I mentioned above, but thankfully we escaped the heat on our original date and were rewarded with a gorgeous fall afternoon.

What to Wear?

Erin is always so good at putting together outfits for her crew.  You can see their past sessions here and here, and you’ll see what I mean.  I think the hardest thing about preparing for a photo session is figuring out what to wear.  Once you figure out that, the hard part is over!

That’s one reason I provide phone consultations for all of my clients and share my Pinterest page for inspiration.  I also ask each family to put all of their outfit choices together and send me a picture.  I’m happy to share my thoughts on what I think will photograph well and help you decide on little details and choices that can help pull everything together.

I usually tell the moms to pick their outfit out first and build in the rest of the family’s outfits based on what they choose.  Usually, this is the opposite of what everyone does!   You should ask yourself three questions.
Do you feel beautiful?
When you feel like you look super, your outfit is flattering and you are the best version of yourself, you’ll have a natural glow for the camera.  I love outfits that allow for movement (I’m mainly talking to the ladies here), a flowy dress for example.
Is it comfy?
Nobody wants to spend an hour or more dressed in something that pinches, itches, or is too hot or cold…especially for children and dads, who won’t hesitate to make their displeasure known.  =)  I recommend each family member wear their photo shoot outfit around the house for at least 10 minutes to try it out if they haven’t worn it before, shoes included!
Is it you?
Simple but profound.  Every person in the family should wear clothing that is an honest reflection of his or her style and stage of life.  Aim for timeless attire, rather than the latest trend.

Eilers / Family Portraits in The Woodlands TX

Wouldn’t it be great if the weather would actually match our fall wardrobe for family portraits?  The heat indexes creeping over 100 degrees is just not acceptable in the middle of October.  I keep doing a double take when I look at my calendar.  Each “cold” front that breezes in escapes before the weekend, which for most of us, happens to be the best time to take family pictures.   Luckily, I have troopers for clients.

These two kids were AMAZING.  I honestly didn’t even hear one little grumble about the heat out of them the entire session!  I think they were excited about the pizza that was waiting for them when family pictures were done.  Having your session on the Waterway has it’s advantages.  Ahem…Grimaldis.

One of the many things I like about this location is the gorgeous natural light that seems to be everywhere.  It’s got a more “urban” feel than what we typically find out here in many other locations around The Woodlands.  We spent the session exploring some really cool areas, staircases and bridges before ending up on top of the parking garage.   People may see parking garage and think…WHAT, how would that work for pictures?  I see a bunch of gorgeous light in a blank canvas that we have all to ourselves.

Hawkins / The Woodlands TX Family Photographer

Doesn’t this time of year always start to feel a little crazy?  Anyone else, or is it just me?  October is to photographers what April is to accountants.  We fit family pictures and photo sessions in whenever we can, filling up weekends and squeezing in open slots whenever possible.  Then we juggle them around soccer games, school, and other family activities.  We then remember that we have to also find time to edit all of those sessions!  Sometimes it feels like I need another month somewhere between October and November on the calendar to fit everything in.

I’m such a planner girl…like the old fashioned desktop kind.  In July I get really excited to order my new one and even get stickers and highlighters to make it “pretty”.  I figure looking at a colorful, cute spread may distract me from the reality of how busy my weeks are this time of year.

Every August, I look at my calendar and try my best to plan ahead for busy season, promising myself I won’t over do it this year.  I decide how many sessions I can realistically handle in the fall, and then release them to my existing clients first.  Those sessions usually book up by early September, and then inevitably, I try to squeeze just a few more in….because saying no is hard.  After that, I sit back and pray for good weather.  Sometimes I get greedy and pray for cooler weather.  So far this year, I’m 1 for 2 in those requests, but I’m grateful nonetheless.

I had a very small window to make this family photo session happen…as in one day.  Other calendar conflicts and commitments gave us one Friday morning to work with.  Luckily, weather cooperated perfectly and we got their family photos checked off the list!  These two sweet girls were a little reserved at first but came out of their shell quickly.  It might have been due to the rad dance party we had in the middle of the park.  Who can stand still when the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Dog song comes on?  Not me!

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