newborn photography

BABY E'S NEWBORN FRESH 48 PHOTOS - South Bend, Indiana Baby and Family Photographer

fresh 48 memorial hospital south bend

Oh what a story this sweet girl had! I first met with Baby E’s mom to discuss her options for birth photography. As a first time mom, we didn’t really know what to expect when labor came, so we were prepared for 37 weeks on. When I finally got the call that it was go time, I knew from experience that I probably didn’t have to rush. First babies often take a while. But then, I got a more rushed text that said things were moving pretty quickly and from the sounds of it, I knew I had to head out!

When I arrived, mom was laboring hard and already at 9cm! Awesome! This would be a really great, fast birth. HA! Babies never do what we expect, do they? Fast forward twelve hours and still no baby…and I had a wedding to be at to photograph! Luckily, my amazing back up photographer came to the rescue and I ended up missing this sweet baby girl’s birth by less than an hour. I would have loved to be there since I had gotten so invested in her journey earthside, but such is life.

And I did get to come back and visit for her Fresh 48 photos. What an alert and gorgeous baby she was. And her parents could not have been more smitten. This was a fun and rewarding session from start to finish and I feel lucky to have gotten to meet her momma and daddy, as well as Baby E!

WELCOME BABY DAWSYN - Indiana Newborn Photographer

south bend newborn photographer

This family. Where do I even start?

They were my VERY FIRST family documentary clients! They trusted me before anyone else to capture memories of their sweet daughter in the throws of their dream-house renovation project. They quickly grew to be more than just clients but friends! Fast forward a few years and a few more sessions down the road and I had the privilege of documenting their sweet second daughter, Dawsyn.

I was so excited when I got Mom’s initial message inquiring about newborn sessions and the chance to see their oldest girl become a big sister. After Dawsyn’s arrival, I anxiously awaited the call to come and meet her! And when I did and I walked into their farmhouse, the first thing I thought: “Holy moly, they’re identical!” Dawsyn looks JUST like her big sister! My heart melted immediately. Big sister was so excited to show me her new baby and it was obvious that while she still wanted (and needed) Mom and Dad’s attention, too, she was a huge helper in the family now.

Capturing these moments for this family of four was such a joy and I truly hope I get to continue on their journey with them. Thank you, F Family, for allowing me into your lives all this time.

WHICH TO CHOOSE: FRESH 48 OR NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY? - South Bend, Indiana Newborn Baby Photographer

Ah, the tricky question: do you choose a Fresh 48 or Newborn session? Which one is right for you? It's a great question and I hope that this post might lend some thought points that may help you make the best decision for your baby! Here are some questions to ponder:

1. DO PHOTOS OF YOUR NEW FAMILY DYNAMIC MATTER MORE THAN PHOTOS IN YOUR OWN ENVIRONMENT?

When you think about what you want documented, one of the main things to consider is whether you want to remember those very first moments with your baby and as a parent to this tiny human or if you want to remember those first days in your home with the newest addition. It's a tough choice but one that is usually pretty clear in our minds when we stop to think about it.

2. WILL FRESH 48 "IMPERFECTIONS" BOTHER YOU?

As much as it pains me to put this one out here, it is worth considering. Some people prefer to give baby a few days to move beyond the brand-new-baby blemishes, head molding and their own appearance after having just brought a new life into the world. At the same time, many people love these factors and find them honest and endearing (this is me, just FYI). So stop and consider whether you find all of the tiny "imperfections," a beautiful and priceless thing to be remembered or something you'd prefer to skip and have the time to refresh and recover. 

3. DOES YOUR HOME AND BABY'S NURSERY HOLD SPECIAL MEANING TO YOU?

If you are one of those people who painstakingly choose every detail of their child's nursery (cough cough, me again) and strive to make it a place that they will immediately feel loved, cherished and calm, then a newborn session may be the best option for you. Hospitals and birth centers offer little to no control over your environment so you may end up with a bright orange wall in the background of your photos whether you like it or not. If this is something that gives you the shudders just thinking about that lack of control, a newborn session may be more fitting since you can document your own home and preferences that more accurately reflect you.

4. ARE THERE FIRST MEETINGS YOU WANT DOCUMENTED?

Often, there are specific family members or siblings who you can't wait to introduce to your new baby. If this is the case, a Fresh 48 session is the way to go. These are moments that you cannot recreate and are often so beautiful and priceless. Not to mention, documenting your own reactions as a parent seeing your other babies meeting their new sibling or to your parents holding their newest grandchild is a truly momentous moment that make a wonderful keepsake.

5. OR...JUST DO BOTH!

This is obviously my suggestion since I'm a crazy picture lady! It may not seem logical to have both Fresh 48 AND newborn photos taken because they usually take place within 10-14 days of each other. But hear me out first! If you have already had a baby, you know what I'm about to say is true and if you're a first time parent, take my word that this statement is accurate: your baby changes DAILY. In those first few months, you will wake up and smile down at your new baby and be amazed because somehow, they truly changed overnight. You blinked and they're a little bit bigger, a little bit more mature. It's uncanny (and slightly heartbreaking) but its true. Having both Fresh 48 and newborn photos allows you to see those changes and also lets you document those first sweet moments and also gives you the control of photographing your child in their own environment. It's a win win and totally worth it. 

 

BABY L'S NEWBORN SESSION - South Bend, Indiana Family and Newborn Photographer

Newborns are always born perfect. But holy cow, this little dude might just take the cake for most awake and absolutely adorable newborn ever! I was really excited when Mom contacted me about an in-home newborn session (and not just because I love shooting them). This family had only been in their new home for about two months and were still getting completely settled; we even had to reschedule the session once because their couch hadn’t arrived yet! I love getting to document families in the throws of a new chapter in their lives and two of the biggest changes you can go through as an adult is adding a new baby to the mix and moving.

As soon as I walked in the door, I knew this was a perfect fit. First, I was greeted by their sweet and adorable three-year-old daughter who immediately asked, “Do you want to see my baby brother?” Um, girl, try and stop me! So she lead me through their perfectly decorated home (seriously, I left this session wanting to go home and totally re-do my own decor) to her sweet, sleeping brother. He was the cutest little guy and she couldn’t cover him with enough kisses. Throughout the entire session, all she wanted to do was kiss and love on him!

Mom and Dad were equally as smitten with their new little guy. They took turns tending to him and snuggling him and it was pretty obvious he had been born into a family that had an abundance of love to give. I am so grateful to the O family for inviting me into their amazing home and family to document their newest arrival!

(Sorry, not sorry, for the overshare of this session but its a favorite!)

BABY Z'S FRESH 48 - South Bend, Indiana Newborn Photographer

If you missed Baby Z's birth post, be sure to check it out!

I love offering Fresh 48's to all of my birth clients. While birth photos are truly one-of-a-kind, they're also chaotic and intense. Giving everyone a day or so to gather themselves, get refreshed and hopefully a little sleep and then coming back to document all the beauty of the newborn baby and now bigger family is always so beautiful. 

Coming back to document Baby Z didn't disappoint. He was such a handsome little guy and mom and dad had the cutest (and most meaningful) outfits all picked out for him. From his little brother onesie which he posed in next to his sister's memorial stuffed elephant to his "moo outfit," he rocked the entire session with just a little help from his paci. We even took a little stroll down the hall to the big window for some extra pretty lighting. 

Seeing these parents getting to bond with their son was so sweet, especially when dad rocked his hunting vs dadding shirt. There was no shortage of love and emotion in this room and I truly hope that this family has nothing but joy and smiles for the years to come! Thanks for including me in your story, C family. 

BABY M'S FRESH 48 - Indiana and Michigan Newborn Photographer

Did you check out Baby M's birth story? Don't miss it!

Every Fresh 48 newborn session is special, but I have a soft spot when they include sibling meetings. I absolutely love seeing how older siblings react to the newest family member! And this case did not disappoint.

After spending the morning with these wonderful parents and standing alongside them as they welcomed their son into the world, we all took a few hours to freshen up and breathe after the chaos of birth. When I returned that evening, we took Mr. M's newborn photos (and boy was he cooperative AND handsome), while we waited for Grandma and Grandpa to arrive with big sis. 

To say that this trio was excited to be reunited would be an understatement. You could see mom and dad's heart just bursting when they had both their kiddos in the room together. And the grandparents were absolutely in love with this little boy already. There will be NO shortage of love in this guy's life. Big sis was so gentle and interested; although the big sister gift of a cupcake set was a little distracting for a while (haha). 

I'm so grateful to have gotten to tell this boy's story from the very beginning!

BABY L'S FRESH 48 - Granger, Indiana Newborn Photographer

I've had a whole gang of baby boys born in a very short (and very chaotic) ten day span, so when I got the text saying Baby L, GIRL Baby L, had arrived, I was super excited to get my girly vibes on. And she did not disappoint; between her adorable feminine features and pretty little outfit, she completely filled up my lacking girl quota. 

When parents J and B reached out and asked me to do their newborn Fresh 48 photos, I was so excited. We have known this sweet family for years and watched their 2 year old son grow up into the cutest, smartest little guy around. So when I found out I was going to get to capture this awesome sibling meeting plus her beauty shots, I was more than thrilled. 

Baby L ended up coming a couple of weeks early but I think everyone was ready to meet her, including big brother! Sometimes, sibling meetings of young kiddos don't always go as you might hope, but big bro G was all about investigating his new sister. He walked in with a smile on his face that didn't leave the entire time I was there. He climbed right into bed with his mom and immediately started touching and staring at his little sister with genuine curiosity. His smile and laugh lit up the room when Dad played with him and you just knew that this was going to be one happy household once everyone was home! 

Thank you, S family, for letting me document this adorable meeting for you!

JONES FRESH 48 NEWBORN - South Bend, Indiana Newborn Photographer

I first met the Jones family when they contacted me about a one year milestone session for their (now) oldest boy. I ventured out to their adorable wooded home where their even more adorable one-year-old was happily awaiting his Mickey smash cake...dressed as Mickey. Holy cuteness. As we did the smash cake and then some candid documentary style photos in their home (including a sweet sink bath and story time in the nursery), it was clear what a sweet and caring family this was.

Then, a handful of months later, I got the exciting inquiry from momma for a Fresh 48 session in July! Nothing makes me happier than watching families grow so I was more than a little excited to get to document big brother meeting his new little brother. Then, Mom also applied for my in-home maternity session model call and was chosen. So when I got the text saying she was being admitted to St. Joe Hospital one early July morning, I was really looking forward to seeing this family again.

Baby Logan was such a good little guy who loved nothing more than being held by his momma and being swaddled in a nice warm blanket (he was NOT a fan of being down to the diaper...but who could blame him?). He was so handsome and unblemished and just the epitome of newborn perfection. Now sometimes, doing a Fresh 48 for a family with two-under-two, it doesn't always go as you "dream." There are often tears and the first bouts of jealousy...but not from this big brother! He was all smiles and genuine interest in his new baby brother and he even shared his very favorite stuffy with him (that's about when my heart became a big puddle on the floor). I can't wait to see this family's journey and I truly hope I get to be there to document more milestones for them in the future!

Baby Norman's Newborn Session - South Bend Family and Newborn Photographer

There is nothing quite like a beautiful newborn girl baby (I mean, I may be a little bit biased being a girl mom, but still). And Baby K was no exception! With her dark, swirly hair, full cheeks and pouty little lips, she could melt even the toughest of hearts. Look out, Dad. You've got a heartbreaker on your hands!

When I arrived to this newborn session, I was already so in love with the nursery and the lighting. When Mom hits up pottery barn for nursery furniture, how can you go wrong? These sweet parents had clearly put so much thought and planning into this girl's arrival. And did I mention how kind and welcoming this family was? As we got to talking, I found out their super exciting story!

Right around the time Mom was having Baby K, Dad (who was the Notre Dame Girl's Soccer Team Assistant Coach) found out that the head coach was retiring. Nothing like having a baby and having your job rocked at the same time, right?! Well, shortly after Baby K's debut, Dad got some insanely exciting news: HE would be the new head coach! What could be better than having a brand new, healthy, happy baby and getting your dream job at one of the nation's best colleges? I think it's safe to say that this story had a very happy ending.

Watching these new parents caring for and loving on their baby girl was so heart warming. Dad would expertly swing Baby K, who loves to be moving, in his arms and mom offered the softest and gentlest snuggles. There's no doubt that this baby girl's days are going to be filled with an abudnance of love and smiles. Thank you for inviting me into your home, Norman family! 

Elkhart + South Bend Fresh 48 Photographer - Newborn R Meets Her Siblings

Baby R was the long awaited girl in a family of boys. She was loved beyond measure before she even arrived and I was so blessed to be a part of her first hours on earth. When I got the text from mom (also one of my best friends), that said "Surprise!" alongside a family photo of mom, dad and baby, I was shocked. We had spent the prior morning together on a play date and while mom had felt very ready for baby to make her arrival, she wasn't having any signs that she would be earthside just twelve hours later! 

When I arrived at the hospital, it was a truly beautiful moment as the family's friend and pastor, along with his wife, were there cuddling and praying over the new baby girl. It was such a great start to a session. The first half hour, I got to take some really soft and beautiful documentary portraits of Miss R, all while she stared quietly around the room. She was so alert! In fact, she was awake the entire session. She was so intent on exploring her new world in her own quiet way. It was one of the most laid back and calm Fresh 48's I had been to. 

Then, in came her brothers. End the tranquil calm! These boys are the sweetest and cutest little guys and they are all boy. They rushed into the room, thrilled to see their mom and more than a little curious about their new baby sister. They were so inquisitive and patient around her...but when they weren't around her, well, they were still all boy. Just take a look at the last photo in this post and you will get a good feel for what this amazing family's new normal looks like!

Thank you Mom and Dad S, for letting me be a part of this amazing sibling meeting. Little Miss R is so lucky to have such fantastic parents and loving big brothers. 

South Bend + Michiana Birth Photographer - Birth Photography Can Be PG

It's funny because when it comes to birth photography, people seem to be totally for it or absolutely weirded out by it. Most of the folks I meet who do the "You're a WHAT photographer?!" double take think of all of the raw and unfiltered moments of birth and wonder why anyone would want that documented. And I get it! I really do. (But trust me when I say that even the raw unfiltered stuff can be documented tastefully and beautifully.) However, I'm not here to change anyone's mind or opinion, but I would like to explain how birth photography can be completely PG. Nothing "raw'. Nothing "embarrassing". Nothing you wouldn't want your kids to see. 

Birth photography doesn't have to be "shocking."

Mainstream media has taught us to believe that birth is traumatic and "gross." However, your photos will reflect differently. There are so many moments during labor, delivery and postpartum that are soft, calm and beautiful. A mother laying eyes on her baby for the first time is breath taking; a moment that you can't get back. It's also a moment that we, as mothers, can't see for ourselves. Having photos to look back on and see the joy and relief and pride on our own faces as we meet our children is priceless.

BBP's packages are totally customized long before the delivery.

I realize that birth photography is a big investment, both monetarily and in trust, which is why I want you to feel comfortable and in control every step of the way. At our first consultation, I will answer any questions you have before booking a session and make sure that I am someone you feel comfortable with including in your birth story. Then, at the beginning of your third trimester, we can meet in person, talk on the phone or communicate via email (your discretion) to customize your session. You dictate what moments you want documented and which you don't. For example, one previous birth client wanted minimal labor photos, no delivery images and mainly wanted immediate bonding moments, dad's reaction to seeing baby and all of the little details like weight, footprints and first latch. It was a PG session through and through and the images were refined and beautiful. But don't take my word for it...

"She [Cara] photographed our second son's birth ... and we are completely in love with the photos. She was professional and courteous and like a "fly on the wall" during labor and delivery -- I didn't even know she was there! She asked plenty of questions about what type of photos we wanted to have as a result of her photographing his birth and just made sure she knew what we were looking for."

This is your baby's first milestone. It deserves to be documented.

We document our children's first steps, first words, first everything. Yet somehow, we often don't document their first moments on earth. Babies are born perfect and beautiful and they also change day to day. By waiting to document your baby until the traditional newborn sessions lets days slip by that are filled with changes! Make sure you don't miss your baby's true newborn moments.

Niles Michigan Birth Photographer - Baby C's Birth Story

When I first met Momma T, I was so excited for two reasons: 1) she was a super awesome human and 2) she was having a home birth! For some reason, in our area, birth photography largely happens in the hospital (which is kind of backwards from many other areas). So when I found out I was going to be shooting a home birth, I was incredibly excited! As I got to know this sweet family, it became obvious that this was going to be an amazing birth.

The family of four was team green, meaning they didn't know what gender baby #3 would be. Big sister was pretty set on having a little sister but little brother...well, I don't think he cared much. When I arrived, it seemed that everyone felt confident that we would be welcoming a girl into the world soon. I was so impressed with mom's concentration and calm throughout her long early labor and I loved watching her breathe through contractions as her kids played around her, like nothing exciting was even going on. These thoughtful parents also gave their oldest daughter a camera for her to document the birth from her perspective (can I admit that I geeked out over this a little?). Once early labor passed into active and transition, stuff got real pretty quickly. Once mom got into the birth pool, it was just a matter of time! Momma T's doula and midwife was so supportive and amazing and helped talk her through her sunny-side-up baby who took a little extra effort to bring into the world.

And guess what? It was a BOY! Just scroll through this beautiful gallery below and see if you can pick out which image showcases mom finding out she was holding her new son. I am so grateful for this family inviting me into their home and into this intimate and emotional experience as they welcomed a baby boy, also their rainbow baby, into this world. What an incredible moment!