newborn

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!

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. 

Baby Lindsay's Fusion Film - Goshen Birth and Newborn Photographer / Goshen Birth and Newborn Photography

Sweet baby Lindsay Cole. Even her name radiates warmth and beauty. She surprised us all (none more than her mom and dad of course) by arriving over five weeks early. While she has faced some health challenges in this first chapter of her life, her strength and resilience continue to shine through. And that is to say nothing of her parents who might just be the most genuinely loving people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Despite set backs and unexpected turns, they persevere with smiles and affection for their new daughter. I was so happy that we were able to squeeze in a low-key Fresh 48 session while baby was feeling up to it; I hope that this video will bring a smile on the tough days and will be cherished in the years to come. While Baby Lindsay continues to grow stronger, my prayers stay with her, her parents and her sisters. 

Fresh 48 Newborn Photography + South Bend and Michiana / Baby Lindsay Sneak Peek

This sweet, tiny little girl decided to join this world five weeks early! Prayers to this girl as she adjusts to life earthside. I can't wait to share Baby Lindsay's entire birth story and gallery, but until then, here are some sneak peeks to give everyone a quick adorable newborn fix in a tiny preemie package...

Newborn Photography in South Bend and Michiana - Leila's Newborn Session

I had a blogging fail. After scrolling through my old blog posts, I realized that while I released a sneak peek for Baby Leila's newborn session, I never posted the full gallery!!! And seriously, what a total shame that would be to let it go unseen because this baby girl and her family are simply gorgeous.

And so, even thought baby Leila is coming up on her 6 month milestone session (what?!), here is her completely lovely newborn session...

Indiana Birth Photographer / Indiana Birth Photography - Taking Your Own Amazing Newborn Pictures

I am the first to admit that I literally had to go out and buy a new iPhone with more storage when my daughter was first born. Why? Because I took approximately 236 pictures of her a day. When you first bring baby home and you're SO excited and SO proud that you created this beautiful, perfect little creature, there is no stopping a momma's shutter finger! With that in mind, we also want to get the best pictures we can with our limited camera phones so here are some tips...

Don't Skip the Professional Newborn Images

michigan birth photography

If it is in the budget, I still encourage you to get these done professionally. Whether it is a Fresh 48 (pick me! pick me!) or an in-home newborn session, invest in it. You will never regret having those professional photos of your beautiful new baby.

Get the Details

indiana birth photography

I would venture to say that there are few things more beautiful than the tiny, intricate details of a newborn. From their squishy cheeks, to dimpled chins (just look at that little guy above), to their perfect little toes, don't miss those shots! Make sure to get creative here and notice your light and your perspective when taking these images. Don't take 12 pictures from the same exact spot, use some variety and move your phone around then delete the ones that are less than favorable (or just upgrade to a larger storage plan on the cloud and keep them all...like me...sigh).

Tell Your Story

indiana birth photography

Use your surroundings to tell your baby's story. Even the newest of babies has their quirks and habits and you never want to forget about those. Make sure to reach beyond the beautiful details of your baby's face, fingers and toes and tell the story of your life as it is right now (messy house and all).

Use Your Light

indiana birth photography

Unless you are catching that amazing first smile or some other fleeting moment, use all of this newborn sleepiness and down time to make sure you get the best picture possible. Natural window light is your best option so make sure baby is placed somewhere that the soft light hits their sweet faces just right. Embrace the shadows and use it to play up some of those features! Don't be afraid to move yourself or baby to get the most flattering angle.

And probably the most important tip...

Get. In. The. Frame.

michigan birth photograph

I get it, ladies, I do. You just had a baby. You may not be feeling your most attractive (although you totally should because there is nothing more radiant than a powerful woman who just spent nine months growing a human and then battled for hours to bring said human into the world but I digress...). At this point in time, you are quite literally the sun to this newborn's world. You provide safety, comfort, companionship, food and never-ending love. Capture that. Don't let these moments slip away. Because let me assure you, you will blink and suddenly this tiny baby who once fit in the palms of your hands will have to fold themselves into impossible positions to fit in your lap...if they even let you cuddle them for that long anymore! This time with your baby is irreplaceable and both you and your baby will want these pictures to exist years down the road. So hand the phone over to dad and tell him to click away, because you are the friggin' sun!