newborn photography

BABY COLT NEWBORN - South Bend Indiana Baby and Family Photographer

Nothing is more of a privilege than when friends trust you to take their baby’s first photos! This sweet baby is the son of two very proud parents who were only a little surprised by his early arrival. While he may have been tiny (he was my smallest newborn client at just 4lbs 14oz), he was mighty and didn’t spend a single day in the NICU. Although with a momma who is a labor and delivery nurse, he was in pretty great hands from the start anyway. I can’t wait to follow this guy’s journey and growth over the next year.

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!

SOUTH BEND + MICHIANA NEWBORN AND FRESH 48 PHOTOGRAPHER - BABY B ARRIVES

I could not possibly be more excited to share this sweet session with everyone. This...was my first repeat momma! In fact, Momma K's daughter's Fresh 48 session was my very first. I remember feeling so thrilled and excited doing her session in January of 2016 and after I left, I was hooked. I knew this was going to be one of my favorite types of sessions. Watching this woman become a mom and seeing her husband become a girl day (come on, admit it, we all know that guys melt over their daughters) was intoxicating in the best way.

Fast forward to November of 2017, and I got to help welcome this family's second baby, this time a son, as well as capture the meeting of his big sister. I can't even begin to express the feelings I had watching this sweet girl who I have now known and documented for two years become a big sister. There were funny moments (like her refusal to touch him initially), sweet moments (like the very first finger touch she worked up the courage for) and all of the stuff in-between. Not to mention all of the mommy snuggles and classic newborn portraits that took up the time we spent waiting on big sister's hospital arrival. This little guy was so alert and sweet...and in the words of his mom, looked like the tiniest old man ever. 

This fresh 48 newborn session was simple and beautiful and something I hope that this family will cherish for a lifetime!

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. 

Fresh 48 Newborn Session at Memorial Hospital - South Bend, Indiana

I am so behind on my session shares! So lets flash back allllll the way back to Baby B whose birth I was so blessed to be able to capture. I also got to come back and capture the meeting of his big brother and what a sweet moment that was. I have no doubt that these two boys are going to grow up to be the best of friends...and cause lots of anxiety for their momma ;) #boymom

Baby Bodie's Fresh 48 Newborn Pictures in Elkhart, Indiana

Welcome to the world Bodie Alan! First, I need to say how much I adore his name. He's the second Bodie I've had this year and I just think it's the cutest and coolest little boy name. Second, Bodie Alan also happens to be the son of two of our very best friends (and the parents of my daughter's best girl friend). I always feel so blessed to be included in my friends' babies' first days earthside and this one was even more special because I got to capture the bond between him and his sister. 

Bodie was tiny like his sister, weighing in at just 5lbs 13oz but that didn't put a damper on his handsome! He was also long awaited for by his maternal grandparents; they had four granddaughters which made Bodie their first grandson. This little dude will have his work cut out for him with all of those ladies to grow up with, but I have no doubt he will be a tough guy Harley junky just like his daddy. I can't wait to capture the rest of this sweet boy's milestones throughout the year.

World Breastfeeding Week - Birth and Newborn Photographer / Plymouth Birth and Newborn Photography

This week is World Breastfeeding Week! Having joined the birth community in our area, I have learned so much about all things birth and baby. I've also learned to start to see beauty in places that I hadn't noticed it before (sadly). One of those places is breastfeeding. After photographing dozens of babies, I have also photographed dozens of nursing sessions and wow, those images always stop me in my tracks.

The bond is breathtaking.

As a mom who nursed for 18 months, I know first hand the bond that breastfeeding can create between a mother and baby. Capturing that bond in an image is always so stunning. Whether it is a brand new baby or an older toddler, this bond is always immediately apparent in nursing pictures and I know without a doubt that these mothers will love looking back on these images (once those long nights of cluster feeding and comfort nursing have passed).

The moment is fleeting.

plymouth birth and newborn photography

Even for those moms who choose to (and are physically able to) partake in extended breastfeeding, the sweet moments of rocking and quietly whispering to their babies goes so fast. Suddenly, one day, you realize that your days of breastfeeding are numbered and your child needs you just a little less. Its such a bitter sweet feeling; partly relief to be "free" and partly heartbreaking to be a little less connected. 

It's beautiful.

south bend birth and newborn photography

Breastfeeding is just simply beautiful. A baby putting their entire trust and well being in their mother; their mother staring lovingly down at their child.

But it's beauty is far beyond face value. Breastfeeding in and of itself is a struggle; it takes determination, resilience and selflessness. It challenges even the toughest of women. It is literally giving your body to someone else for months on end. Its leaky and sore nipples, engorged breasts, pumps and shields. It is (or at least was for me) the most difficult thing you do in those early years of motherhood. And THAT makes it even more beautiful. 


A shoutout to the mommas who pump! I personally know moms who, for one reason or another, went the path of exclusively pumping and let me tell you, those ladies are rockstars. I mean, wow.

south bend birth and newborn photography

A note to the moms who didn't breastfeed: You rock. Whether you couldn't or chose not to does not matter in the least. You fed your baby. Your baby loves you regardless of nipple or bottle, breastmilk or formula or both. Your strength and beauty as a mom is equally as noteworthy and praiseworthy. This post and the World Breastfeeding Week is simply in support of normalizing and celebrating the act of breastfeeding.