alexandria children's photographer

Finn turns 2! // Alexandria, VA

When I was pregnant with Finn, we went to see Coldplay. When they played the song "Yellow", I felt very emotional (typical prego) and super connected to Finn in that moment. The song felt so powerful. After Finn was born, this continued to feel like "our song". Finn also loves the song.. but who knows if it is because he heard it live (slightly muffled), or if he just likes it. I'm not sure what the lyrics really mean, since Chris Martin doesn't seem to even be sure. Regardless, they have a powerful meaning to me.. or at least bring me back to the time when Finn was a tiny baby growing in my belly… and how much he has grown! Here are a couple of my favorite versus below. Full lyrics are here.

"Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah, they were all yellow.

Your skin,
Oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into
Something beautiful,
You know,
You know I love you so"

The first series seen below was taken at one of our favorite playgrounds, right near an overpass/bridge that we love to explore. The next two series below were taken at a marina near our neighborhood, along the Potomac River. This is just an example of how you can incorporate color into your outdoor photo sessions, even in the dead of winter. And you can still pull the effect of the warm, golden sunlight when you backlight the subject in that precious hour before sunset; "Golden Hour".

finn turns 2 // Alexandria, VA

This is a continuation of the below posts, journaling Finn's 2nd year; leading up to his 2nd birthday in December 2014. I will be posting all week. The final post taken the week of his 2nd birthday will be up tomorrow!

I love these two photo sessions seen below. The first one was taken in September.. on one of our last "summery" days, at the park around the corner. This was Finn's favorite place to go all summer long (besides the beach). I am so glad I decided to grab my camera as we ran out the door that day. These will be some seriously treasured photographs for years to come. I taught him to run the bases (although he preferred to run the wrong way). He slid in the dirt, as if he already knew how baseball players slide (natural instinct for boys I think). His spirit was free here. I have a hunch this little man is going to love baseball. You should see his throw.

The second series was taken on our way to the local Halloween parade. Finn wasn't feeling well, so my super-talented, crafty husband made a school bus out of our radio flyer wagon. He made it with the box it came in, and painted it himself! Finn still rides it around and refuses to let us take the cardboard bus off. 

finn turns 2 (cont'd) // my new canon 5d mark iii

This is a continuation of the below post, journaling Finn's 2nd year; leading up to his 2nd birthday in December 2014. I will be posting all week. 

The first series seen here (Finn in his plaid overalls) was taken at a local music festival in Alexandria, which is one of our favorite local events all summer. The next series (and all photos from hereon out) were taken with my amazingly, incredible, brand new Canon 5D Mark iii. We were in Delaware for the 4th of July, visiting the Grandparents (and Finn was exploring their backyard). The last series was taken in my kitchen. It was so hot out that Finn wanted water time in our kitchen sink, not the outdoor baby pool. The lighting was to die for, so I whipped out my new camera to continue getting familiar with it. 

You can see the astounding difference in image quality/clarity/color between the 5D and my loyal ol' Canon 40D. You could say I'm satisfied with my purchase! If you are thinking about purchasing a professional camera, as a professional or striving-to-be-professional photographer, the 5D is worth the purchase. I've also heard great things about the Canon 70D and 6D, if you don't want to break the bank. If you are just a Mom/Dad or amateur/hobbiest, I would recommend something a bit more affordable. I started with the Canon Rebel, which was an incredible starter camera! Do your research and ask someone who knows about this stuff if researching is too overwhelming. I went with the 5D because I did want the high ISO (for indoor low light situations. I knew I would be diving into the wedding industry, needing high ISO when the flash wasn't an option, or my style of choice.

Welcome to the world, little one // Northern VA

Sweet little Emmaline was born into a house full of love, laughter and a whole lot of activity. She has a big brother AND a big sister to chase after for years to come. It's a good thing that Emmaline has a very easy-going temperament. She actually seemed to perk up with curiosity when she heard her brother and sister talk or laugh. These kids are going to have a blast together. Sure, there will be fighting and tears– but there will also be laughter and super-fun-happy-times. Evan and Ellie are going to be amazing big siblings to Miss Emmaline. Apparently Ellie doesn't take anything from anyone, and has already stood up for her big brother Evan. I think Emmaline is one lucky little girl to have that big sister Ellie! What a fun bunch.

My heart swelled seeing how much Emmaline's parents cherish her. Seeing a Mom hold her newborn child is one of the most beautiful, heart-warming images. Then put a tiny baby girl in her Father's arms and your heart melts all over again.

I normally like to spend a good amount of time on posing the baby, capturing "naturally posed newborn" images. But the shoot led me in the direction of capturing a lot of candid family portraits and "life moments". I love that this happened, since these are much more special and natural than some of the posed newborn shots. They capture the relationship and special bond between the family and the newborn. The little red sack that Emmaline wore in a few of the posed shots came as a gift from a friend of the family (a neighbor I think). I just ADORED that sack! What a beautiful, hand-made gift. I think someone should open a shop on Etsy!

This little beauty was making my camera sing. That hair! Those lips! Those ears! Enjoy!


turquoise waters // finnstagram // NEW turquoise logo

I decided to write about my BIG news first. I am changing my name to Ann White! After five years of marriage and birthing a huge baby boy, I decided it would be super awesome to share a name with my little clan. I am all about unity, and think that quite honestly–the whole world should be more on the same page with unity. You know, world peace and all that. So, I'm starting with uniting with my family. No more division! I would rather keep things simple, so I am changing my photography name to Ann White Photography also. SO, my url will be changing to and my Finnstagram stream is now Annwhitephoto. Please have patience while I slowly make this transition. Blarg. Anywho, you'll also see my new Ann White Photography logo in this post, and my new "AW" mark on the blog post photo. That will be my signature on all photographs posted on my blog–and throughout the interworld. Aw, so cute! Sorry, had to.

For any of you that follow me on Instagram, you know that my stream is called Finnstagram. This is because my son pretty much takes over the whole stream. Don't make fun. Is it so wrong that I am obsessed with my child? Plus, he is a great test subject. Regardless of the fact that I am using an iPhone so frequently, it is PRACTICE. For any aspiring photographers, the best thing you can do is practice, practice and practice some more. The iPhone is great practice, even if you can't use all of the fun settings on your SLR. You are practicing framing, timing and how to use light. I did have the pleasure of assisting my Aunt at my cousin's newborn photoshoot last weekend, and of course I learned a few new things! Such a blast. I will post about that shoot soon!

But today I felt like we all needed a much-needed boost that summer is right around the corner. Here are some of my favorite photos form my Babymoon in St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands (almost two years ago!). Oh, and that fat donkey you see? She was pregnant! I fed her because I knew how hungry a prego can get.

Sweet baby Nolan

There was another very special baby that was born right before Christmas. Finn's younger cousin, Nolan. We were so glad that our rotation of holiday visits landed on this side of the family for this past Christmas, which fell two weeks after Nolan was born. The timing couldn't have been more perfect! He came into this world calmly and is just about one of the most laid back babies that I have ever met. He is also incredibly sweet and snuggly. Finn is always SO excited to follow his big cousin Trevor around, trying desperately to keep up. One day Finn, one day. It will be fun to see the three of them following each other around next year!

Here are some tips for any Mommy photographers or Moms that are just trying to take photographs of their newborn: Stay calm, patient, turn up the heat, have a blow-dryer handy, burp the baby, rock the baby and photograph near a window. See more below...

We had the heat set to 80 degrees, went through 5 diaper changes2 feedings and ran the hair-dryer before little Nolan happily fell asleep on his parent's bed. Also, his Mommy's relaxed and soothing attitude (see her hand on him below) helped him fall asleep with not a care in the world. Having the Mom stay close usually helps keep the little one relaxed. If they are hungry though, they will smell her and wail. So keep them well fed! Some babies do get distracted by Mommy's sent regardless, so if they don't calm down, send her away to get some R&R. Using the parents bed is a great way to have a lot of space around the baby to work with. Just make sure you shoot in the room of choice when the lighting is best. Don't get frustrated if the baby is awake, those can be beautiful photographs as well. When they sleep though, they tend to have a more relaxed face, with no "Benjamin Button" wrinkles, haha. A hair-dryer, white noise machine (a ton of apps for your smart phone) or a vacuum cleaner also tend to stop the crying if it gets really bad. Remember to burp the baby after the feedings as well, and don't rush! A last ditch method is to either you or the Mommy hold the baby on their back with the head in your hands and feet pressed into your belly and sway him/her left to right (back and forth), keeping their feet in the same place. This motion creates some kind of effect that is similar to being in the womb. Remember to be patient, and give yourself 2-4 hours if needed. Babies are like sharks and pick up on fear, hahaha! G'luck!