black & white

Little Carson man // 3 months // Oak Knoll Park // St. Louis, MO

It isn't very often that I get the opportunity to photograph a 3 month old. People tend to stick to the newborn/6mo/1yr sessions—thinking there are rules to the stages which you should  capture your child. Really, there is no standard! It was a blast capturing this little man at this age. What a riot. He reminded me of a little man (like most babies), and was such a trooper through it all. He is so laid back and easy going. A total Doppleganger of his Daddy. This guy was so wiped out that he took a nap after our park session—and you wouldn't have realized it during the session. He was wide eyed again and ready to give me a tour of his new digs when I arrived at his beautiful home. I just loved doing this session for yet another of my old neighbors. Only in St. Louis do you make deep, lasting friendships with your neighbors! Ok, that isn't true. But it sure is nice when you do, regardless of where you live! What a blast guys, thanks!

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Haleigh Madison // Charlotte, NC

I don't even know where to start with this beautiful girl, other than that I cannot believe this sweetheart is graduating from High School. I remember the day that I met my oldest niece (and her little sisters)—so clearly. She was around 7 or 8 years old. She stole my heart from day one. She ALWAYS had a big grin on her face, with eyes big and bright—eager to talk AND listen. Haleigh and her sisters always enveloped me with love, hugging me as much as they could from that first day (and to this day STILL). Haleigh was a barrel of energy as a little girl, and as sweet as sweet can be. She has always been incredibly graceful, with long limbs and a tall frame. And this is why she always would shine on the dance floor. She was like an awkward little long-legged, skinny fawn as a girl, and has grown into a beautiful doe. Graceful, strong and gorgeous. I am so proud of you Haleigh, and am fighting tears as I type this! You are such a beautiful woman, inside and out! Your heart is big and will touch so many people's lives. You will be an amazing nurse—or whatever else your heart desires. LOVE YOU!

Little Lucy // St. Louis, MO

Little Lucy came into the world with a head full of beautiful dark hair, and two completely, utterly, smitten parents. I love that "new parent" look almost as much as I love the newborn stretch and yawn pose (see below). I am thrilled to say that Miss. Lucy is my first ever, outdoor newborn session. AND, this session occurred in the midst of a thunderstorm. No, we did not put her in harms way, but we darted outside when the sky was beautifully overcast, in between storm clouds (it was a BIG in-between), to capture the dreamy outdoor shots. What troopers! Lucy just snoozed away, unaffected. I think this little peanut is going to love the outdoors!

Jackson turns 2! // Forest Park // St. Louis, MO

One of Finn's little buddies turned 2 recently, and I had the pleasure of photographing him and his super-cool parents. Jackson inherited his parent's demeanor— he is a laid back and VERY smiley little dude. 

We did the photo shoot at Forest Park in St. Louis, MO, right near the St. Louis Art Museum. It was an overcast morning, which I LOVE as a photographer (unless I am trying to capture the early or late Golden Hour lighting). A grey sky provides even lighting no matter where you go, and colors appear to be more vivid. 

Right as we were really getting into the heart of the shoot, out of NOWHERE the skies dumped down on us. I mean yes, the skies were grey… but there was little warning to this heavy rain cloud. Poor Jackson was a bit scared… as we ran for cover under the nearest tree. I have never been more worried about my camera equipment before (this is why we get insurance people). Fortunately, Jackson and the camera were not damaged or traumatized. But we all looked like wet dogs after the rain cleared, and had to wrap up the session. I did a mini follow up shoot at their house because I will re-book due to weather issues. So ended up with a variety of photos from both sessions... 

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!

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The sweetest

I had the pleasure of photographing one of the sweetest families I know. Big brother Evan and his little sister, Ellie are just two peas in a pod! They both are seriously mini-me versions of their parents. I love it! Evan is such a smart little guy, who says the funniest things (Hey, Mr. Photographer Man, can we try that big light on your camera for the next photo?). He was a pure natural at tree-climbing, and oh-so-fearless! Ellie is an old soul with twinkly blue (greenish) eyes and a big, beautiful smile (but shares it selectively, which I love). She loves to play chase and tickle her big brother too! I can't believe how much bigger these two sweeties have gotten since last year...

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