Little Mr P I’ve been Photographing since before he was born, beginning with his parent’s maternity session at Tyler State Park a little more than a year ago. He is one of my Baby planners and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him grow this fist year. Recently I photographed his first birthday portraits and cake smash in my Bucks County portrait studio. He was absolutely wonderful, giving me a full range of different expressions and smashing his cake like a pro. Here are a few of my favorite images from Mr. P’s first birthday portraits.
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How did we get here? This past weekend my little boy turned two. It’s almost unbelievable to me that my son is two years old already. It’s been a very, very fast two years, its gone by in a flash and frankly I don’t like it. (hahaha) He’s a wild, snugly, car loving little crazy one and I wouldn’t want him any other way. I’m so glad i’m his mama and I really can’t wait to see who he grows up to be, but just slow down little man.
I Photographed these two sessions in my Bucks County PA Studio. Their first session was a maternity session where mom and dad brought their Wentzylvania shirts and I had them pose with the same football and bow we would eventually pose their little lady with for her newborn session. Which she was an absolute angel for!
Baby D was such a little sweetheart for his session, he didn't give me any trouble at all. We even got a chance to grab some outdoor shots while he was at my Holland Studio. Outdoor Newborn portraits are really becoming a favorite of mine, with this new green space right out my back door, these shots are even more convenient than ever.
Generally after the big Christmas rush of November and December I don't often get to photograph sessions for New Years, this year was a little different. I've photographed this couple and their fur-baby Addie for their Christmas card photo for years now. This year we opted for a New Years card with a wonderful and exciting message inside. We decided that their New Years card would be the perfect opportunity to announce their BIG New Years resolutions, both Addie & Mom and Dad. 2016 is going to welcome a new bundle on joy into their lives and I couldn't be happier for them. I can't wait to meet their little Price or Princess (AKA Addie's New little Human) Happy New Year Everyone!
The 2016 New Years Resolutions:
Don't Forget the Studio is Moving to Holland PA 18940 this January Serving Newtown Richboro Upper Southampton Northampton langhorne Churchville warminster warrington doylestown feasterville Morrisville Wrightstown Ivyland Furlong Washington Crossing and New Hope PA Pennsylvania
Christmas is almost here! Yay! I've closed my Calendar for 2015 already, what a year it's been! I've already started booking Sessions for 2016, including newborns and cake smashes. This year I thought I would do something special for my Winter Newborn sessions. All Newborn sessions will include a free set of 25 custom designed 5x7 Linen or pearl finish birth announcements with an ala' carte or Create your own collection purchase. With Christmas right around the corner it's easy to forget that newborn sessions need to be booked in advance so here is a great reminder and opportunity to save a little on these precious memories! Fill out my Contact form HERE and I will help you get the ball rolling on booking your session!
Before I took my annual vacation this year I got to meet this little lady at my studio in Feasterville for her newborn session. She did wonderfully, it was the perfect last session before a vacation week. Miss A was a perfect little angel, loved to snuggle, and slept so well. I couldn't get over her beautiful red hair, and chunky cheeks. Here are a few of my Favorite images from her session.
This little lady was sure a sweet little girl, slept like an angel and oh so snugly during her session. (I consider getting to snuggle babies as a major perk of my job.) Mom and Dad brought a few special items along with them for our session, one a hat, the other a chair. The hat was so cute, a little pink and purple bull dog hat, they are all about bull dogs and told me they have rescued a few in their time. They also have a "fur-child", which is a bull dog of course, and she is the princess of the house. I think Baby S is going to give her a run for her money as the princess and they may need to agree to co-rule the house. The Second item was a rocking chair, it was a very special item to mom because it belonged to her father as a child. Baby S is a little too young to be rocking in a rocking chair just yet, so my pal bear hung out in it while she napped peacefully. Hopefully in the next few months we can show how she grows while reaches new milestones using the rocker and maybe for her first birthday we can get her rocking away just like her grandfather did when he was a little one.
July and August have been two busy months for Maternity and newborn sessions. I hung out with mom and dad in July for their Maternity session, August brought my chance to hang out with this little lady at the studio for a few hours. The theme of her nursery is Owls so mom brought along an owl hat to grab some shots in for hanging in her bedroom and we got a ton. Mom and dad also brought something else along, now I have posed newborns in and on a number of crazy things in my years as a photographer, but this was a first. When mom told me about the "slab", as we started referring to it, I didn't exactly understand what she was talking about. Well, as it turns out, I had it all wrong in my head, the "slab" was just that, a Slab of wood cut from a tree and used as the cake stand at their wedding. Once I saw it I totally got what she was saying, and really wasn't aware of a term for a flat piece of wood cut from a tree, so slab fit perfectly. I love the idea that it was used as their cake stand and now their little baby girl was napping on it. I've encouraged mom to bring it back for little Ms. R's 6 month milestone session this winter, I think it would be a great piece to show how much she grows.
This happy little lady visited me at my Feasterville - Trevose Studio for her first birthday portraits. She was a funny little lady, and so very happy and expressive. Her expressions run the gamut but I would say that the most variety was in the number of different smiles I got from her. We captured everything from, small sweet smiles to big laughing grins, it was fantastic, such a smiley little one. Check out all of her happy faces!
Very rarely do I get the chance to say that mother nature is really on my side, especially in the summer months. Often my summer sunset sessions are threatened by crazy thunderstorms, which we get so very often and randomly this time of year. Now, when a client has requested portraits in a large open field, the chance of a severe thunderstorm makes me a bit nervous, as we generally are the tallest things in the field at the top of the hill. This Maternity session was up in the air, up until about an hour before, when the weather service cleared the chance of a severe storm. I was so relieved that we didn't have to postpone till the following Saturday, and at the time little did I know their little lady was going to be making her big debut a bit earlier than originally expected. So Mother Nature really was on our side that day, because if we would have postponed they never would of gotten their maternity session. Also less than a week later the township mowed down the tall grass in the fields and made them into hay bales, I never see that coming! The Friday after we photographed the maternity session little Miss E arrived. This little lady is also a member of our studio Baby plan, so you will be seeing a lot more of her over the next year. This may be the first time that I get to share both a maternity and a newborn session in the same blog post with you. I hope you enjoy!
Funny story... I actually photographed this little guy's cousin last year for her first birthday, the same time I was working with Mr. J's mom to set up a first year plan for him. I did think it was interesting that I had two clients with the same last name, but didn't think of it much further than that. Turned out they were in fact related and didn't even realize they were both using Wonderland Portrait Boutique. How's that for a coincidence?
Over the past year I've photographed this little guy from before birth all the way to this session that we photographed his first birthday portraits and cake smash. His big brother tagged along to this session so we popped him in for one or two shots as well. During the whole session, big brother knew that there was a cake waiting for the end and did not miss a chance to remind his mom and I how much he wanted some of that cake! The cake was absolutely gorgeous as well, it was custom made by the Birthday Boy's aunt. I was really impressed by the quality and the work put into it, because making beautiful cakes is not her full time profession (I know, can you believe that?)!
Mr. J did fantastic for his formal shots, not missing a chance to show off how well he is walking now either. It never seizes to amaze me how quickly they go from a newborn to a walking little person full of smiles and energy. It really feels like yesterday that we were photographing his newborn portraits. He was not shy when it came to the cake either, these boys are definitely fans of eating cake. Mr. J did stop and look at his mom with the expression of "Really? I can play with this and get messy? Are you sure Mom?", but as soon as she encouraged him to go ahead he dove right in and thoroughly enjoyed his birthday cake. Check out and enjoy the adorable-ness that is Baby J.
Seriously how stinkin' adorable is this cake?!?
One last image to leave you with, that will hopefully make you chuckle as much as it made me. This is big brother's hand reaching for a little left over cake once baby J was done with it. He's one funny kid.
I recently posed a question to my Facebook followers.
"What’s the most overwhelming thing about having your photo taken?"
Majority of them stated, getting their children to cooperate. One of my long term clients wrote this: "Mine use to be child behavior, but now that you do my pictures it's so easy. Sometimes it's better just to walk away and let you do you thing. They always come out better that way!"
Now honestly I didn't pay her to write that (even though it sounds that way), but I am going to share the advice that I gave her many moons ago. This is one of my biggest tips, even though I have a ton, but I'm leading with the biggie.
Children are very sensitive beings, which I'm sure you know. If you're happy, they get happy. If you're sad, they get sad. If you're excited, they get excited. If your stressed , they get stressed. Let me repeat that last one again, for effect. If you're stressed, THEY GET STRESSED.
So lets touch on this one a little bit further. Mom's train of thought :: Oh My Goodness Bobby better sit still in one spot and listen to this photographer. He better smile. He better not embarrass me. What if he is rude? What if he just ignores her? I'm going to take away his iPad time if he's not good, I swear:: Or, well, something along those lines at least. So the day of your session arrives and now these thoughts have been rolling around in your head for a while, the scary fuzzy purple monster, known as stress, is growing. You can feel the anxiety expanding. You hit my studio doorway or our meeting place at the park and it's oozing from your pours. I can feel it and so can your child.
Let's first address what "good" means for a portrait session with Wonderland Portrait Boutique. For me, I want your child to be him or herself. Every kid has their own unique personality, and I want to see it. All normal rules go out the window during a session. For example a few weeks ago I told a child put their feet on my couch with shoes on! Eek! She looked at her mom for approval as I said "I'm sure this is a no no at home, but that is why I bought a faux Leather couch, I can wipe it down." Mom nodded at her with approval, she happily popped her feet up. The only times I will really expect parents to correct a child is if they are doing something dangerous. If your two year old wiggles out of the pose I put him in, you don't need to correct them and threaten to take away their post session treat. That is just how a two year old is, and I know that I will have to continually put them back into a pose. When a kid is having a good time at a session they get silly and wiggly, it comes with the territory. On the opposite end are shy children. Shy kiddos generally just need a little bit of time to open up and get comfortable. With these children I find that I just need to speak softer to and play some silly games to gain their trust. All children go through stages, they just hit them at different times. I try to always be adaptable to each child's personality.
So now let's talk about that scary purple monster mom (or dad) has been carrying around for the last two weeks. When it comes to children's photography you can't have any lofty expectations of Gap Ads. All the children on my website and facebook page are normal kids, I never work with professional models. All these children are showing off their own authentic personalities. I've learned that asking a bright bubbly child to pose with a serious face doesn't always work out. Same thing with a shy child, they aren't going to be comfortable being photographed in a very populated location. You know your child better than anyone. Who are they? Do they love books? Would they like to show off their action figure collection? What is it about Bobby that make him who he is?
Once my long term client (mentioned above), realized her son is just a little funny man she was ok with the silly banter between he and I. He is allowed talk back to me during a session. Obviously, all parents want their kids to be respectful to adults, and he is, when we aren't shooting a session. When he's in front of my camera, he knows it's ok to call me a poopie head and he loves it, of course taking full advantage. Honestly, he makes me laugh so hard during sessions now, the things he comes up with are hilarious. That is him, that is his personality.
I am by no means a child psychologist, I've just seen a lot of kids in the last 12 years, and I've picked up on the trends. I've seen parents loose their cool way too often and I've found most of the problem is the parent's expectation. Most folks are on Pinterest now and see these amazing fun poses and images. The thing that non photographers have to remember is you can't compare your everyday to someone else's highlight reel. That is exactly what Pinterest is, a Highlight reel, it's the best of the best. I'm not saying that Pinterest worthy sessions aren't a possibility, what I'm saying is that expecting to duplicate an exact pose and expression isn't always a realistic goal. Letting your kids be themselves is going to yield your best result.
Parents striving for a "perfect" portrait often stress themselves out, which the child feels and acts appropriately to something they feel is now scary. They want to grab mom or dad's leg or be held. Every one of those parents says to me "I don't know why he is acting this way, he's never done this before". It's that common, I honestly hear it often. I don't want to come a across as I'm telling people how to parent their kids. I want my clients to have the best possible portraits. I know what it takes to have a successful session and I realize that parents want this information.
A successful session starts with getting your child involved and excited. Since this post is already pretty long, I've decided to make this advice the subject of my next newsletter. I'm going to send my top tips for a successful session directly to you. Click here to sign up for my Newsletter to ensure you will receive all these tips.
So I have to admit I've had a huge FAIL Happen recently. I became a victim of letting life happen to me and quickly loosing track of time. Almost weekly parents tell me how they didn't believe that the first year of their child's life goes by too fast until it's gone and they are now planning a Cake smash with me. I woke up the other day and realized it's APRIL!
Yeah I know my phone tells me daily, conveniently on the screen I unlock about a million times a day, but really how many of us actually pay attention to that. The last few months I've just been floating through life and letting it happen instead of making things happen and celebrating the everyday. I've fallen behind in all aspects of my life. I've lost touch with friends, in fact I still have Christmas presents hanging around I never shipped out (guess I should get on that). I've had to scramble to get projects done because all the sudden the deadline is on my door step faster then I thought two weeks could ever go by. I've seen home projects fall by the wayside. Oh and forget about that scrapbook I started on New Years Day, that just sits. There are also a few crochet projects that are sitting on the shelf gathering dust too.
Yet in the midst of all this, I'm always on the go. I always have something to do. Are they always the things that are most important to me? Eh. Probably not, but that's life. That is how it works. We become all consumed with the trivial little things, like trips to the mechanic's, or adding up the year's receipts and we miss out.
We miss out on all the great things in life.
Mainly I'm writing this post because I realized that my sweet niece is now 2 Months old. At the same time I'm realizing I never shared more than a few of her newborn portraits and I've already taken more portraits of her for Easter. So here is a giant Post of Alyssa and a Promise to myself to take life by the horns and direct it where I want to go, instead of waiting for things to happen to me.
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.- Dr. Suess
So those Easter pictures... Yeah. See the days that I always choose for picture day also seem to coincide with Alyssa's Diva days. Her first Newborn session was, well to put it nicely, a challenge. They brought her back a week later JUST to do the tire poses and she was a perfect angel. I got a ton of shots of her. The Day that I chose for her Easter session, just happened to be the day she was laughing in the face of the sandman and missed her morning nap. I don't know if it was that she was tired or really hated the dress I picked up for her but she gave me some interesting expressions. I've never had a little one be so uninterested in the funny noises and faces I'm making at them. Normally these would not be photos that I would even share but her tiny little faces are pretty funny when looked at all together. My Favorite dress image has to be the close up face in the center of the next collage, she looks really unimpressed with me. (I think I may print and frame that one just to keep me grounded day to day.) We Finally coaxed a few grins out of her once we put her in her "casual" outfit. Also Please note that I feel the final image in this post should be captioned "Really guys? Bunny ears?"
I've had a lot of babies and birthdays in the studio recently. I've had six month baby milestone sessions, newborns, and this little guy for his birthday. He was super funny and was a fantastic little model. He sat and posed for a good long while, then he realized he could get up and go, at that point the chase was on. One is a very busy age, when everything needs to be discovered, so this was no surprise. The surprise came when we sat him down in front of his cake he sat there enthralled with his cake. He attempted to stuffed handful after handful of that blue icing right in his mouth, but much to our delight missed the mark a few times, getting it all over his face. Dad helped him dive past the icing into the actual cake and oh boy did little man love that. At that point he was grabbing handfuls of cake, totally in the cake eating zone, it was as if nothing could break his focus. Normally, I have babies who play in and eat the cake for a little while and then get bored of it, Mom had to practically tear him away when it was time to clean up. This little guys really cracked me up with his laser focus on the cake. Check out his awesome model shots followed by some cake destruction.
In the past year I've had a few of my regular clients move away because work was transferring them. This family is one of those families, they are moving over seas to Europe in the next few weeks. Mom contacted me early for her little one's first birthday session because of this. I've known mom and dad for years and photographed them before their little girl arrived last year and in previous years for holiday cards. (See last years Maternity Session Here) I'm excited for them as they begin a new adventure but I'm also a little sad because I know I will only get to see their family grow from a distance, through Facebook and what not. I was so happy to be able to photograph Little Miss G's first birthday before they took their big trip across the pond to their next adventure. She did fantastic. She wasn't in the least bit worried about getting messy and loved the cake. That being said it was a bit of a challenge for mom to get all the cakes off as she kept some clutched in her hand, Maybe a snack for later I suppose? I had one Wonderland Family move across the country this past Fall. While I love seeing the fun pictures they post from their new home in California, it's also kind of sad for me. I know that I missed out on their youngest's first birthday, and sadly I don't know anyone in their area so I was unable to refer them any photographers. I know another Wonderland Family who will be moving south in the next month or two. They will be too far to visit my studio for regular sessions but we've decided maybe we can get together when I'm on my annual vacation in North Carolina, as that will be just a short drive for them.
All of my Wonderland Families are special to me, I like to think of every single one as a friend, and I truly miss them. I wish all of them luck in the next chapters of their lives and I plea to them, keep posting updates to Facebook and Instagram. I can't wait to see who your little people grow up to be.
When mom and dad arrived at my Feasterville - Trevose Photo studio it was actually flurrying, the perfect greeting for a Winter Newborn. This pretty little lady did a great job for her first photo session, she was super sleepy and so easy going. Born at the end of November we did a few "regular" newborn setups, but of course had to do some Christmas shots to commemorate her First Christmas. I'm super excited to share this beautiful little lady with all of you. Enjoy!
I just love the sessions that the kids get to be a little messy and don't have to worry about sitting and smiling. Much more personality happens during these sessions than any other. This little lady was full of personality! We started off in an adorable little ruffle outfit that mom had purchased for her first birthday picture specifically. Minutes before we got started my new vintage sofa arrived, I was super excited to use it and it looks amazing with her outfit. Miss A thought sitting on a couch wasn't as fun as standing, so I made sure mom was right next to her at all times for safety. Miss A was so funny, once she was down off the couch she was quite the mover and shaker, I think they have a little track star on there hands. While we were using the floor and the fuzzy rug, she crawled quickly right toward me and nearly down the lens barrel, she had me laughing! Once it was time to move onto the cake smash and get messy the real fun started. She almost couldn't believe we put the whole cake in front of her and she was allow to just play, and play she did. There was pink icing everywhere, on her legs, on her toes, her belly, and maybe even a little in her hair. She finger painted with it and created quite the art piece on the floor as well. She had a blast getting messy!
On my website it says that Newborn portraits are photographed with in the first 10 days after birth, in fact most photographers says this as well. Because of this people often think that after 10 days you just can't get pictures of a baby before 3 months. This Little fella was just about a month old for his session and he did great! There are just little differences between under and over 10 days old. After they are closer to a month your not going to get the curled up sleeping shots every time, some babies will, but it's not an easy thing to make happen. Personally I think you can still get great shots of an older newborn. Once they hit the 2 week mark the babies start to realize just how much room they really do have, they stretch out into it, and become more alert. This little guy was bright eyed and bushy tailed for his entire session, and Man, did he have some adorable little expressions going on! He responded really well to voices, especially mom's, he followed me and the camera with his eyes and was just plain content for almost the entire session, till it was time to eat. He really did fantastic and was so full of personality already!
Today I'm sharing another adorable, sweet, tiny little newborn. This isn't just any adorable, sweet, tiny newborn, oh no, he is already a sports fan. His Dad arrived with all kind of great props for Little E's session. I love including family heirlooms and other personal items into my newborn sessions, and I do pretty often, but it's a rarity to have someone arrive with a signed Penn State Football helmet. Even more rare, the fact that it is signed by the one and only Joe Paterno. How cool is that? Dad also brought along all kinds of golf accessories. I was really excited for the golf items and getting to incorporate them. I've done Baseball, football, heck even drag racing for newborn sessions but golf was a new exciting sports element to try out. I had a blast with Mr. E that day, he was so pleasant and not much of a complainer. He slept like a champ during his visit to the studio. Check him out!