Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Lots of green in 2013!

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Grand Rapids Family Photographer

Dreaming of summer! Got to shoot my sister’s kids at the end of last summer.  I am longing for some warm weather like this again.  Me and the rest of Michigan!


My sister’s family loves the water and she’s been wanting a beach session for awhile. We decided that this year, the little girls were finally old enough that it would work without everyone being completly soaked and covered in sand!


We planned to be on the beach early to get there before it got too hot and too sunny. Well, wouldn’t you know, I got a late start because I was bringing all my kids with me and well, we were on a summer schedule, not a get up at 6:30 schedule and she got a late start because there was a storm the night before and they lost power in the middle of the night so it took longer to get ready and then…she couldn’t get her car out of the garage without electricity.


But it all worked out.   We all made it there, the pictures turned out so cute, and the kids had a great time.








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Grand Rapids Newborn Photographer

Still cold outside, but it’s a comfy 85 degrees in the studio! What a cutie!  :) Twelve days old.


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Newborn Photography and Safety

As you know, I love newborn photography.  There’s nothing quite like a new mom or dad entrusting me to capture images of their child’s first days.

While getting great pictures is a priority, it’s not my first priority.  Keeping the baby safe and comfortable is my #1 concern.  There are a lot of ways I do this, but here are a couple of examples.


One of the most important precautions is that for newborn shoots, I always have an assistant.  Bonnie Stewart of Bonnie Stewart Photography and I assist each other on newborn shoots.  Working with the same person all the time is helpful because we know the routine and how to help each other.  It’s impossible to be behind the camera AND within arm’s reach of the baby.  So having an assistant is an absolute necessity.  One of us is always just out of the frame in case the baby makes a sudden movement.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve edited Bonnie out of a newborn picture!

Here she is!  And there’s her foot!


We keep the room at a comfortable temperature for the baby even though we are roasting!  We dress in layers and make sure the baby stays toasty warm for the whole session.  We’re continually monitoring his or her little fingers and toes to see if we need to adjust anything.  In addition to the normal furnace, we have a powerful space heater and then a smaller heater that we can put right by the baby.  The smaller heater is quite mild so we don’t run the risk of burning baby.

We keep the studio very sanitary, as well.  Blankets, pads, and the like get washed each time they are used.  And we sanitize our hands throughout the session.


The babies are kept pretty cozy with plenty of towels and support underneath them.  If they’re in a basket, you can be sure it’s super soft in there and they are well-supported.


Some shots have a lot more going on than meets the eye.  Composite images are another trick we have for getting some cute poses that babies aren’t really capable of doing.  We think this picture is pretty cute, but I feel like it’s important for people to know how we got the image so people don’t try it on their own.

We don’t do this pose with every baby.  Babies are all different and we work with their preferences and what they are comfortable doing.  They let us know right away what they like!  This baby liked this position.  But even so, we’d never try to have a newborn baby stay in this position all by himself.  It’s actually a composite of two shots.  We get one of the top half and one of the bottom half and merge them together in Photoshop.  Result?  Total cuteness!


See how happy babies are when we keep them safe?  :)





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  • elenaMarch 3, 2014 - 9:15 pm

    what a sweet newborn session. it is so important making sure that both viewers and parents are aware of all of the safety that goes into these sessions. thanks for posting!

  • KatherineMarch 3, 2014 - 10:13 pm

    This is a great post on safety! How fun that you have a fellow photographer friend you can work with on your sessions!

  • JenniMarch 4, 2014 - 7:53 am

    What a great post!!! Newborn safety is so “unseen” and I think it is so important to communicate hat the images are not always what they seem :-)

Bradley | Grand Rapids Newborn Photography

How can you not like your job when it involves snuggling little ones like this? Oh my word-little Bradley Chase is so adorable.  A Valentines baby, he was just twelve days new the day of his newborn session.

Bradley’s parents are great.  Chrissie was one of my kids’ youth leaders for a time and even accompanied them all the way to Philly.  It was so reassuring knowing Chrissie was there as she’s a constant calm and gentle presence that I knew might be needed on a crazy youth group trip.  Chrissie works in a classroom with autistic students and is working on her masters in Applied Behavior Analysis.  Busy lady!

Bradley’s dad makes guitars.  That’s right.  Makes them!  He’s in school perfecting this craft and they requested some shots with Bradley and the guitar.  First time ever doing that, but it’s always fun to try something new.  Learned that guitar shots are best with the diaper on!  I had no idea, but each guitar takes over 100 hours to craft.  The one pictured below is the first one he ever made.  Kyle also loves to play the guitar and write his own music.

If he’s not destined to be a musician like his dad, then maybe he will be in the modeling business because he is our first baby EVER to not need a single break to eat. Or fuss. Or eat some more.

He slept like a dream. And when he was awake, he was as happy as could be. Sometimes those awake shots are tricky because they’re stretching and moving around so much that it’s hard to get a pleasing picture. Bradley, though, just stayed right where we put him and looked at us with those big blue eyes.

This session was especially nice because I photographed Bradley’s parents’ wedding back in 2012 and it’s so fun to see them now with a little one.



And I couldn’t resist reaching into the archives for some from their wedding!

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  • JenFebruary 28, 2014 - 1:08 pm

    Great session!

  • Missy BFebruary 28, 2014 - 1:12 pm

    So cute and what gorgeous eyes!

  • KristinFebruary 28, 2014 - 2:24 pm

    How adorable!! And so much fun to see the wedding photos at the end as well!

  • Candy HoehnFebruary 28, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    OMG! I love that froggy pose. He looks so relaxed!

  • StacyFebruary 28, 2014 - 3:13 pm

    I had no idea it took so long to make a guitar! That is impressive! What a gorgeous baby!!

  • AmandaFebruary 28, 2014 - 7:36 pm

    Beautiful photos of baby and wedding! Yes ALOT of work goes into the making of instruments! My brother’s make guitars and mandolins and banjos! : )

  • AllisonMarch 2, 2014 - 9:34 pm

    Awesome work! Very informative!! Thank you!

  • june scoutenMarch 4, 2014 - 8:22 am

    beautiful work !! kyle was our neighbor for awhile that is how we knew him .so pleased to see he has a beautiful baby boy .. I didn’t exspect any less ! I have a new grandbaby coming in june and would love for you to photograph her. your work is amazing !!

  • LynetteMarch 4, 2014 - 10:37 am

    great job, love the little guy posing on his hand

  • Effie L.March 4, 2014 - 11:30 am

    How awesome that you are able to document their life like this?!?
    From their wedding to their little newborn!

    Great job with both!

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