When people ask me what my favorite type of portrait session is, I keep finding myself saying that I love photographing new life. This is a funny development to me, because I also find newborn sessions to also be the most challenging of all portrait sessions. They take 2-10 times longer than any other type of session, and you are completely at the mercy of the brand new, tiny being, who I SWEAR are fully aware that it is an important day, so they must refuse to sleep, eat seventeen times, and pee or poop on all the things. Usually I find myself having a little freak out in my head – it goes something like “omg omg omg…ok…shes eating…that means she will sleep now…right?! RIGHT?!…nope. not sleepy at all…at least she’s calm. I can work with that – we want some alert eyes in some of the photos anyway….ohhhhkay not as happy as i thought….lets try to get some with mom & dad….baby won’t be only focus AND she will probably calm down being held…win-win am i right?!…..oh god now she’s rooting again….time to eat…how do i always forget that they are THIS HUNGRY….surely she will sleep after the SECOND feeding right?!….ok so she’s not sleeping still, but she’s happy…lets put on a blanket to keep her warm. maybe that will help…oh no, crying again…OMG ARE WE GOING TO HAVE ZERO USEABLE SHOTS AND ARE THESE PEOPLE GOING TO HATE ME AND THINK I AM THE WORST EVER AT THIS AND WHYYY….oh thank god, she’s sleeping!” Because of all the variables at play with newborns, I encourage holding the session in the home where everyone is comfortable, and always expect to have no expectations of these tiny babes. I mean they are new here, right? Gotta give them a learning curve. But for all their difficulties during sessions, I think that I love them the most because they are the most rewarding of all sessions. I can’t count the number of times I have left worrying that I had no usable images, and then felt so great about the final outcome. Luckily my session with Emma & her parents, Joanna & Brendan, only had a minimal amount of internal dialogue and panic! She was a total sweetheart! She was awake and asleep and hardly fussy at all. Total dream baby. I am so happy to share a few (hundred) of my favorites from our time together:
I had the pleasure of meeting up with Megan + Chris at a brand new (to me) location in Leesburg, VA last week. We went to Red Rock Wilderness Overlook, and I must say, the park didn’t disappoint! There were a ton of wooded trails, some really cool ruins, and some nice big trees to give us a ton of different scenes to choose from. Megan & Chris are probably the cutest parents-to-be. They are due to have a baby in just a little more than a month from now, and I can’t get over how fantastic Megan looks! The weather on the day of our session was a total stunner. The sun was shining, there was pretty much zero humidity, and it was a perfect 75 degrees! I need to figure out what place has this kind of weather all year long, and move there immediately. Anyone have any idea? As I am going through and editing the photos from Megan & Chris’s session, I keep thinking that this has got to be one of my most favorite recent sessions, so when I overload you with about a million images, its because I just can’t choose between which ones I like the most! Here are some that stood out to me:
Every summer, we spend as many weekends as possible on camping adventures. We went all in a few years ago and purchased an RV, and promised ourselves that we would use it! As a child, my family had a pull behind camper, and we frequented different campgrounds throughout the state, and I always remember those trips with such fondness, that I somehow convinced my husband we needed to do the same thing. Luckily, he bought into my wild plans, and here we are! Three years later, we have been on dozens of weekend, and week-long camping trips. We have been to various lakes and river campgrounds, but our favorite place of all is on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in Cape Charles. It is one of the few places in Virginia where you actually get to see a sunset over ocean-like water, which is always a stunner. Getting to Cape Charles is a feat in and of itself. The campground has a boat launch, but no marina/slips so we have to launch the boat every single time we want to take it out. This means we have to bring my car. So I drive separately, but have yet to agree to tow the boat, so poor Zac has to drive the RV and tow the boat…its like 60 feet long. As if this weren’t challenging enough, in order to get to Cape Charles, we have to cross one of the most frightening wonders of the world – the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The CBBT is a 20-mile long bridge with two underwater tunnels. The tunnels have one lane of traffic going each direction, just to spice it up a bit, and I get nervous in my car towing nothing, so I can’t even imagine how Zac feels with the bus boat mammoth mobile. Apparently in 1965 the CBBT was designated as one of the 7 engineering wonders of the modern world, and with good reason, because I can’t even imagine what went into building the monstrosity. I mean it has a restaurant in the middle. And a pier. So yeah, its pretty intense. Anyway, getting to Cape Charles takes a bit of work, but we just keep going back for more. We have been at least six times now (once in a minor hurricane), and are always planning the next trip. Every time we are in town, we find ourselves looking at real estate listings and driving around looking at the realty signs on the houses in town. Its a quaint and welcoming place, and they have the best ice cream shop, probably on the planet, and we somehow seem to excel at catching sharks in the bay (nothing else, though, and don’t worry we not only release ALL sharks caught and remove the hooks), which the kids LOVE, so that is enough for me. We were lucky enough to spend Labor Day Weekend this year in Cape Charles with some of our favorite friends. We caught 6 sharks this trip (4 more got away!), second only to our last trip in July where we caught 8, ate Brown Dog Ice Cream twice, and had the best time, as always. Here are a few of my favorite images from our trip!