Harry Potter Themed Baby Portraits :: Jacob’s 3 Month Photos

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Sometimes it’s fun to do something a little special when it comes to portraits.  Maybe you are a Harry Potter fan, like Jacob’s family.  Earlier this year you got to see Jacob’s newborn portrait session…. and now it’s time to share his three month baby portraits with you!

I was really excited when Jacob’s mom showed up with props in hand.  While it’s always fun for me to create unique portraits for my clients, I love it when they get involved in tailoring the vision and creating something truly personalized.  We made sure to put the Harry Potter books in the right order when stacking them, arranged everything so that it looked like we wanted.  After clamping the broom in place, we finally added the little wizard into the scene.  It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if you can, let me know yours!

We did two more settings for Jacob’s three month portraits — one with his parents’ textbooks and a doctor theme, and then a more traditionally styled portrait at the end.  What fun!

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When we first set Jacob into the Harry Potter theme, he was very awake and inquisitive. Lots of head holding, but still not really moving yet. Perfect for getting this kind of portrait!
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I love this expression. He’s so serious!
harry potter themed baby photo session 3 month baby portrait baby first year studio session dexter mi photographer
Those glasses are adorable. We tried a couple times to get them on Jacob a bit later in the series of photos I’m sharing….
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What a cute baby smile! And all those details… the books, the broom, the cauldron, the wand….. love it!
harry potter themed baby photo session 3 month baby portrait baby first year studio session dexter mi photographer
Here’s that portrait I was talking about with the glasses. Jacob was not a fan, and they came off almost immediately, but we got one good shot — and that’s what matters sometimes!
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We changed up the set a little with my grandfather’s old navy suitcase. It seemed like a great fit with the Hogwartz and Harry Potter theme. This one was to showcase Jacob’s cute onesie 🙂
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We put all of those portraits together to create this really great memories panel. I love designing these pieces with my clients — it’s really fun to see the design come together. The Harry Potter quote just makes it perfect!
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And with that, it was onto the next outfit. Jacob got a little break and mommy time while we tore down the Harry Potter set, and then it was onto the doctor themed portraits. I love this one…. his eyes are so intensely adorable!  I had a little fun personalizing this one for him too 🙂
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Jacob’s dad ended up getting a print of this portrait for his office. No, we didn’t really go on location, but sometimes I’m able to work some computer magic and create whimsical images like this one.  For this one, we set Jacob up next to his parents’ textbooks on a piece of flooring, with a white background.  After some creative work on my part, Jacob magically appeared in a hospital!
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And after another break, we moved onto Jacob’s last outfit. He was getting a little sleepy but we got a few smiles out of him….
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And then Jacob was tired out. Like that. He fell asleep and just chilled there while I finished up the session.  Love this sleepy smile…. adorable! What cute baby photos, right? This one ended up as a canvas wall portrait — which will look fantastic in their home.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing Jacob again for his next session — it’s always fun to see how much kids grow and change over their first year.  If you’d love to plan your own unique portrait session, please contact Betsy via the web or call 734-424-0472!  When we collaborate on the planning process, it’s easy to create a portrait that is themed to your interests and vision!

Painted Portrait – a Father Daughter moment…

One of the nice things about creating a painting is that I can meld several photographs into one piece — and it looks totally natural.  This painting was based on several photographs that we took during Yara’s newborn portrait session (see the blog post with some of our favorite newborn photos of Yara!).  It took me several versions of the painting to get things exactly the way I was envisioning, but that’s why I do this.  Because when all the pieces finally fall into place, it looks amazing.  Here’s the final painted portrait of Yara with her dad.

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I absolutely love how this painted portrait turned out! Adding in Yara’s dad made all the difference in the world. For me, the painting while cute beforehand, becomes something more. The beginning of a wonderful father-daughter relationship is captured here in the final version of the painting…. love it!
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I love the pastel tones in this painted portrait of Yara. This is the first version of the painting that I worked on before showing it to mom and dad. We felt it was lacking something…. so I added in dad. Isn’t it amazing what a difference it makes?

If you’d like to learn more about commissioning a painting from an existing photograph, or from a portrait we create during your next portrait session with me, get in touch! I’d love to talk with you about how the process works and help create a family heirloom that matches your lifestyle and vision. Contact the studio via our web form or call 734-424-0472 today!

Newborn Portraits of Baby Yara

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I got to meet Yara this summer… and she is adorable!  Her mom had the cutest outfits planned for Yara’s newborn portrait session too.  The only problem?  Yara, who was wide-eyed and cheerful at the beginning of her portrait session, just could not stay awake by the end!  No matter how much you plan, this sometimes happens… so we made some adjustments in our plans and instead of creating newborn portraits of a wide-eyed baby girl, we created some adorable sleeping newborn portraits at the end of her newborn session. Not what mom had planned, but sweet nonetheless.

Such is life!  Next time Yara comes to the studio, she will be a bit older, and I know we’ll capture some portraits with her not-so-sleepy-personality on display!

So, here’s a sneak peek of Yara’s portraits…. enjoy!

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Yara was wide awake at the beginning of her portrait session… just about as wriggly as a baby bunny too! But we got some cute portraits, including this one of her peeking out from under her hat. Love it!
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Between outfits, Yara needed some snuggles with her mama, so I got to capture this adorable portrait. Such a sweet baby girl!
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This is an outtake from Yara’s session. I think sometimes it’s helpful for my clients to see photos like this, because it can be super tough to visualize how baby gets settled into a particular pose or prop. Well, we do it carefully! Yara’s mom was within reach the whole time, and I always tell parents that safety comes first. After Yara fell asleep, her mom was able to move just out of the camera so I could capture the next few portraits.
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First, a close up of the adorable little sleeping beauty. Love that bow!!! Yara’s mom did a great job of picking out outfits and putting together accessories for the portraits. We may not have gotten any portraits of her awake in this outfit, but… sometimes that’s how it works. Newborns will be unpredictable in whether they are awake or asleep. Fortunately Yara will be coming to the studio frequently (Baby’s First Year plans rock!)… so next time around, we’ll get more portraits of an awake baby girl, I know it!
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And here’s the final frame. I absolutely love this one. So serene, so sweet. Yara was so precious to work with, and I look forward to seeing her again soon!!

That’s all I have for a sneak peek, but there is another adorable portrait in the works.  I have a little more work to do on it yet, as I’m making a digital painting…. but I’ll share that with you when it is ready for the world to see :).  So, for now, enjoy these portraits, and try to decide which is your favorite!

If you have a newborn, or are expecting soon, please contact me at 734-424-0472 to learn more about our Baby’s First Year plan!  It’s a great alternative to an a la carte portrait session, and you will love how easy your portrait experience is!  I’ve worked with babies of many temperaments, and it’s always fun to help bring out their personalities so you will end up with adorable portraits like these ones of Yara.  Not one newborn portrait session is alike, I can tell you that for sure!

Jacob’s newborn portrait at the studio, plus big sis!

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For sleeping newborn portraits, it’s almost always best to do the session when baby is less than a week old. Why almost? Well, because every once in a while, you get a stalwart nap objector — like Jacob! Jacob was determined to stay awake for his newborn portrait session, even though there was sleepy dust in the air!

It was actually really adorable.  I used a number of my photographer tricks to help Jacob try to fall asleep, but ultimately we gave up and went for photos where he just looks like he’s sleeping.  Too funny, right?

Jacob’s big sister was very intrigued by the whole portrait session process.  She wanted a front and center view of the action.  And I literally mean that.  Fortunately, mom and dad came prepared with snacks, and I had a stash of new-to-her toys — so big sis was happily occupied for a lot of the portrait session.

Life is all about making adjustments and being flexible. And that’s how I manage my portrait sessions too.

Usually when we create sibling portraits in the studio, I have all the kids in front of the camera at the same time.  But, for this set of siblings, I could tell that just wasn’t going to work!

I am so grateful that my clients were willing to trust my vision… because by thinking outside the box, I was able to create an adorable portrait of both kids.  Before we photographed Jacob, I had big sis hunt for cheerios on the crate.  We got some cute individual portraits of her, and then it was time to swap kids!  My retouching magic put both kids in one portrait, and made the cheerios disappear.

I know you’ve been dying to see these portraits — so without any more chatter from me…. here you go!

 

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Love this one! Since we were in the studio for the entire session, you know a little retouching magic happened here. But that’s okay, right? Jacob’s mom and dad loved this one… they’d seen my prep work for it (fake green grass, the wooden prop), but had no idea what I was envisioning for the final portrait.
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I loved this new photo prop — simple but adorable! The monochromatic tones really let you focus on baby Jacob — who was adamantly awake for most of his infant portrait session. Jacob’s parents chose to have this one printed as a canvas to hang in their home. It looks amazing on canvas!
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My heart melts with this one. I love how snug and sleepy Jacob looks… and how his feet make an adorable little heart!
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I love the cute wrinkles on Jacob’s forehead. Sleeping, or trying to, for this portrait 🙂
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Jacob’s big sister was so adorable — you could tell she loved her brother! Darn that awkward toddler stage where well-meaning baby snuggles are just not gentle enough. But, I’m really pleased with how this portrait turned out. We photographed each child individually, and then I worked some magic to composite the two during retouching.
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And one final sleeping one of Jacob. He really was adorable in every photograph I created!

If you are expecting a baby, or have a newborn, I’d love to chat with you about planning a laid-back and stress-free newborn portrait session with me at the studio! We can do a standalone portrait session, or to help you plan ahead, we can discuss the benefits of my Baby’s First Year plan. Contact me today at 734-424-0472 to learn more!

How Newborn Portrait Sessions Are Unique

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It’s so fun to watch families grow.. whether you get to see little kids getting bigger — or get to meet new little ones right after they’ve arrived into the world.  I have enjoyed documenting this family for a number of years, and watching (now-big-sister) A grow from a newborn into a toddler.   And that’s who is the star of the show in these photos… A’s little brother, S!

A little further on I’ll share all the photos from their session, but first, let me explain how newborn portrait sessions are unique.  Newborn portrait sessions are a bit different than most portrait sessions… in three ways:

1. Newborn portraits take longer.

Babies are unpredictable.  They have no schedule, persay …or if they have one, it changes in the blink of an eye.  I block out three hours’ time for each newborn session.  While we don’t use all that time for photographing, it does allow baby time to nurse or feed, be diapered, and tended too.  If baby is cooperative, we finish with plenty of time to spare; but if baby has different plans, the generous time allotment keeps everyone calm and non-stressed.

2. Scheduling during naptime is ok.

Often, with newborn photos, baby will sleep through most of the session (and the portraits). It’s actually not a big deal, because sleeping baby pictures capture the reality of a baby’s days.  Babies sleep a lot.   As newborns get bigger and lose that “new baby” look, there will be plenty of opportunity for wide awake (even smiling) pictures.  So for newborns, it’s ok to capture that fleeting time where baby sleeps incessantly.

3. It’s best (easier?) to stay indoors.

Newborn sessions are the only type of portraits that I recommend my clients stay indoors — either at the studio, or at baby’s home.  Why?  Well, when we’re documenting a newborn baby’s first weeks, things are going to be intimate, close up, and focused on the family.  There isn’t really a need to incorporate the vast outdoors (in which baby will visually “get lost”).  On top of that, it’s just easier when you eliminate variables like the weather and temperature.  The studio is nice and warm for newborn portraits, there are comfortable chairs for nursing baby, and a changing table with supplies is at the ready.  You don’t have those luxuries when you venture outdoors.

Now, as promised, onto the photographs from Baby S’s newborn session.  I love including the whole family in newborn portraits …it is great to see the older siblings dote on their “baby.”

There is no better way to capture baby milestones on camera than to document baby’s first year than with a first year photo album.  Actually, I like to create a series of albums, one for each of the “milestone sessions” (e.g. newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year).  Here is the newborn album that I designed for baby S. …similar to his big sister’s, but different, of course!

It’s hard to pick a favorite image from this session… babies are so adorable, and I love every aspect of newborn sessions.  But I think my favorite picture is the one of big sister A giving baby S a kiss.  Sibling love is so adorable!

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But then there’s this one.  And I love the lines created by the fabric draping down to the floor.  Newborn portraits as art. Peaceful.  Timeless.

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Babies grow so quickly.  It’s hard to believe that my second son has almost exited the newborn stage… Newborns are so tiny, so transient.  Get those snuggles in!

Family Portrait Album

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Now that the design is finished, I wanted to share this family portrait album with you! Typically I will also design a full color cover for portrait albums, which looks really gorgeous on display. This slideshow only highlights the album pages, so here is a peek at the cover design. Keep in mind, the left side of this image is the back cover, and the front cover is on the right side.

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Welcoming a New Baby

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It is always wonderful when I can be a part of welcoming a new family member. Sometimes my clients bring in tiny newborns, and sometimes life is so crazy that I get to meet the babies when they are a couple months old. Either way, I love creating these family portraits because the portraits are a celebration of change and growth — family growth! Here are some portraits from a recent family session. We created a whole range of portraits, including both family groupings and individual newborn-esque portraits. I love sessions like this!

 

Newborn Portraits :: Mia

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Big brother Nate and big sister Tessa helped me to create some adorable portraits of their new little sister, Mia! We had lots of fun, and the kids were really cooperative. After creating a few portraits of all the kids together, it was time for Mia to hog the spotlight so we did some portraits of just baby girl by herself. I love how these all turned out; it is always great to include family in newborn sessions.

Newborn Baby G

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Baby G. and her parents came to the studio for a newborn portrait session. I love including family in these portraits… it always helps to give a sense of size. Newborns don’t seem all that tiny, until you’ve been around comparably giant toddlers! Here are a few highlights from Baby G’s newborn portrait session.

Family Portrait :: Baby M.

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Here are portraits from Baby M’s newborn session.  I absolutely LOVE the one of her big brother holding her; he looks so proud to be an older sibling!

Interestingly enough, we spent most of the session trying to get Baby M to fall asleep so that we could create the tour de force — that adorable artistic portrait of her sleeping on the settee.

I hope the family enjoyed their holiday gifts 🙂 — portraits always make wonderful presents, don’t you think?

Holiday Portrait :: Baby A and Family

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Baby A is growing so quickly!  It seems like just the other day that we were doing her newborn portraits… and now she’s already over half a year old!  Time really flies.   A isn’t crawling yet, er, at least not when we did the portrait session… but as you can see, she definitely is getting closer.  Sitting up, pushing up, and having great head control!

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Newborn Sneak Peek – Baby M!

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Baby M. came to the studio for her newborn portrait session… and here are two of my favorites! We also did some portraits of the whole family, but you’ll have to wait to see those. 🙂

Sooooo adorable, I just love it when we can create artsy portraits of sleeping newborns!!!

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And of course being held in Daddy’s hands….

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A’s Infant Portraits

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Baby A. and her parents came in this summer for her newborn portraits! She was such a good baby; aside from not wanting to fall asleep, we had no trouble creating these lovely portraits of the happy new family. This one (below) will look especially nice as a wall portrait on display in their home… believe it or not, the portrait looks even better in black and white!

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It will be fun to see how much she grows in the coming months 🙂 …they grow all too quickly, don’t they? Here are some other images from A’s newborn session (I designed a custom album with many of these portraits, which I’m sure the whole family will enjoy!).

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