Moments with Jenna’s family

This past Tuesday I had an opportunity to meet one month old Jenna for the first time. It’s definitely one of the photoshoots Hope & I have looked forward to most because Jenna just happens to be one of Hope’s friends, Skylar’s, sister. It seems as though Hope’s been waiting all year to finally meet Skylar’s little sister.

Before Jenna arrived I set up so that we were prepared for photos. I’ve had many people show interest in learning my process. I’ve even have had some who seem to believe I own a studio space – so when I inform people who inquire that I do most of the photos in my own home there always seems to be curiousity of just how I take the photos. Most of my photos I use natural light that comes through windows in my home. I use a bean bag to lay the baby on and a background stand to help make sure the photos  only have the solid colors or patterns of just the background paper or blankets/clothes. Over the last two years I’ve become a little obsessed with collecting blankets, hats, wraps, and yes – even the simplest of baby items like receiving blankets. I usually have a pile of receiving blankets on hand during the photoshoot there to help me when positioning the baby or if the baby spits up or has accidents. Here’s a quick shot of the set up I took just before Jenna arrived.


With Jenna being nearly a month old, I anticipated to be challenged with a little one that would be a little more alert and probably more awake and restless. It’s not uncommon for babies to be restless the first few minutes all the way past the first hour, especially once they’re more than two weeks old. So yes, Jenna and I agreed we’d get her priceless crying photo out of the way early on. Little did I know it would have been a sign of how challenging the session would turn out.


I’m always so amazed with how fast babies grow and change. At a month old Jenna was definitely more alert and expressive. Surprisingly, she’s the first out of the 40 newborns I’ve photographed that had reflux. Though many babies are known to spit up, reflux usually leads to spitting up happening more often and more excessively so Jenna’s Mom and I remained patient around her feedings and restless moments. She was clearly fighting sleep too…if it isn’t obvious from a few of these outtake shots that will help you see just how expressive little ones can be in a matter of seconds.


Jenna loved to be wrapped so we put her in the cocoon wrap and Dad sat beside her comforting her – which seemed to calm her down for a moment.


As Jenna grew more restless we decided to let her father hold her. She seemed more content so we ended up taking a few priceless shots of her being held where she seemed so much happier.



Once Jenna was settled again we tried laying her on her stomach and side to see if we’d have more luck. It wasn’t until we gave her back her pacifier that she relaxed. I usually always take photos of babies with their pacifier and then without because we can never guarantee if we’ll get them in that same content pose once the pacifier is removed. Here’s the perfect moment where she was so comfortable but the moment we removed the pacifier she grew too restless and moved into a less comfortable looking position.


After spending most of the first hour taking photos of just Jenna we decided to call Jenna’s sister’s to take photos too. We started out with all three girls laying down together. Jenna remained restless so these didn’t turn out quite as expected, but very priceless outtakes as Skylar comforts Jenna and then Jenna pulls on Lily’s hair.


As we let Mom comfort Jenna I took a few photos of just the older girls.


Once we added Jenna back into the photo with her sisters one of the best shots ended up being when she was comforted with her pacifier. Here is a cute moment where she’s getting lots of lovin’ from her big sisters.


As we took these photos, Skylar and Lily agreed that having a baby sister was a lot of work. I think they’re a little excited for her to grow a little bigger so they can all play together.


We decided to take a few photos with Shannon and her new little girl next. I had envisioned a dreamy photo of the two of them laying down together. It’s never as easy as you’d think to take the photos I really want to take. As we went to pose Shannon & Jenna we were again challenged by Jenna’s restlessness. She was clearly tired but fought every time we tried to comfort her. Every time we did get her resting she’d startle easily. Looking back at the images now I must admit that some of my favorite photos of the day were of Shannon comforting Jenna as we tried to take the photo I had in my mind.


I have to commend Shannon – she was amazingly patient and I after many attempts we finally got this dreamy image of her and her third little baby girl.


I took a few family photos of Shannon and Brian and their first little girl together.


I suppose looking back I now see that my favorite moments from the session are those when Jenna was with Mom & Dad. At the end of the session I took a few photos of Brian and his first daughter. It’s not uncommon that we totally undress the newborns for photos so that we can see not just the newness but the pure beauty of a new little one. Thankfully, unlike many fathers, Brian was fearless of holding a bare bottom baby. I love it when parents are more interested in capturing those first moments than the fear of being peed on. Thankfully Jenna was good to us.:)


Yes, he was very proud of his little girl…these were priceless moments for me to capture.


Just before Jenna and her sisters left I asked Skylar and Lily to come back for a couple more photos.


And yes, we had to take one of Hope with her friends. Having them come to visit made her day!


Shannon & Brian – congrats again – Jenna is beautiful and the moments I got to capture with you both, Jenna, and the girls were definitely priceless moments that I hope you treasure for years to come. Best wishes to you and your family with your newest little blessing!

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