The story behind snuggle sessions....
I have 3 beautiful children (I know all moms think that their children are beautiful). I love them like crazy ... keyword "crazy." More like they sometimes drive me crazy. My journey to motherhood was not easy. After multiple miscarriages years ago we decided to take a break on ttc (trying to conceive). When we began again I couldn't get pregnant. I suffered from endometriosis and adhesions. My doctor once told me that endometriosis doesn't cause infertility, but many people who have fertility problems find they have endometriosis. So is it the chicken before the egg or the egg before the chicken?
Right when I gave up on having biological children, I found out I was pregnant. I was probably more nervous/scared than excited. I remember the day I finally had the courage to set up the crib. I cried like a big baby because of my fear of losing this new child in my womb. Every yucky symptom of pregnancy was actually a little blessing to reassure me that this baby was growing strong.
When Abigail was born I was determined to nurse.
Back story: I had a breast reduction when I was 13. Yes, you read that correctly, 13. Breast cancer runs very strong in my family. My mother had it twice. So having the surgery helped reduce my risk. However, many of my milk ducts were cut so I would struggle with my milk supply due to this.
Abigail was born and she struggled to latch. On top of that I got diagnosed with hypertension and had to actually be on bed rest after she was born. So add stress on to reduced milk ducts and you get the picture. I was married to the pump and non stop feedings trying to build my supply for 6 weeks. I tried the sns, but she would scream when I tried to use it. The neighbors probably heard me crying when I finally had to make the decision to stop.
My second was born and he was a sweet little boy named Emory. He latched on great and my supply was a little better, but they couldn't get my blood pressure under control. They had to put me on meds that weren't safe to nurse so I only got to nurse him for 3 weeks.
My third child born just 5 months ago was a sweet baby girl named Naomi. She did great nursing. Thanks to my awesome IBCLC Stacy with Bestfeeding Lactation Services, I was able to hand express colostrum from 36 weeks on (permitted by doctor). I had enough to bring with me to the hospital that I didn't have to do any supplementing while we were there. I produced so much more and was able to nurse her for 3 months. I still had to supplement, but I did produce more. However, once again my blood pressure went haywire and the stress of figuring it out dropped my supply so low that I lost my chance to continue nursing. Also, I was told I had high cholesterol and had to go on meds for that. Yay me!
So, long story short... not really, I feel a bit inadequate about my motherhood skills. I know that may sound ridiculous to some, but to those of you who have been there you probably understand (unfornately). The personal shame game began along with the jealousy of seeing other women nurse.
I am a very modest person and with the added emotional hurt I have from my own experience of nursing I've always struggled to photograph women nursing. However, I was recently able to photograph a woman who had made it over a year of nursing and was getting ready to leave her sweet baby girl for the first time for 4 months! We did a few shots of her nursing at the end of her engagement session and I simply fell in love with the emotion I saw and felt in those images.
At that moment I decided I needed to offer these sessions so mother's have something they can look back and cherish forever.
Snuggle sessions are meant for mom or dad. They are not specifically breast feeding images. I wanted to open it to others who couldn't breast feed. I remember, and still do, how it felt to see these wonderful bonding images and never feeling like I could participate. This would once again confirm the lie I believed about being less of a mother.
So schedule your session to capture a moment with your little one or even not so little one. These are meant to be beautiful images that capture the relationship you have with your child (whether young or old, mom or dad).
*Not family sessions. Limited to 1 child/1adult.
I met Danielle through a model call. I'm always studying and researching trying to better my craft. I take online courses, attend workshops, go to conferences, etc. After taking a recent lighting course, I was dying to try out all of the fabulous things I've learned. Danielle was kind enough to let me photograph her sweet baby bump.
Two of the different lighting techniques I learned in the class were called "Dream lighting" and "Rim lighting." We had time to practice both.
Dream lighting is exactly as it sounds. It gives a dreamy, clean feel to the pictures (almost heavenly). I loved the way these turned out.
Rim lighting is lighting just a small portion of the person or subject. It is a beautiful way of highlighting a significant portion of the image to make a powerful statement. I like that it can be very dramatic and emotional. We were able to incorporate a stuffed animal that had been passed down in Danielle's family. It added that much more life to the portrait.
To learn more about these lighting techniques visit the http://themilkyway.ca. This is an amazing source for photographers.
Also Danielle creates beautiful crocheted items. Visit her shop at https://www.facebook.com/offthehookbydanielle
I was so excited to be able photograph this sweet 10 day old baby girl. She was absolutely precious and looked so much like her big sister. It was even more fun because her big sister got to come along and sneak into some of the pictures. Big sissy was so excited to have a little sister and right before she turned the BIG 3!
When booking their session I found out that her mama's aunt was the one who first taught me photography in high school. She played a very instrumental part in the photographer I am today. She was a fantastic teacher and always pushed me to go beyond my little box of thinking. It is a small world!
We started out across the street in a quiet backyard along the water. It was a beautiful morning and we found the perfect shade under a nice big tree.
We then moved into the studio once she had fallen asleep. After picking out headbands and wraps we snuggled her in and got to posing. She did a fantastic job on her first photo shoot.
Big sister had fun playing dress up while baby girl was taking a feeding break. It is nice sometimes to have siblings there while the new baby takes a break. It gives us a chance to really put them back in the spotlight during such a big transition where they no longer have it all to themselves.
Is this not the most adorable doting sister ever? I think they are going to be the best of friends.
Adorable Newborn bonnet and leggings made by Mountain Mommy's Crochet
Click here to schedule your newborn session. Newborn sessions are done within the first 6-10 days. It is best to book your session in your 2nd trimester.
This lil' man and his mama and daddy came to see me when he was just 10 days new. He was such a sweet little guy and did perfect for his first photo shoot. We started off the session by picking out hats, blankets, and baskets. There is no denying he is his mama's boy.
That full head of hair was just too adorable. It didn't matter what pose I put him in, he just was so content.
I have never had a baby stay awake for his entire newborn portrait session, but this little guy wanted to keep an eye on me the entire time. Every time I thought he was falling asleep, he would trick me and open his eyes right before I released the shutter. I caught a few shots of him with his eyes closed, but he was only fooling me. So cute!
Is this not the cutest little lion you've ever seen?
Of course, the last few images he decided to fall asleep. Pure sweetness!
Click here to book you newborn session today. Newborn sessions are best done in the first 6-10 days. Schedule your session during your 2nd trimester. 757-630-0575
I had so much fun at this adorable little guy's newborn session. He came to my studio at just 7 days old and was a perfect little model. His sweet little cheeks and cute red hair were so much fun to capture. His big brother was the life of the party.
We started off the session by picking out outfits, hats, and props. Then we moved into the nice and cozy heated studio to do some sibling shots. Big brother Logan was excited to be there and it showed. The out-takes were hilarious. I'm surprised we got one still shot of him. I think my cheeks hurt from laughing so much. He did a great job and was full of life for a little 2 year old big brother.
Don't you just love their matching shirts! So cute!
I even got to sneak in some pictures of just Big brother. This is a really big step in his life and he deserves some spotlight too.
Big brother got to relax after his part was done and go play with all the toys in the next room. Mama hung out with us for a little while to see her new baby boy shine in the spotlight.
After seeing how awesome he was doing, mama went to relax herself by enjoying her complimentary 60 minute massage that comes with a newborn session with Journey Through Life Photography.
He had the cutest furrowed brow expression.
Click here to book your newborn session. Newborn sessions take place within the first 6-10 days. It is best to schedule your session in your 2nd trimester.