Welcome Baby Adelaide!. She was very calm and sleepy in these images because we shot this session when she was only six days old.
Fabrics, shadows, unexpected pops of color. Contrasting textures—the family dog Maeby’s coat against Adelaide’s exquisitely smooth newborn skin. Vivid against neutral. Personal family touches. These are the elements that go into a visually stunning–as well as deeply memorable—family portrait.
I have learned from experience that there is a clear advantage to shooting a session shortly after newborns come home from the hospital. Early sessions like this tend to go smoothly since brand new babies are relatively less fussy, sleep a lot, and also tend to have the most wonderful “Wow, this is my family!” expressions when they are awake. By the time they are 2-3 weeks old, they are less predictable and a little more prone to fussiness—usually without warning! I have shot numerous sessions at 3 weeks+, and there are advantages to that age as well, but if mom wants sleepy newborn shots, week 1-2 is best!
One way to add visual interest in textures, shapes and angles is to convert images to black & white. When my clients purchase image files, I include black & white conversions of all images, which I do individually, converting each image one at a time. The visual impact becomes completely different from that of a color photograph, since the eye goes to textures and angles instead of straight to the color. Somehow, connections and emotions can be more vivid.
Take a big stretch, Baby Adelaide, on the beautiful quilt made by one of Mom’s oldest friends, Sam. I could write a whole blog just about this quilt, since it is a great example of how many ways personal touches can be incorporated into a handmade newborn gift. Sam incorporated a John Muir quote into the quilt because this family loves mountains. (In fact, right this minute, Adelaide’s grandpa is hiking the John Muir trail!) One of the prints is a grizzly bear print, which came from an artist in the favorite city (Cologne, Germany) of Mom Sara, who is a German teacher. The patterns on the quilt became the inspiration for the rest of the nursery. Mom just cannot believe her dear friend was able to make this quilted treasure, especially since she had a baby herself, just two months earlier.
The L family lives in a beautiful Victorian-style home. The nursery is an amazing woodland style, with a shadowy mountain wall mural hand painted by Dad, Tim. You know I love grey, especially in a nursery!
The family goes camping and backpacking almost every summer in the Smokey Mountains or the Sierra Nevadas, and the forest and mountains are sources of happy memories growing up. The family considers the mountains “their happy place,” so of course they wanted Adelaide to experience that in her own nursery. So the nursery becomes a focal point for the family’s deepest passions, with the hope that Baby Adelaide grows up to be a brave little explorer.
Mom Sara advises parents of newborns to heed the recommendations for how to dress your newborn for the shoot: “I am so happy that she wasn’t in something baggy. Otherwise, I just trusted Missy to work her magic and we had a great time on top of it! I’m so so happy I decided to do the newborn photos, as I already love seeing the change with my little one.”
Thank you, L family, for the delightful opportunity to work with you. I look forward to documenting Adelaide’s first mountain climb!
Missy Timko is the photographer behind Powder Blue Photography, a boutique photography studio located in Pittsburgh, PA. She specializes in newborns, maternity, families, seniors, and headshots. Missy’s style is simple, natural, and clean, both posed and lifestyle photography with beautiful natural backdrops, and Missy also runs a studio in the Point Breeze neighborhood in Pittsburgh. There are many session options, from full length custom sessions to quick updates of just the kids, inside the studio or outside in a beautiful natural or urban location in Pittsburgh. Contact Missy for availability.