Capturing the Beauty of Motherhood With A Sentimental Pregnancy Gift

Capturing the Beauty of Motherhood With A Sentimental Pregnancy Gift, Charlotte Maternity Portrait

As a maternity photographer, I recently had the pleasure of meeting beautiful mom-to-be Ana who shared with me her love of family. It was such a joy to work with her to create a collection of stunning maternity portraits that captured her personality and unique style.

Charlotte, NC, pregnancy portrait, A Sentimental Pregnancy Gift

At my Charlotte Maternity Photography business, I believe every woman’s pregnancy journey is special and deserves celebrating.

That’s why I take the time to get to know my clients and understand what makes them unique. Mom-to-be Ana was no exception, and I loved hearing all about her passions and interests.

We began the session with some classic pregnancy poses, showcasing her beautiful belly and the love she already has for her unborn child. Then, we incorporated her personal items into the shoot. She brought in a beautiful Italian bell necklace that was a gift given to her recently. We captured some adorable shots of her wearing the beautiful piece. It creates a soft magical sound when shaken. 

I did a little research since she told me it was a traditional gift in Italy (I’m also interested in what other cultures do during pregnancy). The charm known as an Angel caller. According to google “in Italy the angel caller pendant known for its religious value attached to the protection of guardian angels. Often given to expectant mothers to protect their babies. It is also called a chime pendant given its harmonious sound” how neat is that! What an amazing sentimental pregnancy gift

Capturing the Beauty of Motherhood With A Sentimental Pregnancy Gift an angel caller chime necklace, so pretty

One thing that was clear from our conversation was how important family is to her.

She shared how she hopes to create fun family memories for her own child very soon. I knew that I had to incorporate this sentiment into her maternity portraits

We also plan to incorporated her love of coffee into the newborn session. We will do this with personalized props that hold a special place in her heart. Stay tuned for those ;). I love how this will add a personal touch to the portrait session and make them even more meaningful.

a Sentimental Pregnancy Gift, Fort Mill, SC maternity portrait, Studio Off Main

As a Charlotte Maternity Photographer, I always strive to create a personalized and unforgettable experience for my clients. By listening to their stories and understanding what makes them unique, I can capture their essence in a way that truly reflects who they are. If you’re looking for a maternity photographer who will take the time to get to know you and create a one-of-a-kind experience. contact me today 803-336-5125.

Tell me in the comments below. Did you receive a sentimental pregnancy gift while waiting for your newborn baby to arrive?

Diamond and Kasady: Glowing with Joy

Celebrating Motherhood Maternity Project, black mother and daughter in pink

Our first celebrating motherhood portrait session is ready for you all to see! I’m so excited to be able to share these darling Portraits of expecting Mom Diamond and her sweet daughter Kasady. Thank you so much for allowing me to capture this special time for you both! insley_photography email: (803)-336-5125 #insleyphotography #fortmillmaternityphotographer #charlottenc #motherhoodrising #motherhood #queencity #charlottematernityphotographer

♬ original sound – Alicia Insley Smith
tik tok of our session with behind the scenes clips

This photoshoot is filled with joy and love as the mother and daughter posed for the camera, showcasing their undeniable bond. It was a beautiful reminder of the incredible strength and beauty of motherhood.

The Celebrating Motherhood Maternity Project is officially in full swing.

I had the privilege of capturing an expecting mom and her 3-year-old daughter. Mom is eagerly anticipating the arrival of her baby girl in late March, was thrilled to document this special moment in time. The love between this mother and daughter was undeniable.

As soon as they arrived, little Kasady was eager to explore the studio and see what was in store for the day. She was clearly excited to be there with her mommy and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.

Mom was glowing with joy and anticipation, expecting mom studio portrait from Insley Photography for this Charlotte NC mom, glowing with joy

radiating a beautiful energy that was contagious. She was excited to capture this special moment in time and create memories that would last a lifetime.

Before the photography began we started with hair and makeup for Mom to be provided my @GlamByAndreea

As the photoshoot began, little Kasady giggling with delight. I tried to captured every precious moment, from the little girl’s cheeky grin to the mom’s serene smile.

The love between mother and daughter was evident, as they held hands, cuddled, and laughed at Kasady’s unending energy. Mom to be was glowing and proud of her growing belly excitedly sharing this special time with her daughter.

In the end, the photos were a stunning tribute to the beauty and power of motherhood. My goal is always to capture the joy, excitement, and love that mom and daughter share, and they will be treasure for years to come.

Learn more about our Celebrating Motherhood Maternity Project Here 


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glowing with joy, expecting mother to be Charlotte, NC in aqua material
glowing with joy, literally vibrating with energy this 3 year old girl portrait with lollipop!
big sister

Perinatal Wellness and Support Interview Charlotte, NC

Let me introduce you to Afton Jones, a perinatal wellness therapist from Charlotte, NC. Today, we are so lucky to have her here with us to discuss the important role that therapy and support can play in helping expectant and new mothers during this incredible journey. We’ll hear from Afton to gain insight on her professional and personal experiences. So get ready to be inspired, learn something new, and gain valuable insight! Thank you for joining us today. Below is my Interview with Perinatal Wellness and Support Services Afton Jones

My interview with Afton Jones of Perinatal Wellness & Support Services in Charlotte, NC

 Below is the transcript from our video interview:

We are meeting this morning with Afton and she’s gonna tell us a little bit about what she does and what her passion is in her business. Okay. So introduce yourself for me and Sure. Hello everyone. I’m Afton Jones. I am owner and therapist of Perinatal Wellness and Support Services, and I am a therapist.

What I do is I help women during pregnancy and after pregnancy to navigate, any changes or challenges that come with that, with the new role of motherhood and how did you come to work in this field? Uh, so I have been in the field of like mental health therapy for, let’s see, about 11 years now. Prior to working in the perinatal mental health field, I did more like generalist work, so I did a lot of group work and substance abuse treatment, just general mental health treatment. You know depression, anxiety mainly.

And then after I had my daughter, I realized how challenging, the role of motherhood can be. And it completely changed my outlook and shifted my, my passion to wanna help other women, help other moms, to be able to navigate and deal with some of the changes and challenges that happen once you become a mom.

expecting mom studio portrait from Insley Photography for this Charlotte NC mom

I just became really passionate about helping other women to be able to, have some support in that area. 

All right. And you are on the path to become a lactation consultant. How did that begin? 

Yes. I am on the path to become a lactation consultant! I’m currently taking classes and doing clinicals for that.

Breastfeeding is just something I fell in love with again, uh, experience. Funny story is I did not know that I was gonna breastfeed. I didn’t really have a plan to breastfeed. My mom breastfed and she was trying to encourage me. She’s like, you know, you should try it. I was kind of iffy about it.

Fast forward, I had my daughter in the hospital. They’re like, here you go. Do you wanna try to latch her? So I go, sure, and ended up loving it.  

The beginning was challenging and I think a lot of women can agree with that, that it’s not the rainfall rainbows and, you know, butterflies that  people make it out to be.

You know, you see these beautiful pictures of women who are breastfeeding and everybody says, oh, it’s so natural. And it is a natural thing, but natural doesn’t always mean easy. So over time just, you know, worked through some of those challenges and ended up loving it.  Breast fed my little girl for two and a half years.

All right. 

black and white newborn with mom portrait, Charlotte Newborn Photographer Interview with Perinatal Wellness and Support

I would love to help other women to be able to navigate breastfeeding and the things that come with it, normalize breastfeeding, and let women know there is support available. And encourage women to get the support so that they can stick with it. There’s so many great benefits of breastfeeding.

Both mom and for baby, and I want women, you know, if they’re able to, to be able to experience that. Absolutely I love it.

And, can you give some tips for new moms? What, what would be your top tips for new moms? 

My number one tip for new moms would be to take care of yourself!

A lot of times, you know, it’s, it’s portrayed as, mom kind of gets pushed to the back burner. Mm-hmm, but mom needs to take care of mom because that’s how you keep going to be able to take care of your little one, so I like to think of it is like mom being the core, and if mom is in a good place, Typically, everything else is easier to have in place.

So I would say, don’t forget about you take care of yourself so that you can keep taking care of the other things in life. , and then support. Support is huge and it is so important, whatever that may look like. And we have different people that support us in different ways. So that could be a therapist, that could be friends, that could be family.

Whatever support looks like for you, I say get back to that,

and then I also like to say, to continue to enjoy life. Enjoy who you are. Sometimes we forget that, you know, I’m still me. We take on all these roles, whatever they may be, friends, sister, wife, mom, but before all of that, it was you, you know, you were you.

And so it’s important to continue to grow and maintain that relationship with yourself. Then the last couple of things I would say enjoy time with your little one, we all have different ways of how we go about doing things and stick with what feels right to you. 

Yeah. I think the best advice I was given as a new mom was to follow my instincts 

Yes! And to follow that intuition. And I, I think it’s still true. 

beautiful black and white portrait of a new mother with her newborn baby girl, Fort MIll, SC

Absolutely for moms to be, anything they should do to prepare themselves for the journey that’s coming either mental health wise or lactation wise, anything they should do? 

There’s so many things you can do, I think. Doing your research is always great. Knowing what to expect, I feel like can be really helpful and make the world a difference in just having that education and awareness of what comes with pregnancy, what comes with delivery, what comes with the postpartum period. Just having some awareness and education around that is huge. There are perinatal mood and anxiety disorders that can present during pregnancy or after pregnancy, so I like to educate moms about those and what they look like and signs and symptoms to be aware of.  I also like to say be ready instead of having to get ready. So it’s a good idea to identify a therapist beforehand.

Be ready instead of having to get ready

If you don’t use a therapist, great. I think that all new moms can benefit from that support, right?  But I think it’s a good idea to already have that in place. Cuz when you’re a new mom, there’s so many things going on. You’re tired, and all the things. You forget things. So it’s good to have certain things in place.

Again, support family that, you know, can help come down, support you in whatever way that looks like. Family or friends, I would say those would be some of the main things. And then as far as with the lactation,  having an idea of where you can get lactation support. If you are a mom that plans to breastfeed, it’s a good idea, to know what resources are available. And also don’t be afraid to use that. Sometimes moms, we want to do everything ourselves and , which is great, but if there’s help out there, you can use it. 

Yeah, absolutely agree. I think, you know, with my experience, we talked about it before, my son came early, so I struggled a lot in the beginning and I think the key to our success was continuing to ask for help because I knew we needed that help. When he came five weeks early, they knew I needed the help, but continuing to ask and say, you know, how can we make this better? 

I like that you said, continue to ask for help

because.  Just, you know, if you look at years after you have a baby, it’s not just that first year that moms need support. It’s an ongoing support that you need. Not just when you, right after you have the baby, right? Continuing to ask for help. Continue to ask for support, and use that support because there’s gonna be different changes and challenges. Different stages of your child’s life. Every time you think you got it figured out, they’re gonna throw you a new curve ball.

Exactly! Something new comes and it knocks you off your feet. That’s right. 

causal maternity portrait session with the whole family Interview with Perinatal Wellness and Support

And what do you wish you had known about lactation before your daughter was born? Oh my goodness, I wish I had known that it wasn’t gonna be as easy as it is portrayed . That’s what I wish I had known. And also, It is okay to ask for help, because 

I had this idea that this is supposed to be easy and I shouldn’t know how to do this and what am I doing wrong?

But it took me a while to accept I need help. Mm-hmm.  and I got the help and things were much better, and I’m like, why didn’t I do this sooner? So yes, I think just knowing that. Yeah, it’s not easy. Ask for help and that there’s help out there and know that there is help out there. Yeah. So let’s talk about what local resources and support options you know about that might help local moms.

Yeah. , One great local resource is Mind, Body, Baby of North Carolina. They have a lot of resources for moms. They have a website, they have Instagram, so definitely find them. 

Also there is a website Postpartum Support International. And if you go to their website, you can search for options in your area, so therapists or other support resources that are beneficial and they’re kind of like a hub.

Okay. And we’ll link both of those to the bottom of this so you guys can find those websites real easy, and mind, body, baby, post on Mondays, all of their classes coming up for the week. So that’s a good spot too to check out if you’re on Instagram. 

And then how can folks get in touch with you?

I am on social media, I’m on Facebook, I’m on Instagram. You can Google me or you can find my website. You can email me or call me. 

Tell us your website and your phone number. Yes. I definitely am pretty much attached to my work phone. So , that number is 9 8 0 – 3 2 2 – 6 2 6 8.

And just, you know, me, gimme a call to say, Hey, this is such and such, and we’ll go from there. If I don’t answer, leave me message and I will get back with you, usually the same day. And like I said, if you go to Facebook or Instagram, if you look for, perinatal Wellness support, you can find me.I have it linked to my website, so you can send me a message on there.

That’s another way to get in touch with me as well. And then my website is Perinatal Wellness 

And can you tell us, about the process of working with you and what happens after we reach out?

Yes. So once you reach out, we can set up a time to do a consultation that is free. It’s a free 15 minute consultation, that way you have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about me, about the work I do, and about the process.

And then from there we can schedule the first appointment. And that is an assessment intake where I get all of your history, all of your information, and we come up with a plan to work together and move forward, so reach out to me. You can email me, like I said, you can gimme a call. We can set something up and go from there.

So if you maybe experiencing anxiety or experiencing some depression, or maybe it’s just trying to adjust to this new role, or maybe it’s coming up with a plan for self-care. Anything, that you feel like you need support with, we can work together to help support you.

Well, thank you for meeting with me today. This was so much fun and I look forward to, chatting more.

Afton’s website is and

her instagram @perinatalwellness_support

If you have questions for her or myself just leave them in the comment section below and we will get back to you.

Get Picture-Perfect: A Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing for Your Family Portrait Session

causal maternity portrait session with the whole family
Displaying your family portrait artwork after the session, Charlotte Family Photographer

Steps to prepare for you family portrait session

  1. Choose the right clothing: Decide on outfits that complement each other and the location of the final portrait. Avoid clothing with logos or busy patterns. Avoid colors that clash with the esthetic of the room they will be displayed in. I can help guide you on this when we meet for your planning time. 

  2. Plan hair and makeup: If desired, schedule hair and makeup appointments for everyone in the family. Plan haircuts for at least a week before your portrait session.

  3. Schedule the session: Make sure everyone is available for the session and coordinate schedules around little ones naps and best times of day. 

  4. Communicate: Clearly communicate your wants and needs for the family portraits to the photographer, and make sure everyone understands your vision.
  5. Consider props: Think about bringing props, such as toys, books, or special family heirlooms, to add interest to the photos.

  6. Prepare children: Let children know what to expect from the session and give them time to get comfortable with the photographer. For shy children I recommend bringing them to the studio for the planning appointment. This gives them time to relax in the studio without expectations and to get used to me.

  7. Relax: Try to relax and have fun during your family portrait session. This will show in the final photographs and make for a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Remember you don’t always have to be looking at the camera, interactive portraits are sometimes mom’s favorites.

Mom, dad, and baby girl during family portrait session, Charlotte Family Photographer

Last tip once you’ve booked your family portrait session get everyone in on the fun. Create a day with less stress by having a favorite breakfast with your children, sing in the car on the way to your session and tell your kids how much fun they will be having that day. (or if they are teenagers how fast the session will go with cooperation 😉

new to my page check out the family portrait gallery here

got questions send me a text or give me a call 803-336-5125 talk soon Alicia

why wall art matters, a reminder from my son

my boys serious black and white portrait my why Charlotte child photographer
A reel I created for fun watch to see my maternity portrait artwork in my home

Can I tell you a quick story?

The other day my son had some friends over. (They are 8) they came upstairs to see something in his room. I overheard this conversation from my home office. We have our family photos on the stairs and the first canvas is from my pregnancy with him. It s simple close up of my pregnant belly. Followed by a family portrait from the same session. 

His friend: hey what’s this photo? Why is she naked?

My son: (super proud) Oh that’s my mom when she was pregnant with me! I’m a baby in her belly!

Friend: huh

Why do I tell you this? Why wall art matters

Because in that moment I was reminded of why I create artwork for my expecting moms. I do it for the children. My son was super proud to explain that to him that photograph reminds him that he was wanted and loved before he was even born. He was waited for with anticipation. The portraits I create are not only a work of art they are an expression of love.

Motherhood is an amazing journey and while it’s never really easy it is so worth it. Reminding my children everyday that they are loved and cherished with a visual reminder in our home is a promise to them that I will never stop loving them the way I have since they were born. 

Why does this matter to you if you are expecting a baby

I’ve been asked a few times this week why I offer maternity wall portraits. Things like “Will they want these portraits up in their home in 10 years 20 years? Wouldn’t they prefer to have them in an album so they can put them away?” My question to them is why would they hide this expression of love? Look I’m a realist I get that some times decor changes or you may downsize at some point when you are a grandparent and your maternity portraits may not need to be front and center. But right now when your children are young and living at home they need these visual reminders. When the world outside seems harsh. They need to know and feel without a doubt that home is a place they are loved and safe. They need to feel without a doubt that they matter. 


It’s not for every mom

I get that some moms just don’t want to take maternity portraits and some don’t want them hanging on the walls at home. That’s cool no one is forcing this choice on you. But for me and my work if you want to have a portrait in your home showcasing your pregnancy. Reminding your babies that they are loved. I’m here for that. Give me a call 803-336-5125 and let’s create some amazing artwork for you and your home. 

maternity portrait displayed in a bedroom, Charlotte maternity photographer, why wall art matters

Get in touch and learn more about my work here

Momma Resources Charlotte Area

black and white newborn with mom portrait, Charlotte Newborn Photographer

Expecting or just had a new baby? Here are some of my favorite people who work with expecting and new mommas to help with the transition to Motherhood.

Prenatal Providers

gorgeous pregnancy photo



Birth Doulas

Prenatal Yoga

Mind Body Providers

black and white newborn with mom portrait, Charlotte Newborn Photographer

Classes and Online Groups

Therapy and Support Services

 PostNatal Providers

charlotte, nc, Newborn Photography,


Postpartum Doulas

Nanny and Sleep Support

Infant Massage

Pelvic Floor and Physical Therapy

Little Help … I want this to be a growing and useful page for Momma Resources Charlotte and Fort Mill areas if you find a broken link or know someone to add let me know (803) 336-5125

black and white newborn portrait collage, Charlotte Newborn Photographer, Fort mIll, SC, Rock Hill, SC, Momma Resources Charlotte
Momma Resources Charlotte and beyond

Celebrating Motherhood in 2023 with Limited Edition Sessions and an Art Exhibit for You!

Feel like a model for the day while we create once-in-a-lifetime motherhood portraits you will cherish more each year. 

Join me in celebrating motherhood in 2023.

What’s this all about? I’m celebrating motherhood in 2023 in a big way. I will be photographing 23 moms-to-be in 2023 for my celebrating motherhood project. I’ll be arranging a photography exhibit and celebration of this special time in every mother’s life for our participants by the end of this year.

Whether you are 6 weeks or 8 months pregnant right now, we’d love for you to be a part of it!

The portrait sessions take place at our fort mill studio at the time that is comfortable for you based on the consultation with Alicia.

newborn love stories: expecting a baby, Charlotte, NC, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, maternity portrait, celebrate motherhood

Why now? Because motherhood in 2023 is hard, culturally, we have so many expectations. Keep the kids happy, healthy, active, on grade level; the list goes on. Keep the house show ready. Oh, and don’t let your career suffer while you do all the other things. Don’t have kids too early or too late. It’s all too much.

celebrate motherhood, maternity portrait pink dress, Charlotte NC photographer

I will focus on documenting the incredible super power of motherhood.

First, creating new life is a superpower, one that should be celebrated. I want to honor that superpower with beautiful, professional portraits for mommas-to-be so you can remember how incredible you really are!

I also happen to know many moms who give themselves such a hard time when the babies are young, but when their babies are 20-something they look back at those photographs with their kids and think, wow, what was I so worried about? Because all they see is the love they felt for their child. As a motherhood photographer, it’s my duty to document this pregnancy season of your children so that you will have  beautiful images to cherish forever.

Mama, it’s time to share these fabulous moments with the world, and I want to do this for you without adding anything to your already-growing to-do list. The truth is that time isn’t going to slow down. But together, we can hit the pause button and capture this season of motherhood.

motherhood maternity black and white bump portrait Fort Mill, SC

How it works:

1. Fill out the form below and Alicia will get in touch with you to talk about the best timing, style and other details of your photo shoot.

2. Your photo shoot starts with hair and make up to help you feel pampered and like your best self.

3. You will view your portraits and will choose your favorites right after your shoot or a few days later.

4. At the end of 2023 we will arrange a celebration for our participants with a gallery exhibit of the photographs and women’s stories of what it means to you to have your baby.

Will you help me make the ‘Celebrating Motherhood Project’ a success?

If you are expecting a baby in 2023. I’m inviting you to take part in my Celebrating Motherhood project in 2023. I welcome you to share this with other mamas who might love this. 

motherhood remembered in a maternity portrait over the bed in your room! artwork for Charlotte's moms

What do you need to do?

Fill out the contact form to schedule your session. Then I will call you to answer any questions you may have and schedule your session.

expecting a baby, Charlotte, NC, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, maternity portrait

The session investment is just $350 for hair and makeup, a portrait session all about celebrating you and your motherhood journey, design, styling, and client closet included. You are absolutely going to love your images! During your image reveal, you will make any final choices for printed artwork. Plus, Digital files are always included with your printed work.

We will handle all the details. Once you’re on the schedule, all you need to do is show up on the day of your session. That is truly it! Your outfit will be clean, pressed, and waiting, and hair and makeup will be there to pamper you. Your children are not only invited but welcomed with open arms. We love your kiddos like our own! 

Don’t wait to document this moment with your child. You’ll be thrilled you did. These portraits will be so precious. 

The time has come

for you to

exist in photographs.

Statement from Alicia “I’ve been photographing pregnancy and babies for over 18 years. I have documented this special time for so many local families. And what I’ve noticed is how precious and meaningful this time is for a mom and the entire family. And yet how fast it passes by. It really feels like a blur. I believe that it’s crucial to remember as much detail of all the hope, joy, anticipation and love that you feel during this time and celebrate YOU, the mom and the new life that you are about to bring to the world. You are creating life inside your body, if that’s not a super power I don’t know what is.”

expecting parents, wall artwork, fort mill, sc, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC

Fort Mill’s Featured Newborn Myths

big brother baby sister, Fort Mill newborn photography

Over the years, I’ve photographed hundreds of Fort Mill newborns for their first official portrait. I love documenting this for parents with my stress-free portrait process. For more information on when to schedule your newborn portrait session, please visit this resource. 

Sweet boy snuggled up

So, I’ve been asked a lot lately about newborn portraits and some expectations from first-time parents that aren’t realistic. So I thought we would do quick myths versus reality post today to walk you through the top three myths. 

The Top Three Newborn Portrait Myths 

1.) Can We Get a Portrait of My Newborn Smiling?

Can we get a portrait of my newborn smiling? The answer is probably not. I apologize to the first-time parents who have seen my work and think that an adorable smiling newborn is the norm. It’s really like seeing a unicorn and taking a photo. Some days we just get lucky, but the reality is newborns are expected to smile by three months old. That’s normal. And I photograph babies between 5-14 days old. So those adorable smiles you saw are just plain luck. Some babies smile in their sleep, and we get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to click the shutter at the right time. Most of the time, it’s just not possible. Nothing I say or do will encourage a smile from a newborn this young. 

newborn myths Fort Mill New baby photographer, baby wrapped in pink hat

2.) Can we Get a Portrait of My Baby Looking at the Camera?

Here again, that milestone is around three months. Why, you ask? Baby’s vision and ability to focus just doesn’t line up with what’s going on in a professional camera. According to this AOA article about infant vision, “Their primary focus is on objects 8 to 10 inches from their face or the distance to the parent’s face.” from birth to 4 months of age. As a general rule in professional photography with a standard lens, I need at least 3 feet between my subject and the lens to properly get them in focus. That’s at minimum 36 inches. Baby just can’t focus on me at that distance. They may look in my direction, but again, it’s like with the smiles, even if I shoot fast, it’s a lucky shot to get both eyes looking into the camera. 

Secondly, babies at this age are very sleepy; just getting them to open their eyes is a feat. Newborns sleep between 16-18 hours a day during the first two weeks. 

custom portrait artwork album of newborn photo session

3.) Why Not Wait a Few Weeks to Take Newborn Portraits? 

So now I hear the wheels turning. Why not wait a few weeks and photograph them a bit older or a bit bigger? Here are a few reasons for you.

  • Baby acne – ugh, not a fun thing to think about, but it happens a lot, and it starts around two weeks old 
  • Cradle cap – this is similar to acne but on the scalp starts around three weeks old
  • The newborn curl – Eek, so sweet. Honestly, this is what so many moms choose newborn portraits to capture. That newborn curl is the sweetest position and reminds us that our baby just spent nine months inside our bodies growing and becoming a baby. 
pink sweetness, newborn portrait of a baby girl, natural posing, Charlotte, NC, Clover SC

Baby Sleep Doctor tells us, “Most babies grow out of the “newborn curl” within the first few weeks of their life” sad but true. This is the number one reason I encourage moms to call me before their baby arrives so we can get them in during the precious newborn stage. 

Mom holding her newborn for a portrait worth of the family gallery wall.

The thing is, by three weeks old baby is more aware that we are moving her. She may have acne, cradle cap, or not. But she will sleep less soundly as the days go by, she will stretch more, and if you want portraits like you see in my gallery, they are best created by two weeks of age. The older baby gets, the longer the session may take, and the more post-processing is required to remove acne. Post-processing takes time and increases your costs for a newborn session.

Your newborn portrait artwork will anchor the wall art without overpowering your theme or asthetic.
an example of a newborn portrait artwork displayed in the home

Your Fort Mill, SC Newborn Portrait Photographer

I feel lucky to meet and photograph your sweet baby! I get to relive the precious newborn stage over and over again. To create the best experience for my clients, I can only take on a limited number of newborn sessions per week. I would love to be your newborn photographer. Just send me a message here to schedule a time to chat or to schedule your session. Tell me did you find these newborn portrait myths helpful? Please let me know in the comments.

charlotte, nc, Newborn Photography,
Just a few precious new babies ❤️

What to Wear for Your Maternity Portrait Session

I’ll be honest with you, choosing what to wear for your maternity portrait session can be tricky! Your maternity session is usually between 28-35 weeks of pregnancy. You might not know exactly what size you’ll be or how comfortable you’ll be feeling. Plus, you might only need the outfit for the day of the session. (This is where a studio wardrobe comes in handy.)

I’m here to help! I’ll offer some guidance on what to wear for your maternity session and why you should really consider a maternity photographer with a wardrobe! 

Choose Your Maternity Session Style

Before sharing tips on what to wear, I want to back up for a second. First, start with the end in mind and envision what you want to do with these portraits. Are you hoping to print a portrait to hang on the wall? Wanting to add some of these images to your baby’s first album? This will help you start. Second, think about what overall style you’re going for. Do you want a glamorous maternity session? Something more contemporary? Magazine Style? I have a whole guide on just choosing your maternity session style here. 

What to Wear for Your Maternity Portraits 

Here are a few ideas of what you can wear for your maternity portrait session!

Fitted Dress – This is a beautiful and classic look for your maternity session! A fitted dress shows off your beautiful bump and all your gorgeous curves. I tend to suggest a solid color for this type of dress so that a pattern doesn’t distract from you at all. 

Flowy Dress – A gorgeous option for the mama who wants the glam goddess look. We’ll still show off the bump along with your beautiful self with this look. Different poses offer different looks with this style of dress. 

Jeans and Top – This is more casual but still so beautiful! We can show off your pregnancy in a way that’s comfortable for you. This simple yet classic look offers the perfect peek at your glowing baby bump!

Barely There – All we need is your gorgeous pregnancy! These are the portraits that you’ll look back on and think, “Wow, my body can do incredible things.” Your body is doing an amazing job growing life. Now is the time to celebrate your superpower.

Insley Photography Studio Wardrobe 

This is where the benefit of a studio wardrobe comes into play! Instead of stressing and shopping to try to find the right outfit, you can use one of mine. I have sizes and styles for every mama. On the day of your maternity portrait session, your outfit will be clean, pressed, and waiting for you. How easy is that?! You get to feel like the stunning goddess that you are without having to spend money on an outfit that you’re going to wear once. Bonus you can arrive in your pjs on the day of your photoshoot 😉

Fort Mill Maternity Photography 

Mama, I believe that your motherhood journey should be documented and celebrated without adding any to-dos to your growing list. Once you arrive at my Fort Mill studio, you will feel pampered and loved. I want to help you celebrate your sweet baby and be part of your story. The best part is that you can let me do all the work! 

What about hair and makeup? I’m so glad you asked 😉 I will coordinate that too. A professional hair and makeup artist can meet you at the studio before your session and help you get ready and feel pampered on your portrait day.

If you have any questions for me or want to schedule your maternity session, give me a call (803) 336-5125 or send me a message here. 

Check out my friend Vanessa’s Delivery Bag Checklist blog post.

She shares all the things you need to have in your bag and it’s a lot less than you probably think.

Having Faith When Your Family Feels Like a Hot Mess

This one is for my mamas with littles. If you’re dreaming of a family portrait session but worry about how it’ll work with your little kids, I have you covered! Let me share how you can have faith even when your session may feel like a hot mess. You’re not the only one worrying about this, so let me put your mind at ease. 

As a mom of two and a family portrait photographer, I’ve seen it all! I’ve had toddlers running around my studio, having big feelings, or simply not showing any interest in cooperating. I have every trick and tactic in the book up my sleeve to capture that perfect family shot no matter what (even if we need to bring in the PhotoShop Magic gods). Family and motherhood photography is important to me because I want mom to be in the photo with her children. 

Let me share some tips to prepare your kids for the session so you can keep the faith!

How to Prep Your Kids for the Session

1. Talk Up the Session – In the days leading up to the session, talk it up like it’s the most fun thing ever. Tell them that your friend Alicia is going to take your family photos and she can’t wait to meet you. (or see you again)

2. Full Bellies – Trying to get a hungry toddler to go along with photos will be a huge challenge. 

Try to make sure your kids are fed and watered before the session. That goes for you too, mom! If everyone’s fed, we can avoid any hangry outbursts. If they won’t eat beforehand snacks are always welcome in the studio. Please bring your favorite snacks. 

3. Let Me Run the Show – You will be pleasantly surprised at how much your child will listen to me. I’ll let you know if I need any help. Otherwise, sit back and let me work my magic to get the best smiles. Some days if it’s us against the parents together (playfully, of course), kids will think it’s a fun game 😉

I have one more tip for you that might just be the most important one….

How to Keep the Faith During a Hot Mess Family Session

Okay, my last tip is for you, mom, to relax during your family session. Your children will feed off your energy, so the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed they will be. If your children are running around, take a deep breath and loosen your shoulders. It’s really okay! Just pretend the running isn’t happening like you don’t even see it. As I said before, I got this for you. I will let you know if I need some backup, but more likely than not, I can wrangle them where I need them. I use goofy props, ask them questions, and you’ll probably hear me make the silliest sounds to get them to stop and give me the best smile. If we have to sing silly songs or take a dance break just go with it. Sit back and relax, mom. We’ll get more beautiful portraits for you. 

Charlotte Family Photography 

Your family portraits are something you will treasure forever. I want to make the entire portrait experience enjoyable and stress-free by handling all of the details for you. You can trust me to plan your session so that you end up with the portrait artwork of your dreams. The best part? I’ll even hang it up for you. If you’re interested in learning more about a portrait session, please send me a message.