Newborn Baby Girl Sawyer

Newborn Baby Girl

Newborn Baby Girl

Baby Sawyer gave her mommy quite the time with her pregnancy. But man was she worth the wait and all the scares. She is just perfect and apparently just likes to make a dramatic entrance. Maybe she will be famous on the stage one day in the far off future. She was the perfect little model for our newborn baby portrait session. I of course got in my snuggle time. Thank you to my dear friends for allowing me to take over your home for a portrait session of your beautiful baby girl.

Also a special thank you to Tammy Bowden for providing all the handmade hats and accessories. You do beautiful work and I cannot wait to see more. They really made her images special.


My First Maternity Self Portrait Charlotte Maternity Photographer

Maternity self portrait black and white


My first maternity self portrait

For those of you who regularly read my blog ramblings you know that I never had my pregnancy photographs taken with my first child. I had a photographer hired and ready to take my portraits originally at 32 weeks. She ended up having a conflict and was unable to reschedule until I would have been 36 weeks. Ordinarily with a first time mom this would not have been a problem, as many first time moms actually deliver after their due date. However our dear son had other plans in mind.

We lovingly refer to him today as our early bird 😉 He arrived at 35 weeks and a few days. And the only pregnancy photograph I have from his time were taken at my baby shower. Let me just say that not having a full length mirror at home was a terrible mistake for my non-fashion conscious self. No one will see those photographs but my kiddos. This self portrait will hopefully be my first of several maternity self portraits. I have grand plans to take many. I will also be hiring a maternity photographer to photograph the whole family well in advance of this child’s arrival.

Technical details

For those that are interested in how I accomplished this maternity self portrait. I have a large sliding glass door in my home studio space. I covered the doors with sheer white curtains and played with my camera settings until I was happy with the results. Landing on an aperture setting of f/4.5 and exposing at 1/100 of a second. Then I set up my tripod and set my camera to self timer.

I really do love technology. It took a few takes to get my pose and place set be myself. After I had all the images I thought I would need I edited them to black and white in Adobe Lightroom. I think they turned out alright for my first try. I did decide I need a new dress or two for my later photographs. If anyone has any recommendations on where to find beautiful maternity dresses please send them along. Thanks for letting me share.


 Maternity self portrait black and white

Before and After: Charlotte NC Maternity Portrait Photographer

maternity portrait session fine art black & white

Before : a maternity portrait session

Miss A called me just before her son was due to arrive. She said “I just came across this Before and After image of a pregnant mom and then the same mom with her baby. She of course included an image example. Any chance we can do this before he arrives?” having already photographed miss A’s maternity session very early in her pregnancy I said of course I can. So without further ado here are some of her Before images from this second maternity portrait session.

There will be more to come from this family in the next week or so. Miss A delivered a beautiful baby boy the following day. I cannot wait to meet him and of course take his first professional baby portraits. I just loved this idea for a before and after composite and the final product should be just as beautiful as these before portraits did.

Please don’t wait until 40 weeks

Just a word of caution while we are on the topic of maternity portraits. Please don’t wait until the last minute to contact your maternity portrait photographer. You could miss your chance just like I did with my first pregnancy.  It’s best to contact your maternity photographer during your second trimester. Maternity portraits are best created between 28-32 weeks

Also if you have ideas about your final images please don’t hesitate to share your ideas. As an artist I love to be inspired and to know what you love too. stay tuned.


Siblings are the best friends | Charlotte Kid Portraits


Oh my I love these three siblings so much. Little Z was not happy about us trying to get him to sit still at all. I think his mom was ready to pull out the duck tape or throw in the towel. I’m not sure which. Being that he’s only 18 months old I was not surprised. But we got a few good images of him hamming it up. Miss E is always the model in training. I still think that child will be famous one day but today she could easily be a kids clothing model. And big K-man he is always so nervous. He just want to be good at everything and please everyone. You can see it in the outtakes he is really thinking about smiling.  But just as soon as I get him distracted his beautiful smile is just killer. I could just eat him up with a spoon.

These siblings make being their Auntie a pure joy and I can’t wait to spend time with them again. Thanks again Carrie for being a great mommy and photography assistant. Siblings are the best friends you never had to ask for. 


3 years old and a major goofball | Charlotte Children’s Photographer

3 year old girl portrait head shots black and white

3 years old and counting

My sweet niece was in town last week and I had to photograph her for my black and white fine art wall project! I only have two of my son’s cousins to add before our wall is complete. Big sister if you are reading this, that mean your kiddos are the only ones still needed for the project.

Sweet miss Ava was just a ham for our short mini session last week. I just adore her spirit. She is the poster child for sweet and sassy 3 years old girls. We loved having her visit and hate that she lives so far away. The black and white version is my favorite and will be going in the wall project. I can’t wait to show you all the final piece. I just love decorating our home with fine art wall portraits.

The color toned pop art image was something fun I had to try after all the fun faces she made. This is a recreation in the Andy Warhol style of Pop art. This is obviously a toned down version more appropriate for a 3 year old girl. What do you guys think of this take on the many faces of Ava?


An article for the expecting mommas check out the heartfelt words from a dear friend dreadon photography



Charlotte Newborn Photographer | Mother and New Baby

Charlotte NC Mother and New Babysweet hug love the black and white mommy and me portraits

This mother and new baby portrait session from last week was magical. I blogged and sent out Facebook messages looking for a few newborn models. On a whim while setting up an appointment for Kari’s sweet little man K, I asked if she would be willing to model for me as well. I am so glad she agreed. She is just going to love these images of the two of them. Don’t you think?

Thank you Kari for bringing sweet baby K to be photographed and thank you so much for also modeling for me! I just love to photograph new moms with their sweet babies. I do not know why so many moms hesitate. Actually that’s a lie I know exactly what holds us back and moms.  But I’m here to tell you all those reasons in your head feel true. things like I’m carrying extra baby weight, or my hair isn’t perfect, or my skin is a mess from pregnancy. All of that might be true but you know what else is true?  You just cannot get this time in your baby’s life back.

No one ever says I wish I had not had mother and new baby portraits made.

Never! But I do often hear I wish I had photos when Sam was a newborn, I wish I had gotten in more photos with my kids. Or even worse I just wish I had one photograph of my mom when I was a baby. This one is almost always from adults. So let’s change this and not let your child grow up and think this.

If you love these images and know any moms-to-be send them my way. I am always looking for momma’s to be and new moms and I am always happy to photograph mother and child images during a newborn session too! Contact me here today!



Have an older baby? Check out this amazing Mommy and Me portrait session from my friend Vanessa Keo for inspiration

Charlotte Photographer Newborn Posing Safety Most Important

newborn baby girl, charlotte NC, posing safety

Above is a newborn portrait of sweet miss Carli from my newborn posing safety workshop I attended this past weekend. She was a doll to work with and her parents were really great for bringing her in after the ice storm the night before.

Learning to safely pose new babies…

became a top priority for me once I decided to specialize in newborn photography. Posed newborn portraits have become very popular as of late and I quickly learned with my new baby posing him was not as easy as it looks on Pinterest.  After doing a little research and taking my first live newborn class I found out just how unsafe some posing could be if done incorrectly. I’ve made it my mission to learn the right way to pose your infant while keeping them safe at all times. 

The unexpected part of the class was…

learning more about babies and what happens during birth. For example I found out which in hindsight seems obvious that babies can have a preference of one side or the other because of bruising or trauma from delivery. And some poses they just won’t like for the same reason. Another a ha moment for me was learning that you can actually tell when a baby is dreaming? Pretty cool right, having this information is great because it tells me what stage of sleep baby is in and when is better to begin posing or wait. Hint the dreaming stage is very close to the conscious stage so we wait for this stage to end. My mind was totally blown babies are really amazing. 

Below is the link to our posing safety recent press release.

They include information about the Making Memories Newborn workshop that I attended.

NC Headlines – Alicia Insley Smith of  Insley Photography completes Newborn Posing Workshop for infant safety

NC Headlines – Insley Photography Newborn Posing Workshop

Expecting a baby soon? check out my most recent work here 

New Baby Gallery


Handprints Are The Best Valentines Day Presents Ever | Charlotte Baby

I asked my wonderful husband for one thing for Valentines Day this year. And boy did he ever deliver. A little background, I got him and all the grandparents custom made pottery this year for christmas. They were all decorated by our son and included hand prints. They all turned out so great I regretted not making one for myself. As moms we never do enough for ourselves.

So for V-day I asked for my own pottery made by our son and my husband. He asked me to come along and pick out the pieces. I had to photograph them incase I break them. Since I might be the clumsiest person on the planet.  I love them more than I thought I would so I am including some pictures just for you guys. I’m a very proud of our little man and I can’t help sharing. Oh and we made these handprints at Bella Pottery in Mooresville. Great little spot and they are open pretty late in the evening. Great for new moms with little ones that are up all night. Handprints Are The Best Valentines Day Presents Ever


Cake (smash) for mid morning Snack Charlotte Baby Photographer

How fun are these Cake (Smash) portraits with my little guy. In honor of him turning 1! I made him a batch of chocolate cupcakes and let him go to town dressed only in his diaper. He loved it! I love photographing cake smash pictures to celebrate the end of baby’s first year. Gosh they grow so fast. Little ones love to make a mess. Don’t forget to schedule a session time for your 1 year old’s cake (smash) portraits!

Celebrating the first year of life for your baby is also a great time to sit back and think of how much you’ve grown. Not just your baby. You as the mom. Think about it you have a baby and at the same time you become a mom. Your whole world changes and begins new. The first year is an amazing time of growth and learning for you as well. It’s a journey that deserves to be honored and celebrated.


Newborn Safety Is My #1| Charlotte Baby Photographer

I want to do something a little different tonight. Let’s talk a little about newborn safety when it comes to babies and/or children and your photographer. I don’t know how many times parents have asked me to put their child or baby in danger to get the perfect shot (according to a parent). In my humble opinion it is just a bad idea to put your child in danger for a photograph. You should never put a baby up on something high off the ground. Or let a baby just learning to stand, hold on the something and let go of said baby just for a picture. They will inevitable fall and get hurt.

When you come to me for a portrait session you are joining the Insley Photography family and as family I want to keep you and yours safe always. I insist on safety in my studio when it comes to my clients. 

Today I want to share a before and after sequence from a recent newborn photo session. This is Baby Olivia, the color images are straight out of the camera used to make the final edited image. This is the only safe way to get the desired results of a sweet newborn holding up her head. Newborn safety has to be my number one priority.

Still have questions about a pose you’ve seen on the internet, or even in person?  Just ask. I am happy to let you in on the secret of howwe can make it safely.

Got more questions? Here is a great article from the Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International  apnpi website  all about newborn safety