Little Love Stories: Navigating A Pandemic Pregnancy

navigating a pandemic pregnancy, newborn with family, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte NC

 

What was it like navigating a pandemic pregnancy?

  • I found out I was pregnant right when everything began to shut down which was very hard for me.  My first OB appt to confirm mysweet newborn, Charlotte NC, Marvin NC pregnancy was over the phone which really messed with me. I was finally able to go in for my 12 week appt but my bf was not allowed to come in to see our baby on the screen. Due to COVID he is still unable to come to my appts and has only seen pictures of our child.  I had a minor scare with placenta previa but I was cleared after a few weeks.
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  • What do you like to imagine for your child’s future? *
  • I want my son to be great at whatever he wants to do.
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  • What would you like your baby to know about YOU (their beautiful mama!)? *
  • I want him to know that I love him and I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet him.
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  • Is there an encouraging message you would like to share with other mothers navigating their own pandemic pregnancy? 
  • new mom with smiling newborn baby, Charlotte NC Indian land, SCYou can do this! Your body was made for this!
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  • Why are beautiful photos important for you and your family? *
  • This is my first child and I want to have beautiful memories of this experience.

 

 

After his arrival, can you share about your first moments with baby?

  • The first moments with Cameron were very precious. I didn’t cry or anything I just looked at the amazing little human we had created.
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  • Any surprises in labor and delivery? Anything you didn’t expect?
  • Nothing went according to my birth plan due to my water breaking and only being 1cm dilated. They had to administer medication. Thisnew family, baby, Charlotte NC, Tega Cay, SC prohibited me from laboring in the tub at planned and I was unable to walk around because they were monitoring him. I ended up getting an epidural because I was hungry and tired but everything worked out.
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  • What’s the best part of being a new mom?
  • The best part baby snuggles and knowing I get a chance to mold him into a great person
  • navigating a pandemic pregnancy, newborn with family, Fort Mill, SC, Clover SC navigating a pandemic pregnancy, newborn with family, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte NC
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  • What’s the hardest part?
  • The hardest part right now is breastfeeding.

 

 

 

 

Want to learn more about the Little Love Story series? Your next step is to get in touch…  Click Here

 

Notes from a first time Mom: Little Love Stories

first time mom, Rock Hill SC, Charlotte NC, newborn baby girl

Notes while waiting for her baby girl…

First time mom here. I really don’t know what to expect…. I feel like it has been a very easy pregnancy from what I’ve read.expecting mom, Fort Mill SC, Waxhaw NC, maternity, anne springs greenway

What do you like to imagine for your child’s future? *

For her to have two supportive parents that can also help her have a love and understanding for others. To help her get through first time mom, Fort Mill SC, Waxhaw NC, maternity, anne springs greenwayher trials by helping her understand ours.

What would you like your baby to know about YOU (their beautiful mama!)? *

Her moms have worked a long time to get where we are today. first time moms, Fort Mill SC, Waxhaw NC, maternity, anne springs greenway

Is there an encouraging message you would like to share with other mothers? *

You’ve got this! Don’t get discouraged everything will be alright! Enjoy the highs and hope the lows go by fast.

Why are beautiful photos important for you and your family? *

first time moms, Fort Mill SC, Waxhaw NC, maternity, anne springs greenwayI want to capture moments with my child instead of just of my child.

 



First time mom notes from the first week

Tell us about the first moments with your baby?new mom with baby  mom, Rock Hill SC, Charlotte NC, newborn baby girl

The first moments with her were….. mystifying. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. I know this sounds dramatic but, it was that and so much more. Taken over with emotions I’ve never felt, relief, and wonder. It seemed like such a dream.

Any surprises in labor and delivery? Anything you didn’t expect?first time mom, Fort Mill SC, Waxhaw NC, newborn baby girl

I had a very easy labor and delivery. That surprised me because, EVERYONE said the first delivery would be the hardest. I got so many stories of 24-30 hours of labor. I was only in active labor for four hours.

What’s the best part of being a new mom?first time mom, Fort Mill SC, Waxhaw NC, newborn baby girl

The best part of being a new mom is, all of it; the sleepless days and nights, the smell of baby, the cuddles. The fact that the baby wants no one else. To see your baby with your spouse and how they start to grow the bond you have.

What’s the hardest part?

first time mom, Fort Mill SC, Waxhaw NC, newborn baby girlThe hardest part of being a new mom is trying to figure out what works for you and your baby while trying not to linger on the thoughts of someone else’s opinions and “advice” wondering if your doing everything right and keeping your baby healthy.

What surprises has this month brought you?

We have no surprises yet…. She seems pretty perfect

Any feedback from your first little love stories portrait session? Anything I can change to make it better?first time mothers, Fort Mill SC, Waxhaw NC, newborn baby girl

I feel like our first session was amazing! We are very reserved people and you were able to get us out of our shell enough to catch it on camera.

PS Notes from a first time mom after one month with her newborn

“Hey Alicia,first time mom, Rock Hill SC, Charlotte NC, newborn baby girl

I looked back at my new mom questionnaire and wanted to change the answer to a question. Parker was only 8 or 9 days and I don’t feel like I was able to properly answer the question. Since Parker will be a month old on Tues. Now I can accurately answer “what surprises has this month brought”?

The surprises this first month has brought were the things no one tells you to expect. Of course the sleepless nights, the sweet cuddles, the love you would feel are what everyone mentioned.

They don’t mention some days in the beginning you’ll forget to eat. You will want to nap when baby sleeps but your brain doesn’t shut off. You’ll be following safe sleep but still wake up with every little noise to make sure your baby is okay. You will not know what to do when your told to take a little time for yourself. Just know it will all be okay! Don’t stress yourself out. Love yourself momma!

I know it’s long but I had to let new moms know how it is. That it is ok for it to be stressful but it will be okay.”

Amber

first time mom, Fort Mill SC, Waxhaw NC, newborn baby girl

Are you expecting a new baby? I’d love to include you in our little love stories series. Follow this link to get started and learn more.

JOIN THE LITTLE LOVE STORIES

 

Newborn Love Stories: Mission Surprise 17%

17% newborn love stories, never give up, baby boy blue, indian land, SC, Rock Hill, SC

During this time in your life when things are changing, and your baby is growing inside you. I’m on a mission  to capture their true selves, the newness of the beginning, how small, innocent and amazing at a time that seems to race by. Capturing the newborn stage is a wonderful gift for your child showing them, how much they are loved, waited for and cherished! But it’s also hugely important for you to have a way to remember and connect with your child back to a time before. What would you tell your baby now before he is born about your hopes and dreams for her future? What do you want to show him as he grows and changes throughout her childhood?

mom and new baby boy, indian land, SC, Rock Hill, SC

If you are expecting a baby, I would love for you to apply for the Newborn Love Stories Campaign.

In exchange for sharing your story and helping you connect to your baby now and in the future you will receive a complimentary newborn portrait session and your favorite image printed professionally as a thank you for participating. Click the button below to get started.

Never give upnew parents baby boy, indian land, SC, Rock Hill, SC

Never give up on your goals or plans, it’s ok to pivot and roll with the curves life brings, but sometimes just making a new plan can help open up the opportunities to achieve your goal differently.

17% boy was she surprised

Mom was given 17% chance of conceiving with in vitro, and no chance with natural conception. After years of working with fertility doctors to conceive his parents decided to go with the adoption option. Not long after contacting an adoption service Mom learned much to her surprise, she was pregnant!

Oh my goodness she had a ton of fun and personal ideas and plans for her newborn portrait session. We had a great planning and preparing session at the studio and a big list of images she wanted for his portraits.newborn baby boy, indian land, SC, Charlotte, NC

Again we talked about this for her maternity session but she continued in her newborn session with her calm, confidence in being a new mom without any nerves or concerns.

We created some fabulous portraits of baby Adrian to remember and celebrate his newness, his birth and his future to come. But even more importantly we captured the love and connection between his parents and their joy to have a child of their own.

nursery collage for new baby boy, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC

 

Apply Now

I’ll be honest it’s hard… interview with a new mom from Little Love Stories

interview with a new mom, one month old, black and white, Charlotte, NC

Katie and Kameron One Month old

Congratulations Mom, your baby is one month old. How are you feeling after the 1st month? Physically, emotionally or mentally. (remember there are no right or wrong answers)

  • To be completely honest, I’m 100% drained physically, emotionally and mentally. Being a mom is HARD and the first month has been really hard. Besides the normal sleep deprivation, my little one has had a
    interview with a new mom, one month old, black and white, Charlotte, NC
    Superman
    hard time with colic and gas making him miserable every day. When your baby is miserable, it makes you miserable or feel like you’re not doing anything right. Now that we have figured out the root cause making him feel sick I’m starting to feel more confident and content as a mom. Plus I’m starting to get more sleep!

 

 

What has been your favorite part of the first month with baby?

  • Watching him do new things almost every day. I’m amazed by how much he changes. I also love seeing how much he lights up seeing his dad, grandparents and other family. He already knows who his people are even at a month old. All the baby snuggles are the best too.

interview with a new mom, one month old,  Charlotte, NC

What has been a struggle? was it a surprise or expected?

  • Breastfeeding! Just when I thought I had it down/baby was getting better we took two steps backward. Everyone keeps telling me he’ll go longer between feedings and it gets easier, but every baby is different. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned it’s ok if you need to supplement with formula or pump and give bottles (to give you and your body a break). I didn’t realize how hard it would be to have a little human attached to your body 24/7. I’ve also been diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. It wasn’t a surprise or expected, but something that has been a struggle. I think more moms/their partners should check in on their mental health because my doctor and therapist were so happy we caught it early. Apparently a lot of moms suffer in silence and go untreated, making it harder to work through later. Now that I’m on a plan to treat it I’m enjoying being a mom and my baby.

 

How has your relationship with your spouse changed over the last few months?interview with a new mom, one month old,  Charlotte, NC

  • It has brought us closer together. Our communication and teamwork has had to be on point to get through the 1st month of baby. Part of communicating is checking in on each other’s emotional and physical health, which hasn’t always been a focus for us. The other part is I’m having to rely on my husband more than ever; I’m pretty independent, so the amount of help I’ve had to have from him has been a lot. He’s taken on caring for me and baby amazingly, and it makes me love him even more. We’ve also had to be more intentional to separate being mom/dad from being husband/wife. We try to have husband/wife time every day even if it’s a 10 minute conversation that doesn’t involve talking about the baby.

interview with a new mom, one month old,  Charlotte, NC

What would you tell an expecting mom about the first month with baby?

1) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If someone offers, take it.

2) When you get a break, basic human needs are not self-care (sleeping, showering, eating etc). Go out to get a pedicure or massage or whatever you need mentally to relax even for just an hour.

3) Check in on yourself mentally. If you’re feeling things you think you shouldn’t talk to your doctor. Postpartum depression and anxiety are common, but not something you should have to live with so you can enjoy your baby. Being a new mom is hard enough and you shouldn’t suffer in silence.

Personal side note every word of this interview is pure gold, thank you so much for sharing your words with us, Katie. I want to share them with all the moms to be and new moms who feel like it is just them. -alicia

 

Holiday Portraits to Support the Humane Society of York County

Just a quick video to share that we have mini sessions available November 14th and 15th at The Faires-Coltharp Cabin at the Anne Springs Close Greenway

This is a fun mini session event to benefit your favorite 4 legged friends awaiting their forever homes at the Humane Society and having fun Holiday portraits created of your kids and pets for that Christmas card.
2020 is definitely the year to send Holiday cards to the family since the pandemic has limited travel and visits with the most vulnerable.
Plus I know a few of you adopted Covid puppies like we did. This is a great opportunity to show off that new best friend to the family and support a great cause.
 
$99 books your holiday portraits spot and includes the first set of printed Holiday cards!
 

the best things happen unexpectedly : warrior mom

waiting for you to arrive:

This is my husband (Tyler) and my first baby, and expecting a little man! My husband and I met in an internship program (for the same company we both now still work for) in summer 2017 and it’s been a fast paced love story ever since. This baby was a bit of a surprise (we just got married in October) but it has been THE BEST surprise ever. Even though 2020 is supposedly the worst year ever, we’re about to get to the best part for us ;)

We like to imagine a long, healthy life for our son doing what makes him happy!

newborn baby of warrior mom, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, York, SC

I hope we raise a good, kind, strong person who sticks up for what’s right and leaves a light wherever he goes. 

Since he will also be half black, I hope others judge him for the content of his character and not the color of his skin. Especially during this time, this has been heavy on our hearts. 

Those are the biggest things that come to mind for what we want for his future…though his dad might add D1 athlete ;)

The most important thing I want him to know is that I love him very much. I’m not perfect but I will always try my best to be the best for him. I’ve worked very hard to be where I’m at in my career, but I will work harder to make our family life a priority. I also have the best mom, so you’re lucky in the grandma department :)

black and white collage frame newborn baby, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, York, SC

Anyone whose given birth, going to give birth or a mother during this quarantine is a special type of warrior.

All mothers during this time are dealing with isolation, uncertainty of safety and economic turmoil on top of growing/raising little humans. 

I think the most encouraging thing I can say is even if this is the hardest thing we ever do, we will come out stronger. Closer to our partners/families. Well rested (hopefully, or at least better) because we’ve taken a break from running around and overcommitting ourselves. Spent more time with our partners/kids/doing self-care than before. 

Yes, we’re having virtual baby showers, birthdays and celebrations. Postponed vacations and outings. Stressed family members and friends. Even stressed and anxious ourselves. It all will come to an end eventually, and we’ll look back and go wow…we made it.

Image box newborn baby of warrior mom, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, Rock Hill, SC

I’m a warrior, and if I get through 2020 I can get through anything.

Besides being quarantined since mid-March we’ve had some interesting stuff happen. The biggest thing that’s happened is we’ve only owned one car since we got engaged, and we FINALLY got Ty his truck in April before baby got here. One night our cars were parked out front of our house, and a drunk driver crashed into both totaling mine and causing over $6k in damage on his truck we had for less than a week. Thankfully the driver was insured, but now we’re back to one car. On a positive note, since both of us have been working from home and not going anywhere we haven’t needed two cars. If it was going to happen this was the “perfect time”.

Happy news that’s happened during quarantine: one of our best friends had a healthy baby girl in March!

family embrace black and white portrait newborn baby of warrior mom, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC

Feelings after you arrived:

Finally seeing and holding him was incredible. Looking at his face and talking to him made the rest of the room stop like no one was there. I was taken aback he was already opening his eyes to look at me like he was studying all my features like I was studying his.

I had a natural birth, so I think my biggest surprise was how out of it I really got towards the end. My husband likes to tell me the details I don’t remember, including being upset when he got Bojangles for dinner. Apparently I made him throw away the trash outside the delivery room.

newborn baby, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, York, SC

The best part of being a new mom is the baby snuggles!

I love how he’ll nudge his head right under my chin and lay there completely content. I also love learning his mannerisms and personality as it starts to show.

The hardest part of being a new mom just when you think you have it figured out, something changes and you have to adjust. It’s a lot of trial and error learning what works for your baby and you. I think the hardest part of that is sometimes not knowing what to do to console him when he’s upset because we’ve tried everything, or when he’s in pain. In those moments I wish I could snap my finger and make it go away for him, but all I can do is stay strong and comfort him.


I’m surprised by how smart babies are when they’re born. He’s already figuring out different things including attempting to kiss our faces when we go to kiss him. Also the amount of wipes we’ve used is a lot more than I thought!

black and white family portrait with newborn baby of warrior mom, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC
I’m honored to know this Warrior mom

and to have been able to capture these precious memories for her family. Stay tuned for more from this beautiful family as we follow their journey through the first year in the Little Love Stories Series.

Little Love Stories series is meant to capture the newness of the beginning, how small and innocent and the amazing changes that happen over the first year. Capturing the baby stage is a wonderful gift for your child.

If you’d like to learn more click the ‘apply now’ button below and I’ll ask you a few questions to be sure we’re the right fit.

Apply Now

 -alicia

Chris, Denisse and Liam – The Story of a Miracle Baby  

miracle baby, lake norman, nc Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC

Once upon a time, Denisse and Chris decided to give themselves the opportunity to find their soulmate through match.com. Chris was living in Florida and Denisse in Costa Rica, after having a long distance relationship for a couple of years Chris proposed at the foot of a waterfall in Asheville, NC, they got married and moved to the Lake Norman area in NC.

After being married for 2 years Chris and Denisse decided to start trying to have a baby. Little did they know that It would take them 3 years of fighting against infertility (3 medicated cycles, 3 IUI and 1 IVF), they went through multiple miscarriages until they were able to conceive a viable pregnancy with their miracle rainbow baby Liam S. McCoy (baby #5). 

miracle baby, fort mill, sc, Lake norman, nc

The pregnancy was smooth and enjoyable for the most part, however during the 1st trimester Denisse experienced multiple bleedings and the last 2 weeks of pregnancy she had high blood pressure, which forced her to delivered her miracle baby at 39 weeks. Liam came to the world after a good and fast labor without any complications.

Liam’s story is the story of a warrior, despite all the odds, 3 years of his parents fighting against infertility and a pandemic in the mix he came to the world at 3am on June 5th. 

Miracle baby boy in blue, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Lake Norman, NC

Denisse said:

The first moments with Liam were magical and unforgettable, happy and joyful tears came out of my eyes when I saw him for the first time, we did skin to skin and I couldn’t stop admiring his cuteness, enjoying his nice smell, looking at his beautiful blue eyes, blonde hair, little hands and feet. I was in complete awe by his perfection.

We are blessed to have Liam in our lives and we are treasuring each minute with him.

We are looking forward to getting to know him, who he becomes, what he likes and dislikes. We would love for Liam to learn about his diverse background (Costa Rican, American, Danish, Scottish and Irish). We would like for him to travel and explore the world, get to know different cultures and ways of living.

Miracle baby boy in blue, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC, Lake Norman, NC

We would like for him to enjoy this gift called life and have fun throughout the journey.

The best part of being a mom is the unconditional and profound love that you get to feel for a little tiny human and the blessing to enjoy new experiences with my miracle baby boy. The hardest part is to silence all the outside noise of how to raise a child and follow your intuition through this soul journey. I am learning that each day with a newborn is completely different and embracing the learning opportunities that each brings is key.

To all the moms out there “Treasure every moment, every experience, every second with your kids, they are a treasure, they are a miracle. Get to know your kids, have fun learning who they are and what they want to do with the gift you gave to them, the gift called life”

Oh little boy these photos are proof that fairytales come true, looks at us we have YOU. 

Little Love Stories Series

little love stories, baby's first year, image collage, Fort Mill, SC, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC, newborn, pregnancy, crawling baby, sunglasses,

WANTED: NEW MOMS AND MOMS TO BE

I’m creating a movement to celebrate our most precious new babies and I need your help!

I’m looking for 10 new moms or expecting moms to feature in my “Little Love Stories” project, a celebration of new motherhood and babyhood and a journey through the first year. 

Let’s create beautiful mom and baby portraits for all the expecting moms whose babies have been or will be born during the pandemic. This is for all the moms who couldn’t have in person baby showers, family barbecues and fun baby clothes shopping with girlfriends.

The final photographs will be part of a little love stories blog series. ✍🏽

If you’d like to know more click the ‘apply now’ button below and I’ll ask a few quick questions to make sure we’re the right fit.

Apply Now

Remember there’s only 10 of these little love stories sessions available and I know they’ll go quickly! 

Motherhood is messy and the first year is harder than those pampers ads let on. I think it’s high time we share the real stories of the first year with a baby.

So let’s work together and create a blog series following your baby’s 1st year journey. We will share the joys, the fears, the highs and the lows.

Let’s create a space for new moms to be real.

Join my little love stories first year experience today.

My goal is to show how much moms and babies change over the first year.

And following your journey with real stories from real moms just like you will make a much bigger impact on our community than a blog post with just the pretty pictures. This is an invitation to share your journey with the world. My intention is to have moms share the milestones such as smiling, sitting, crawling, and standing. And with each session asking about how it’s going, what’s new, what was unexpected, etc. Sharing those responses along with updated images so folks at home can follow your journey. Ideally I’d like mom to be in a few images at each session also. So as a photographer I also want to help you create some amazing keepsakes along the way that you and your child will cherish for a lifetime. 

The Little Love Stories series is meant to capture the newness of the beginning, how small and innocent and the amazing changes that happen over the first year. Capturing the baby stage is a wonderful gift for your child. Showing them, how much they are loved, waited for and cherished! 

Apply Now

Newborn Love Stories

mom with her newborn
charlotte, nc

Newborn Love Stories: Mission

During this time in your life when things are changing, and your baby is growing inside you. I’m on a mission  to capture their true selves, the newness of the beginning, how small, innocent and amazing at a time that seems to race by. Capturing the newborn stage is a wonderful gift for your child showing them, how much they are loved, waited for and cherished! But it’s also hugely important for you to have a way to remember and connect with your child. What would you tell your baby now before she is born about your hopes and dreams for her future? What do you want to show her as she grows and changes throughout her childhood?

If you are expecting a baby, I would love for you to apply for the Newborn Love Stories Campaign. In exchange for sharing your story and helping you connect to your baby now and in the future. For your participation you will receive a complimentary newborn portrait session and your favorite image printed professionally as a thank you for participating. Click the button to get started.

Everest’s Story

“This is my first baby and his dad left a week before I found out (after 5 years) and since then I have truly learned who my friends and family are during this pregnancy and that family isn’t always blood related. A few close friends have become so much closer. Some who I would have never thought have been the most supportive.”

Is there an encouraging message you would like to share with other expecting mothers? “You realize how strong you really are even if you feel weak”

When I imagine my child’s future, I hope he is happy and successful at whatever he wants in life. “Although he was never expected, he is very wanted now. I’m a travel addict and have always wanted a travel buddy. Hopefully he will enjoy traveling the world with me.” Ironically or intentionally her nursery decor came from the Adventure awaits collection. Seemed fitting for a new travel buddy doesn’t it?

Real Stories from real moms

My mission to share real stories from real moms was uplifted just by hearing this mom’s story. Knowing that sharing her strength and determination to make a beautiful life for her child can help others is an amazing addition to the newborn Love Stories mission.

His birth story

When I asked about her birth story and unexpected cesarean delivery she shared this with me” My epidural was wonderful but the dr came in and broke my water the infusion didn’t help. Every time I moved on my left side his heart rate dropped!” How scary!

After he arrived safely and we spoke during her portrait session she told me “I don’t think I’d know how to care for this baby without google!” I’m sure she would do fine, Mom seems to have a great support system around her. Because of the threat of Covid-19 we did an in home lifestyle newborn portrait instead of my normal posed in studio sessions. She had groceries and everything she needed for herself and baby Everest thanks to caring and supportive friends. Adventure awaits these two in the future and I hope they enjoy every minute of it.

-alicia

Belly cast: The best newborn portrait prop

newborn in mom's belly cast, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC newborn baby portrait

Did you know I offer a free belly cast to all my expecting moms? Do you know what a belly cast is? No, check this out. Now I assume you are thinking well why do you offer these? They don’t look amazing in maternity portraits. And you are correct I don’t love them for maternity sessions. But for a newborn session, your belly cast makes a swoon worthy prop!

Newborn portraits are my jam but add in a belly cast prop and I’m in love all over again. A simple white cast of your pregnant belly makes the most amazing vessel to hold your tiny newborn baby. It’s simple, elegant, unique and just perfect for your baby. The cast itself can be a fun add on to your maternity session and it because an heirloom you can share with your child when he or she is older. But that is just an added bonus on creating a one of a kind prop that’s just for you and your little one. 

Just check out these portraits of little miss Ruby and tell me do you love the look? Is this something you’d like to try for your baby portraits? Just let me know.  Creating a cast takes about 20 minutes at the end of your maternity portrait session or your newborn consultation appointment. 

 

Last thing I’m working on a newborn blog series, for more information check out my previous blog post. If you are expecting a baby, I would love for you to apply for the Newborn Love Stories Blog Series. As a gift for sharing your story you will receive a complimentary newborn portrait session and your favorite image printed professionally as a thank you. Click here to apply.