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.

Why you just need to show up and relax

Now I know you are thinking what is she talking about just show up and relax? Im talking about newborn portrait sessions. Moms tell me all the time that they didn’t do newborn portraits because they just kept putting it off or thought it was gonna be a ton of work. I’m here to bust that myth today. I make it easy for moms. All you have to do for great newborn portrait sessions are come with baby and relax.

Ok, ok I know you are saying it can’t be that easy.

And you are right there are a few things we need to discuss before it can be that easy. The day of your session though it really is that easy. Get up, grab baby (maybe feed baby) and then head over. I can literally take care of the rest food, coffee, hair and makeup (ok that’s my awesome make-up artist queens), baby whispering we’ve got all that covered!

Ok so now your asking what do I need to do before the portrait day?

It’s really pretty simple. We have a conversation where I ask a bunch of questions to find out what you really want your portraits to look like, feel like and what medium you will want them displayed in the future. If you choose a home visit I can come and make suggestions for wall art locations, style to fit your home. Portrait needs check

I even help with clothing, color choices and send you a style guide before your session.

If you want to work with a stylist I can arrange for one to come visit your closets. She will help you pick the family’s portrait day outfits. Speaking of clothing we have a closet full of gowns for moms to feel glamorous and not have to buy a dress. How’s that for easy? Clothing check

Spouse and kids, I know you have concerns

I know poor husbands get a bad rap, it’s not their fault really they are trained to act foolish about emotional stuff. Let’s be real portraits are full of emotions and feelings. But don’t fret I’ve got a few tricks in my arsenal for your spouse if they aren’t into long portrait sessions. Most adults can be reasoned with and if that doesn’t work I can always act like a bratty kid and get them laughing. Usually when I explain I need them to smile, participate and have fun for 20 minutes and then they can leave. They almost always agree.

Kids are a bit more complicated than I can explain in this post, but again trust me I’ve got tricks, jokes and last resorts a plenty. It all boils down to planning. I’m gonna ask questions about their ages, likes, personalities etc so I can be ready to get them to participate. Also for newborn sessions with siblings I always have a helper, they make great comedians, tickle monsters, and toddler chasers.

Have more specific questions?

Leave a comment, send me a message or just call 803-336-5125 and I’ve got an answer. Let’s collaborate and make your newborn portrait session perfect for your family. Let’s create a plan. So you can just show up and relax on your new baby’s portrait day.

Begin with a plan

Begin with a plan that keeps the end in mind!

You know you want to have a portrait made to celebrate the birth of your baby, but what are you going to do with it? Before I pick up my camera to capture those tiny little features, we need to discuss what is most important to you. How do you want to remember your new baby?

newborn baby boy in belly cast pure simple white Fort Mill, SC Tega Cay, SC Charlotte, NC

Do you have a spot above the crib all picked out? Are you a mom with two older children, and you need to add to a family gallery wall you’ve already started in the playroom? Or do you need some inspiration? I am here to guide you! Your personal planning consultation will help me fill your unique needs and create a tailor made plan just for you. This is how we begin with a plan.

detail shot of tiny baby toes, Fort Mill, SC Tega Cay, SC Charlotte, NC, begin with a plan

The Details: Planning Appointment & Design Consultation

Meeting in person to start your portrait session plan is the first step. Getting to know your family and also answering all of your burning questions — probably a few you didn’t even know to ask! What should I wear? Should we bring extra clothes? What will it cost? How should we prepare?

We will also schedule a portrait date based on baby’s due date; this usually gets changed a bit but assures you space on my calendar. Getting all the details, and finding out what is most important for you and your family, ensures we have an amazing portrait session.  Planning out your wall designs, your clothing choices and your backgrounds ensures everything will look and feel amazing in your home.

behind the scenes at a newborn portrait session belly cast, Charlotte, NC, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SCPortrait Session

Now that we have made a plan together it is time to create your beautiful baby’s portraits! I work hard to capture your new baby’s tiny toes, lovely lashes and that button nose, everything that makes your baby the one of a kind miracle she is. Capturing all the details that will become cherished memories for a lifetime.

Viewing and Ordering Appointment

After the session you will come in to view a slideshow of your portraits. Mockups will be created with your portraits displayed on your walls. If you’ve expressed interest in albums, album mock-ups will be ready too. Every viewing and ordering appointment is customized to create artwork your family will love for a lifetime.

wall mock up design of kid room baby room, Fort Mill, SC Tega Cay, SC Charlotte, NC, begin with a planDelivery and Installation Appointment

Installation of your wall art is included! This is all part of my personal service to you! I can’t wait to meet you and start a plan for your newborn portrait session.

 

Ready to Begin with a plan? Just pop a contact number in!

Mom and Daughter Portraits, Fort Mill, SC

mom and daughter share joy Fort Mill, sc, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC

Do you want a pause button for your fast growing kiddo? Many people think I offer portrait services, but what I’m really giving you is a window back in time. You see, when you buy a photograph from me you get to stop time for a second and take that memory with you forever, and that, my friend, is priceless.

These are just awesome for mom and daughter. Imagine in ten years how much these will mean to mom! Imagine what these will mean to this little one in a few years. She will look back at these and see how much mom loved her and how much she loved her mom as a toddler.

Simple, classic mom and daughter portraits like these are treasured memories when this little girl is an adult. Mom of course will cherish these forever. And on the tough days these portraits will bring her so much joy. And isn’t that why we take family portraits in the first place.

Share Joy my friends!

Customer Service for photographers needs work

Customer Service for portrait photographers has been on my mind lately and it makes me really sad how much we as a group haven’t been serving our clients.

I lump myself in to this group because I was there in the beginning of the digital photography wave and am totally guilty of giving just digital files. Which equals horrific customer service. That is for sure my biggest pet peeve but we’ve been over that on a previous blog post. Check that out here for my feelings on the disc being all you might have in ten years. The disc is the worst offense because it puts all the work on busy moms and as a mom of two I know Moms do not have time to organize, backup, cull, print, deliver, frame and hang their portraits. 

Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC real kids studio portrait

We have to stop showing moms 1,000 and one images, she’ll get a headache

But this brings up more point where we photographers have been failing our amazing clients. Culling, don’t know what that is I’m sure it’s an industry word, sorry. Culling is basically looking at all the amazing images from your portrait session and picking the very best ones. I know I know moms want to see all the cutest ones and pick the best smiles, and they love laughing at all the crazy outtakes. But seriously we are here to save moms time, not give them 150 images to choose from on the reveal day. Science says too many choices lead to paralysis

Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC real kids studio portrait, customer service

We’ve all been there.

We go to the store for a birthday card and 20 minutes later we are still reading cards! What gives? Choice overload makes our brain work so hard it becomes more impossible to make a decision. So let’s all agree moms make ten thousand decisions a day for her kids. We need to give her the absolute best of the best for her family portrait wall options. This is just good customer service and should be a priority.

This is where to pre photoshoot consultation comes in handy!

Asking questions before ever picking up my camera makes this culling process so much easier. Knowing that mom wants a photograph to go over the fireplace or couch and that she is leaning towards one amazing image tells me she needs a horizontally oriented image and that I need everyone looking their best. This means I need to narrow down to the best of the best and not even shoot any vertical family portraits.

Asking moms if they loved posed images or prefer candid family interactions is another great question. If mom is looking for everyone to be smiling at the camera then those sweet tickle shots with Jimmy’s eyes closed tight are great for social media. But they are not going to be mom’s choice for the wall. So just take them out of the decisions for the fireplace wall. I’m not saying to delete those wonderful portraits. I’m just saying moms need us to do a better job of listening and making it easier to make these decisions. This should be an industry standard customer service practice from all of us.

Wall Art, Fort Mill, SC, Tega Cay, SC, Charlotte, NC real kids studio portrait

Planning ahead for baby photography – Fort Mill

planning ahead for baby portraits, wall artwork, fort mill, sc, Charlotte, NC, Tega Cay, SC

When you are expecting baby number three it’s easy to think oh I got this I know what is coming next. Moms who plan ahead are my spirit animal. (serious over planner here).  Plan ahead moms make their life and mine so much easier. I distinctly remember chatting with this mom about where she wanted portraits to be displayed in her home.  How she wanted them to feel and how having a photograph of the three kids together was so important to her.  

Why newborn portraits matter in the grand scheme of things

Having photographs of this special time is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something this mom didn’t want to forget. The newborn stage goes by so fast and it’s easy to forget the small details. Having newborn portraits on the living room wall will remind her that she was wanted and loved!

Great Job Mom

Shout out to mom on her clothing and styling choices for this session. I feel like she could teach other moms how to style a family and make it look effortless. These kiddos always look put together yet casual for portrait sessions. But don’t let that fool you it’s never as effortless as it looks. I recall tears from little D last year when he had to take off his batman shirt for picture day! 

Perfect little sister

Little miss was a dream baby model, I’m not sure she cried the whole session. And only woke up to eat near the end. She seems to be an easy going little sister and that will help mom out immensely with two active older brothers. 

Are you planning ahead for baby at home?

Check out my best baby soothing tips here.