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.

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

6 Reasons Newborn Photography Safety Is My Top Concern

There’s a lot on your mind as your prepare to welcome your new baby. If you’re thinking about scheduling a newborn photography session, you might have some questions about safety. I’m here to explain newborn photography safety and why it’s so important. 

Newborn photography is such a special gift for you and your baby. Your family will have these first official portraits to look back on for the years to come. Plus, meeting my newest client is always such a highlight for me. This is why your newborn’s safety throughout the session is of utmost importance to me.

As a professional, I follow important newborn photography safety guidelines and ensure that your baby is comfortable and safe throughout the session. Let me share a little more about newborn photography safety and what I do to keep your sweet baby safe.

Newborn Photography Safety 

Training and Experience – I complete ongoing newborn photography training to keep up with the latest techniques. My most recent training was with the world-renowned newborn photographer Ana Brandt just this September. 

Baby-led Photography – We very much let your baby run the show during the session. We set up different backdrops and attempt different poses, but ultimately, it’s up to your baby.  We never force a pose that could be unsafe or uncomfortable. Some babies don’t like to lay on a certain side or lift their arm a specific way. And that’s okay; we aren’t here to make them do anything they don’t want to, babies are just tiny people with very big opinions 😉

Gentle Posing – With that said, we will try very gently posing your baby into our desired pose using the latest techniques and my years of experience to ensure your baby is totally comfortable. You’ll be surprised how quickly we can get the shot once your baby is in the best pose. 

In Tune with Baby’s Needs – We’ll make sure your baby is warm, cozy, and fed. And feeding, changing or soothing breaks are needed and encouraged. Your baby’s comfort is the most important thing during the session. 

Never in a Rush – I schedule my newborn portrait sessions with plenty of time so that we’re never rushed or pressured to “get the shot” quickly. We can take our time if needed. 

Speaking of rushing, sometimes a parent or older sibling is in a hurry because of work or school. I get that, and we can work around it. Just let me know, and we’ll take those portraits first.

Safely Posing with Siblings – We want to capture the perfect portrait of your older child holding your newborn. During the session, we’ll make sure that everyone is comfortable trying this pose. If not, we can make a composite from several images to create the perfect image for your family. Baby’s safety is my number one rule, and we never ask a young child to hold an infant if they don’t want to. Again we can work around even the feistiest personalities. 

Finally a note about what you see on social media- Every once in a while, I get sent a request in the form of an image from social media. We know Pinterest has some amazing things to see. Often the images that grab your eye aren’t created the way you think. For example, the ones with the elephant. We all know no one is letting an elephant hold their infant, but some of the more subtle ones might seem doable. They are not! We will never hang your baby from a swing, wreath, or anything high off the ground and risk a fall. Never. We even put a beanbag under very tired parents just in case. Did I mention newborn photography safety is my #1 rule? 

How to Get the Perfect Newborn Portrait

My secret to getting the perfect newborn portrait for you is patience and experience. Newborn sessions are a sweet, special time for me because I get to meet and document your brand-new baby. With love and experience, I can capture the portrait that you’re dreaming of. 

Fort Hill, SC Newborn Photography 

Your sweet baby will be here soon. I recommend looking for a photographer that you love and will keep your newborn’s safety in mind for these precious portraits. Over the years, I’ve photographed hundreds of newborns, and it’s always a privilege to capture these images for you because they are so precious.  Finally, if you have any questions for me or wish to schedule your newborn session, please send me a message here. 

Why is Motherhood Photography So Important?

Gorgeous Motherhood photography

This is for the mom who loves her children dearly. The mom who would do anything for her babies, whether they’re 2 or 42. This is for the mom that just wants photos of her children and doesn’t want to be in any of them.

Let me introduce you to motherhood photography. Motherhood photography is simply photography that documents motherhood. That could be maternity, newborn, family, and on and on! Motherhood photography is a beautiful way to capture mom in her happy place: with her beautiful children. If you’re unsure what this is or if it’s something you’re interested in, I invite you to keep reading!

Five Reasons Why Motherhood Photography is so Important 

I could go on and on about this topic. But will keep it to these five reasons why motherhood photography is so important. 

1. Tells Your Family’s Story – No matter the size or shape of your family, motherhood photography tells your family’s story through images that you can look back on and treasure forever. 

2. Captures The Love You Have for Your Children – Of course, we love our children (even when they drive us crazy), but motherhood photography offers the ability to capture the love you have for your child(ren). It’ll be a snapshot of your relationship and what you mean to each other. 


3. Captures The Love Your Children Have for You – You are your child’s favorite person in the whole world! Sometimes, I have a mom hesitate to take photos with her children. She only wants to frame photos of her children, right? But being able to see how much your children love you is such a precious gift. 

4. Get Mom in the Photos

The fact is that you probably have hundreds, no, thousands, of photos of your children on your phone. How many of those photos are you in? I know, sometimes we aren’t feeling our best. We even don’t think we look good enough for a photo. (Trust me, I’ve been there!) The truth is that you are beautiful just the way you are, and your children want these photos of you to look back on for the rest of their lives. Here’s the thing that no one talks about. In 20 years, you will look back at these and think how young, beautiful, and strong you looked. Those small imperfections won’t matter one bit. Time doesn’t really wash away those imperfections, but it does clarify what matters most. And the love between you and your children that’s what matters more than your perfect haircut or losing ten pounds.

5. Family Portrait Artwork – This one is the biggie. Motherhood photography offers the ability to document your family’s story and capture the love you have for your children. Printing your family portrait artwork and displaying it in your home will bring you joy every single day. It’ll be your happy reminder of the beautiful family that you’ve built. 

Charlotte Motherhood Photographer

As a mom myself, I know exactly how you’re feeling. Your children are growing so fast, and you’d do anything to slow time down. As your motherhood photographer, I want to help you document this journey with your beautiful family. I want to capture the smile you share with your son or snap photos of you laughing with your daughters. Those are the images that you can treasure forever. Finally, I want to be able to help you display these portraits in your home so that they make you happy every single day. If you want to schedule a session with me, send me a message here.

Why Milestone Photography Sessions Are So Important During Baby’s First Year

Happy baby girl smiles during her milestone photography session

I know that it probably goes without saying, but the first year of your child’s life will go by so fast! From the day they’re born to their first birthday, your child will grow so much. In just twelve months, your sweet, sleepy newborn becomes a curious and energetic toddler. That first year is truly a beautiful blur, and it can be challenging to stop and enjoy each stage with your growing baby.

This is why milestone sessions are so important during your baby’s first year. Milestone sessions capture each major point during baby’s first year of life. 

I’ll share each of the major milestone sessions, and which one(s) may be right for you!

Milestone Photography Sessions for Baby’s First Year 

I’ll walk through the major milestone photography sessions during your baby’s first year, but know that all babies develop differently, and that’s totally fine. 

Maternity – Of course, maternity is part of the milestone sessions! Documenting your pregnancy is a beautiful way to celebrate and remember this special time between you and your baby. Find out which maternity portrait session style is right for you here. 

Newborn – Those sweet toes, long eyelashes, and precious sleep expressions are some of my favorites to document! Most importantly, I love capturing the love your family has for your newest addition. Learn how to prepare for your newborn session right here. And remember we try to create newborn portraits between 5-14 days old.

2-4 Months – between two and four months old, your baby is no longer a newborn! Your baby is now a happy infant. Baby is (hopefully) enjoying tummy time and learning more about the world. This session captures baby’s first real smile and movements. 

6 Months ish- Also known as the “sitter” session, around six months is when your baby starts to sit on their own. This is a very exciting time for parents and baby as she or he starts to interact more with their world! 

9 Months – On the move! Around nine months is when your baby starts crawling. Whether or not baby is crawling, they are definitely moving and grooving. It’s fun to document this time before baby starts walking and really talking. 

12 Months – One whole year with your sweet baby! Some babies are walking by their first birthday, and some are not, and it’s all normal. No matter what, taking first-year portraits is an important milestone to capture for you to always remember your new toddler. This is a fun time to do that cake smash session if you are interested.

Which Milestones Sessions Are For You?

Now that you know the major milestone photography sessions that you can do during your child’s first year, you may be wondering how you can fit this all into your busy schedule. My goal is to make it as effortless as possible for you so that all you need to do is bring your child to the studio! 

Charlotte, NC Milestone Photographer 

Together, we can plan which milestones you want to document and schedule when it’s convenient for you. I’ll handle all of the planning and ordering so that at the end of your baby’s first year, you’ll have professional portrait artwork on display in your home without lifting a finger. Send me a message here to start planning your milestone sessions today.

When Should You Book Your Newborn Photos

Newborn girl on pink. Charlotte Newborn Photographer

Mama, I know you have a lot on your mind right now as you prepare to welcome your newborn baby. From planning your baby’s room, buying everything you need, and so much more, there’s a lot on your plate! 

If you’re here, you’re probably wondering when you need to actually schedule your newborn photos with a photographer. I’m here to help you! 

Want the answer?

Drumroll, please….

When Should You Book Your Newborn Photos 

The answer is that you should book your newborn photos as soon as you can! In fact, I’ve had clients book their newborn sessions with me before they share the big news with family and friends. (I can keep a secret) So, while you may not want to book as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test, booking as soon as you’re ready can ensure that you can work with the photographer that you want! 

If you’re a planner, this probably sounds great! If you’re not a planner, this may sound crazy to you. Let me explain why it’s important to book your newborn session as early as possible.

As a Charlotte area studio newborn photographer, I only take on a certain number of newborn sessions per week. I do this for a couple of reasons. 

1. I stay flexible around your due date because babies come when they want to! I make sure to have availability in the weeks before and after your due date to fit your session in. 

2. I dedicate time and energy to your session. When you’re in my studio, you’re never rushed for time. I block off several hours for each newborn session so that we have plenty of time. If baby needs a feed or a break, we can accommodate his or her needs. 

Finally, you don’t want to be researching and calling photographers during your postpartum season. Book your newborn photographer in advance so that you can just enjoy your baby those first few weeks. Check out my other resource on how to prepare for your newborn session here. 

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Baby is Born to Schedule Newborn Photos 

The window to photograph your sweet newborn is relatively short, about 5-14 days is the best time to take newborn photos. If a client reaches out after their baby is born, we have to move quickly to fit in the session. Unfortunately, I have had to turn away sessions because I’m already booked up! That’s why I highly recommend booking your session well in advance so that you don’t have to worry about any of this. 

Special Circumstances for Newborn Photos 

Of course, I want to touch on any special circumstances when it comes to newborn photos. If your baby needs to spend some time in the NICU or mama needs time to recover from the birth, you still deserve beautiful newborn photos. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about this. I’m happy to help. 

Charlotte Newborn Photographer

As a studio Charlotte newborn photographer, my goal is to handle everything for you so that all you need to do is arrive at the studio with your beautiful family. From start to finish, you can trust me to not only document and capture your sweet new addition but to help you display these precious new portraits on the walls of your home. Click here to learn more about a portrait session with me.

How to Display Your Newborn Portraits  | Charlotte NC Photographer

How to display your newborn portraits in your home

Nothing comes close to the moment you meet your baby. You’ve spent months (maybe even years) praying for and loving this brand new person. Then, they are here in your arms. No matter what your journey was like getting to this moment it’s a time for rejoicing and bonding with your baby. After this moment, many moms have a big project on their minds. That project is how to display their beautiful newborn portraits in their homes near Charlotte, NC?

Now we have so many options for how to display your portrait artwork after your newborn photo session. My goal is always to make life easier for you by guiding you through the entire process. Here I will share my top five ideas for displaying newborn portraits in your home.

Five Ways to Display Your Newborn Portraits 

1. Over the Crib – Displaying your baby’s official portrait over their crib is a beautiful option. Now you’re able to look back and remember them in the newborn stage. It will always make you smile and fill your heart with joy. (Okay, maybe not at 3 am after the 3rd wake-up, but maybe.) Plus, it’ll be easy to watch your baby grow right before your eyes. 

2. Family Gallery Wall – I’m all about family, so I love when clients request this. The beauty of starting a family gallery wall with your newborn portraits is that we can continue adding on to the wall as the years go by. Finally, a perfectly styled and installed gallery wall will create a beautiful focal point in your home for everyone to enjoy. 

3. Over the Stairs – The stairs actually create the perfect space to display your growing babies. It’s a place in your home where everyone will pass through and be able to enjoy your newborn portraits. Using the stairs can also create a cool effect if you decide to keep adding official portraits creating a gallery wall that grows with your child. 

displaying your newborn portraits in your home

4. Custom Portrait Artwork Album – Holding a custom portrait album and turning the pages will engage multiple senses. This will create a moment of peace and nostalgia as you turn the pages and remember this beautiful season of your life. Someday you’ll be able to pass this down to your child so that they have a piece of their story. 


5. Image Box (Deconstructed Album) – This is quickly becoming one of my most popular portrait artwork pieces. Basically, this image box includes eight or more of your favorite prints of your newborn. With this style of album, you can hold and look through each one. Not only is this a wonderful way to look through photos, but you can also store treasures in the box. Clients have put in hospital bracelets, written prayers, baby hats, letters to your baby and so much more. 

6. Bonus Idea, Outsource all of this! 

Mama, if you’re not a DIYer or you would like to be but simply don’t have time, I can’t recommend outsourcing this entire project enough. Instead of stressing over buying frames, styling, or finding a reputable place to print your projects, leave it to the expert. Of course, I recommend working with me, but in all seriousness, find a newborn photographer you can trust with these precious images. You don’t want to waste a minute that you could be snuggling with your newborn. Let me handle all of this for you!

Newborn Portrait Photographer Near Charlotte, NC 

Being able to hand my clients their brand new, treasured portrait artwork is one of the best parts of my job. Not only am I here to capture your newborn’s first official portraits, but I’m here to help you document and display their precious images for you to enjoy. Mama, if you’re interested in scheduling a session, please send me a message here.

1st Birthday Pizza Smash Photos | Fort Mill, SC

fort mill, sc pizza smash session, King of Fire Pizza

What’s better than celebrating your sweet baby turning one? By celebrating with pizza, of course! Not just any pizza, but award-winning pizza. Milestone sessions allow us to capture every major milestone during your baby’s first year. It’s seriously amazing to look back on their newborn portrait vs. their 1st-year portrait and see how much they’ve grown. You’ll hardly believe your eyes. Another popular 1st birthday session is a cake smash which is also fun.

When my client reached out wanting a pizza smash, I was all in. Dad owns King of Fire Pizza in Fort Mill, SC, so you can say that pizza runs in the family for this little guy. (PS, if you haven’t had their pizza, you need to try it!) 

pizza smash photos, Charlotte, NC

Not only is this precious boy part of a pizza legacy, but he’s also one tough fighter. Mom spent a few weeks in the hospital before he was born. He was born seven weeks early and spent a month in the hospital growing and learning to eat before going home. It’s amazing to see what he’s always accomplished at just one-year-old! 

During this portrait session, the star of the show had his three older sisters with him. You could tell they adore their baby brother!

pizza smash photoshoot, Indian Land, SC

1st Year Pizza Smash Session

This session was supreme! I loved being able to celebrate this special boy turning one while honoring his family legacy. I think the only downside was that this session made me hungry 😉

baby eating pizza smash one year portraits, Charlotte, NC

I feel like I should mention that the pizza wasn’t hot! Your baby’s safety is always my number one priority during every session. Mom and dad were right there helping their little guy get the best slice. He’s already learning the ropes of the family business. 

Pizza legacy portraits, one year old baby boy and dad, Fort Mill, SC

During a first-year portrait session, I always make sure to schedule ample time so that we can get the perfect shot. We’re never in a rush or stressed. It’s all about having fun and celebrating your baby!

After the session, we’ll meet for an image reveal! It’s so fun to look at every single image and soak in the entire day. All you have to do is choose your favorites and how you want to print the portraits. I’ll take care of the rest! I order and hand-deliver your family portrait artwork. Heck, I even help hang it up so that this important task is checked off your to-do list and you can get back to enjoying your family. 

How to Make Your 1st Year Portrait Session Special 

While your family might not own a pizza business, there might be something else that you’d love to incorporate into your child’s 1st-year portrait session. Your child starring in this milestone session makes it perfect enough, but please let me know if there is something special you would want to include. Maybe it’s heirloom jewelry or accessory piece, a book, or even a keepsake from a family member. All my portrait sessions are a collaboration so let’s get together and come up with something creative for you.

baby chef, pizza smash photos, Indian Land SC, Fort Mill, SC

Fort Mill, SC First Year Portrait Photography 

Watching my littlest clients grow throughout the first year of their lives is so special to me! I get to experience the joy of watching them grow into their own personalities. If you’re looking for a photographer to capture every milestone, or it’s time for 1st-year portraits, please reach out to me here. I would love to be part of telling your child’s story. 

Looking for something more traditional and a lot more pink? Check out my friend Nani’s recent cake smash post here. 

How to Prepare for Your Newborn Session in Charlotte, NC

how to prepare for your newborn portrait session

The day is finally here! It’s time to capture that sweet babe you’ve been growing for nine months. You may be wondering what you have to do to prepare for your newborn session, and the answer is… not much! My mission is to handle all the details and run the session so that you don’t have to worry about anything. 

newborn boy holds a stuff elephant for his portrait

The Benefit of a Charlotte Studio Newborn Portrait Session 

This is where being a studio newborn portrait photographer really comes in handy because all you have to do is show up with your family! You won’t need to worry about cleaning your home or keeping your toddler out of their toys. I have everything we need for baby within reach, including props, wraps, and accessories. Plus, you might not even have to worry about what to wear with my client wardrobe! How nice is that?

On the day of your session, I’ll have everything ready to go, including the backdrop, lighting, and any other equipment that we’ll need. Once everyone is settled, we’re able to get started! 

Preparing Your Other Children for Your Newborn Session 

During our consultation, I always ask my clients who will be in the photos. Once I have a list of who will be in the photos, I’ll ask for a run-through of everyone’s personality. That might sound goofy, but the more I know, the better I can prepare for the session. If you’re worried that your three-year-old will not cooperate, let me know so that I can come armed and ready to do whatever is necessary to get the perfect photo. I’m all about bribes on portrait day, of course! When used correctly, bribes work wonderfully to encourage any child to cooperate for the photo. 

I’ll have the right things on hand that will entice your toddler, like suckers and snacks. Foods that can be eaten quickly and won’t leave a mess. For that reason, I avoid chocolates or red candies. I’ll make sure to clear any treats or bribes with you beforehand!

Picture Perfect Backup Plan For Young Toddlers 

During our pre-planning process, we’ll go through our ideal portrait, our backup option, and our hail-mary photoshop plan for the session. That means we are prepared for whatever happens and won’t need to stress at all. The ideal plan is that everyone cooperates, and we’re able to get the perfect portrait. For example, a photo of your toddler holding your newborn is every mom’s dream. If we need to use the backup plan, we can photograph the baby in a prop, then capture your older child coming in for a kiss or photograph them next to the prop. 

Finally, if those options are not going to work then we will use Photoshop to create your dream portrait. I’ll photograph each child alone and then composite them together. That way, everyone is happy and safe, and you get your siblings’ photos. Because let’s be honest, everyone wants a siblings’ portrait.

Newborn Portrait Session Experience | Charlotte, NC

My mission is to create a stress-free portrait session experience for you and your entire family. Everyone’s safety and happiness are my top priority while ensuring we create that dream portrait for you to display on the walls of your home. If you’re interested in learning more about a newborn session near Charlotte, please send me a message here.


Looking for some Maternity portrait inspiration? Check out my friend Nani’s work she’s out in Texas y’all!

How to Choose Your Newborn Portrait Photography Style | Charlotte, NC

sweet newborn girl poses for her newborn portrait session

You spend nine months waiting to meet the love of your life. All those months, you dream about this little person who you can’t wait to hold in your arms. It’s a surreal and beautiful moment when that moment arrives, and you get to hold your sweet baby for their newborn portrait.

Charlotte mama holds her sweet newborn during a newborn portrait session

Those first few weeks with your newborn are a crazy blur as you get to know each other. It’s so important to capture this important milestone with newborn portraits. An essential part of planning your newborn portrait session is to decide which type of newborn portrait style you wish. I’d love to walk through the different styles and help you decide which one is right for your family. 

Family meeting their sweet newborn during their studio photography session

Baby Photography Styles

There are two styles of newborn portraits to choose from and they are studio or lifestyle. Both are beautiful, but you need to understand the difference and choose the right style for you! We want to start with the end in mind for every portrait session. How do you want to display and love on these portraits? Are you going to display them in your living room or create an heirloom album? Maybe both! Knowing this helps us plan your style. 

newborn twins during their portrait session in Charlotte, NC


Lifestyle Newborn Portraits 

A lifestyle photographer will come to your home after the baby is born to capture lifestyle newborn portraits. The photographer works within your home to take photographs of your baby and usually doesn’t bring props or wraps. Instead, they use your home and decor as a backdrop for the portraits. For this reason, parents need to clean and prepare their home before the session so that it’s portrait ready! These portraits can feature the rest of your family as the photographer captures your family’s big milestone. 

Studio Newborn Portraits

All you need to do is bring your beautiful new baby to the studio for this style of newborn portraits. Everything is perfect and ready for your peaceful session within the studio setting. Something special about studio portraits is that your newborn is the primary focus of the studio portraits.

Newborn girl poses for her newborn portrait in the studio

I have everything we need for your baby’s session, including props, wraps, and even a wardrobe for mama. The studio-style offers the ability to sweetly and safely pose your newborn to get the perfect photo. 

Studio portrait photographer Alicia Smith has all the props needed for your newborn session

If mama has a specific pose in mind, I have training and experience to pose your baby. However, your newborn runs the show. If your sweetie isn’t feeling a particular pose, sometimes I can use some Photoshop magic to create the perfectly posed portrait for you. This is a much safer option than trying to force a pose that might be uncomfortable for your baby. Of course, if you have other children, you’re welcome to bring them to the studio for this special session. I love creating sibling portraits, and they are almost always one of mom’s favorites.

siblings pose during a studio newborn portrait session

Charlotte Newborn Studio Photographer

Your newborn portrait session is such an important milestone to capture, and you only get one shot to get it right! Newborn portraits are best to capture between 5 and 14 days old. Trust an experienced newborn studio photographer located right in Charlotte, NC. I’m honored when families choose me for this precious time, and I don’t take a moment of it for granted. If you think I may be the right fit for you, let’s have a conversation.