I love engagement sessions! They are such a fun way for wedding couples and I to get to know each other (after all I am spending their entire wedding day with them!) and to show them how I shoot and explain posing to them. Almost every couple feels a nervous and awkward at first,  because who knows how to pose for a camera? How to be romantic with a stranger standing in front of them? Very, very few and I explain that this is my job, to show you how to pose, how to move and what is the most flattering.

Laura and Chris are getting married in less then two months and this engagement session was held at the same location as their wedding will be, Kingsbrae Gardens! Kingsbrae Gardens is a multi-award winning garden with acres to explore! The options for wedding and sessions are endless. We were able to explore the gardens a bit to find some pretty spots for their engagement pictures!

We met in the evening and the had the gardens to ourselves (Chris had some connections to make this happen!) on a beautiful spring night. Laura had really hoped to capture their magnolia tree, which which was only in bloom for a short period. The blossoms were nearly gone but we still captured its beauty without distracting from the couple themselves. They are the nicest couple! We had some laughs and chatted a bit. When I asked how they met and they bother laughed over the question. It boiled down to the fact they were both looking for love at the same time and when connected their romance began.

I am looking forward to their St Andrews wedding!

couple under the magnolia tree at Kingsbrae Gardenscouple walking through Kingsbrae Garden in springa couple posing under the arbor at Kingsbrae Gardens in St AndrewsBlack and while picture of a couple Couple at the arbor in Kingsbrae Gardens

 

 

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This tiny little one came into my Saint John studio at 17 days old. Typically, this would be a bit older than I prefer for newborn sessions, the favourable window is 4-10 days after birth. After these few days a newborn’s brain begin to develop further and they are less curly, more aware of their surroundings  and more difficult to pose (less womb like). She didn’t have her session early because was lower birth weight, needed a few extra days in the hospital and Mom followed my prep instructions perfectly!

Lorelai was perfection! She slept the entire session and barely stirred while we posed her tiny little fingers and limbs. She was such a joy to work with and I had so much fun snuggling her!! her mam was very sweet and named her after the well known Gilmore Girls on television (I am a huge fan of the show as well!) and she hoped to have that beautiful relationship with her daughter like the original Lorelei’s!

I have worked with her cousin before and this family celebrates the arrival of their new babies with a newborn session at my studio! Thank you again!!

newborn baby pictures baby doing froggy posenewborn baby

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When Claire called me inquiring about a wedding photographer, I knew after 2 minutes of chatting with her that I wanted to be their wedding photographer! She is the nicest and sweetest person! Ironically, her finance Mitch is also the brother to my July bride Hannah! (so I am going to get to know their family really well this year!). I love when I have a little history with my couples.

Once again the weather was playing games and we didn’t know if we were going to be rained out or not but the day turned out to be gorgeous! We met uptown Saint John and over the next hour got to know each other, had a few laughs and captured their story.

This couple was MEANT to be, their families have always been friends and they have known each other since they were babies! They said they drifted away and their lives did not cross for many years but when it did everything fell into place.

I am so happy for this lovely couple and I cannot wait until their December wedding!

young couple in love young couple laughing in from of a walluptown Saint John blue door couple pose on stepsblack and white photograph of a couple in loveup town Saint John couple laughing together

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The year has passed quickly and now he is one! The last time I saw this family was for Jamie’s newborn session. I have been watching this family grow with his parent’s first maternity session for his big sister and all of the milestones in between. They are the sweetest couple and I feel it has been a privilege to watch them grow into the family that they are today! When Mom booked this session and reminded me that he was turning one I was excited to see how big he has grown!

Julianna was extremely helpful and very complying! She want to please and took direction very easily, she really is a dream to work with! Not only is she cute but she gives REAL smiles with the tiniest touch of fun/sass that gives the pictures a little sparkle. Jamie is a typical one year old. Very cute, delightful and very curious! He found little areas in the studio he wanted to explore and we chased him around and convinced him that in front of the camera was the best place to be.

During the ordering session his Mom was surprised we managed to capture certain set ups and that is the typical way it always turns out! It is capturing those split second moments when they look into the camera before they are off to explore. Swinging them back into place so they feel it is fun and photoshopping Mom, who is inches from them, out of the picture. At the end of the time frame everyone is tired and a little sweaty from all of the up and down and back and forth but it is worth it!

I never know what I will get with toddlers but with this family I know I will be able to photograph amazing memories of their little ones at this stage.

Siblings sit together and smile for th e pictures while leaning forwarda little boy sits in a chair and smiles, his eyes are bluelittle girl lays on a rug facing the camera with her chin resting on her handsa one year old and his toddler sister sit in a studio for pictures

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A few years ago I wrote a blog posting explaining how some of the poses I did during a newborn session required a second set of hands and some photoshop magic. Some beautiful poses require a second set of hands to hold baby safely in place. The rest of the poses that I did I knew baby was wrapped snuggly or safely within an arms reach while I was photographing. There were some props and poses that did require a spotter and I would ask Mom or Dad, who were at the session to help spot the baby (as long as said she felt up to helping or did not have a c-section).

Whenever I booked twins I would ask for another set of hands (outside of Mom and Dad) and hire someone for the day to help me assist during the session. I also hired someone, to help,  when I was photographing a newborn at the end of my fifth pregnancy. My tummy was slowing me down and I knew I was not agile enough to reach the baby quickly enough to be deemed safe.

After Rosalie was born I decided to photograph her newborn session and realized a few things very quickly. I was SOOO sore! I had a relatively good delivery and recovery but I was still too sore to want to comfortably sit and pose my baby. My husband was spotting for me so I could do a few props that required someone to be next to her and we both realized another factor, exhaustion. This was expected, we were parents to a brand new baby and getting very little sleep.

pictures of babies being kept safe during a photoshoot

I thought about the fact that there are so many jobs that require a certain amount of sleep to safely perform the job. It made me realize that I needed to be more cautious about asking parents to help. There were certain poses and props I had wanted to do but did not because of the safety risk and parents being too tired. My studio at the time was so small, that  adding an additional person to the room would make it almost impossible to move around but the idea was on my mind. I know that my next goal was to have a larger studio and to add a full-time assistant who I could train.

When the new studio was finally completed, Jen joined my team. It has been over a year and she has been nothing short of amazing. She was trained by me and now has the experience that makes her invaluable! Her sole job is to watch the babies and predict their movements through breathing patterns. She checks circulation, her eyes never leave the baby and she is always inches or hands on when needed. Her focus is 100% safety. This relieves some of the pressure from me and now I am free to focus more on camera settings, being more creative with my setups and more variety.

newborn baby being posed in a basket and someone is next to him keeping him safe

My pictures show beautiful sleeping newborns but the truth is they are constantly moving, wiggling, squirming. They wake easily, they stretch and lurch! Jen is constantly there stabilizing their heads, holding their limbs so they do not flail and wake themselves. She is next to them to calm them. With her working alongside of me I can now safely accomplish so many poses that require that second set of hands! She can pass me items that I may need (before I would either need to ask a parents of lift the baby out of the pose and prop, risking waking them, all to reach one small item).

With sibling shots it doesn’t always look like you need a spotter because they are laying down or the older sibling has been so easy-going and sweet with their new sibling. After photographing over 100 newborns and 300 toddlers I have experienced how quickly toddlers can change their mind and move. My assistant is sitting next to the baby and ready at an instant to scoop baby up if their brother or sister gets a bit wiggly or wants to push the baby off. The same with parent shots, Mom may feel weak from her delivery experience and Jen is standing next to her helping her support baby and parents feel more secure knowing that there is someone there to aid them if need be.

With our combined experience, Jen and I have managed to photograph babies with special needs and physical handicaps with ease. Working together we do not fear even the fussiest babies and our average photography session has gone down from 3-4.5 hours to 2-3 hours. The biggest bonus? Parents can sit back and relax. They have less stress knowing there are two wide awake, experienced baby handlers holding their newborn. They are able to sit back, have a coffee, browse there phones, play with the older siblings, etc. A few have even caught a short nap knowing that their baby is safe.

I am so pleased that my studio is able to offer this service, of an assistant, for every newborn session.newborn baby during a photo shoot being spotted

 

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