Celebrating my precious five-week-old nephew with a breathtaking in-home newborn photo session
I can still remember like it was yesterday when my sister-in-law called to tell me she was expecting. Kelsey was so excited, and I was overjoyed that she would finally experience motherhood!
She and her husband, Jaxon, had a gender reveal during the second trimester, which indicated a sweet baby girl was on her way! They picked out the name Blakely, and our entire family started happily referring to their daugher by name. I sent her links to lots of tiny flower crowns and little outfits for a newborn girl.
Then we got the biggest surprise when Kelsey was a little further along in pregnancy – little Blakely was actually a BOY!
Just like that, all the dreaming of pink turned to blue, and Kelsey designed the sweetest nursery with a woodland animal/adventure theme, perfect for her little boy. Then, all we had to do was wait to meet him!
Welcoming Summit Cade
The hardest part for me of welcoming Summit was waiting so long to see his sweet face in person! He arrived on January 27, a few weeks before his mid-February due date, and I had already bought a plane ticket for an early March newborn session. This precious little blond baby was five weeks old when we met, and his newborn photo session was a dream come true.
Cream, white & blue outfits, oh my!
Kelsey and I spent a lot of time discussing outfit options while she was still pregnant. My favorite shades for newborn sessions will always be neutrals because they photograph like magic, no matter how you decorate your nursery and other rooms. With the brown, blue, cream and dark green in Summit’s room, neutral tones look absolutely dreamy!
Summit’s beautiful custom sneak peek video!
I brought five of my own client closet gowns for her, and she ordered a light brown strapless maxi from Baltic Barn (a shop lots of pregnant and new mamas love!) We made time for four dresses during her in-home newbor photo session!
Jaxon and baby Summit also had a variety of outfits ready to go too! Summit had about 10 options laid out in his crib, so we had our choice of adorable newborn things that went along with mama and daddy’s outfits.
Quiet moments with daddy
While some dads aren’t all that crazy about being photographed, Jaxon was excited to capture these fleeting moments with his newborn son. I walked them through easy, comfortable moments that look and feel natural, because these photos capture how Jaxon likes to spend time with his son. Like all of my at-home newborn photo sessions, I wanted Jaxon to feel like it was any other afternoon with Summit, savoring the way he snuggles into his dad’s chest and sleeps peacefully.
The series of photos of Jaxon and Summit in the comfy gray chair are my absolute favorites. These are the photos he’ll think about when Summit hits the major milestones of life – high school and college graduations, marriage and when he welcomes his own children some day.
How motherhood looks on Kelsey
Kelsey has taken to motherhood in an absolutely breathtaking way. Even though these early weeks are full of challenges, she’s never been happier than she is as a mama. She always has the softest, most beautiful smile when she looks at her son, and photographing that kind of love feels so magical!
All of her dresses are flattering and flowy, perfect with her casual long hair style and light makeup. I encourage mamas to make newborn photos feel a little different from the every day with a new baby; most days, you’re probably rockin’ the new mom uniform of leggings and dry shampoo.
But these are photos and memories that you will treasure as your baby grows, and that’s why you want to take extra care with your wardrobe, hair and makeup on the day of your photos. Dresses and gowns are much more flattering and comfortable for the post-partum phase; jeans just don’t give the same look and feel to lovely newborn photos! In fact, I urge all of my clients to save that comfy pair of jeans for after our session together; let’s make these memories in a beautiful, floor-length dress instead.
I absolutely loved the photos of her in my white lace and chiffon gown. It’s perfect for portaits next to a window, with mama and baby glowing softly in natural light.
I was also thrilled to photograph Kelsey with her parents and Summit! There’s something extra special about getting three generations in one photo. Kelsey’s parents are just nuts about their first grandchild, and I know these are memories they’ll adore for years to come. Lots of my clients have at least one set of grandparents at their home for newborn photos for help with baby; I’m always happy to photograph them too!
Family portraits with a newborn
While I’m photographing just mom or dad with baby, I’ll often pull in the other parent for quick family portraits to change up the flow of the newborn photo session. Sometimes mama holds baby, other times it’s dad. I switch the parent standing in front, and which way couples are facing, too. There are so many ways to add variety to your newborn photos just by making slight adjustments during the session!
The best part? Because I focus on candid, natural moments, you don’t spend much time looking directly at the camera. Of course those standard “everyone look at me and smile” photos play a small role in every photo session, most of our time together is spent with you and your spouse focused on your baby!
Families in an apartment or smaller home
If you and your family live in an apartment or smaller home, you might assume you don’t have the space for beautiful newborn photos. Let this session show you it’s not true!
Kelsey and Jaxon are renting a cute duplex that features two bedrooms and one bathroom. We used Summit’s nursery as the backdrop for most of the session. It’s a good-sized room, and I added variety to their photo gallery by using the space creatively.
We took a series of sessions in front of the crib, followed by portraits with each parent next to the window in Summit’s room. I photographed them on the wall across from the crib, which features cute decorations and two closet doors. It provided a very neutral background as compared to all the color behind Summit’s crib. Jaxon snuggled with Summit in the nursing chair, just to the right of the window. I also stepped outside the room and photographed the family from the hallway, capturing the entire nursery.
Altogether, they have a photo gallery featuring four very different backgrounds in the nursery. By changing up their outfits, and Summit’s too, there is so much variety in the photo gallery, and you don’t feel like all of them were taken in the same space, even though we used this one room for 90 percent of the session.
I also used a peaceful corner of their living room, next to a large window, with pretty decor on the wall and a gorgeous table behind Kelsey. If you look closely, you’ll see a wooden box of notes from loved ones from their wedding, as well as an engagement photo. It’s these little touches that make photos extra special!
Up next: watching Summit grow!
My precious newest nephew lives too far away for me to photograph him as often as I’d like! However, I’m so glad I’ll have the chance to capture this sweet little man and his parents as he grows. I already promised Kelsey I’ll be there for every future baby she has, so hopefully a sibling for Summit will be featured here in the years to come!
View Kelsey’s stunning at-home newborn photo session: