Gabby & Alejandro welcome their son in a beautiful at-home newborn photo session in The Woodlands
Gaby and Alejandro have lived all over the world, traveling for work and experiencing many different cultures. They’ve settled down in The Woodlands to put down roots for their family; now that their son is here, they’re celebrating life as a family of three!
First-time mama Gaby wanted her newborn session to focus on how much she and husband Alejandro adore this new chapter of life. She also wanted to work in a little of the nature vibe from her maternity session. Their sweet baby boy and Gaby’s natural green thumb take center stage in this beautiful, peaceful in-home newborn session!
Neutral tones, bright orange accents in the nursery
When I arrived at Gaby and Alejandro’s home, the makeup artist/hair stylist was wrapping up. This gave me a few moments in Elio’s lovely nursery to photograph the space his parents carefully curated just for him. Gaby is a huge fan of neutrals with pops of color; the inspiration behind Elio’s room came from her love of sunrises and sunsets. White, cream and tan are contrasted with burnt orange, including a circle on the wall behind baby’s crib that symbolizes a sunrise.
I include complimentary photos of every baby’s nursery as part of an in-home newborn session! In my experience, parents love spending time in the nursery during their newborn session, especially since new babies generally aren’t sleeping there just yet. In fact, lots of parents say that the newborn session is the first time baby has even spent time in his or her room, since they are in the master bedroom with mom and dad for the first few months!
Snuggles in Elio’s nursery
Gaby and Alejandro are every other happy couple I photograph; they were content to simply cuddle with their son and watch him sleep. We primarily used the nursery as the backdrop for Gaby’s newborn photo session. The family’s Goldendoodle, Fito, joined us for some shots of the whole family!
The key to gorgeous nursery photos is having clients move around the room so that the backdrop changes during the session. I usually start in front of the crib, and then shift parents around the room as we work together.
Making the most of a happy baby!
I learned in the very early days of photographing newborns not to waste any time if baby is settled and happy! I work quickly to capture family portraits before baby gets fussy or needs to nurse. I also use this time to get close-ups of baby snuggled with mom and dad individually.
If they are fully awake and content, babies are very curious about my camera – especially the quick, quiet shutter of the shutter. You can almost see the little wheels turning in Elio’s mind as he studies me and the camera! This is an easy way to capture baby’s pretty eyes.
Safety is paramount, so I ask parents to hold baby however they are most comfortable; if both mom and dad prefer to use the cradle hold for the entire session, taking some photos while they are seated allows me to move around them and add more variety to the gallery. Getting a new mama off her feet gives her a second to rest while I work. Also, most of the focus is on baby, so she doesn’t have smile or look at the camera much during this series of images. Lots of mamas find this portion of the session, where they’re simply cuddling baby and not looking at the camera, as a great opportunity to bond with their newborn.
I also photograph dads seated with their new babies, although I tend to vary how they position baby a bit.
Incorporating mama’s green thumb
Gaby wanted a natural vibe for her maternity photo session, and she asked to work in the greenery in her home in these newborn photos too! She and Alejandro have a gorgeous living room flooded with natural light and plants – the perfect place for a few more family shots! I love that these images are such a departure from the softer colors in Elio’s nursery, and how much variety there is in the photo gallery because of it.
For this series of photos, we moved the couch away from the wall of windows and placed a few of Gaby’s orchids on the windowsills. Sometimes we move around furniture and other items to achieve whatever look clients want! The light is amazing because Gaby and Alejandro were surrounded by windows.
How Moses basket newborn photos work
I love to photograph newborns in my Moses basket because its simplicity and beauty can’t be beat! The basket is made of seagrass, and underneath all the fluffy, comfy blankets you’ll find a special set of pillow specifically created for newborn photography.
The biggest pillow looks like a giant squishy donut, and it easily conforms to the shape of the basket. The sides of the donut form a firm “pillow wall” that keeps baby from rolling to either side inside the basket. There are two smaller square pillows that fit snugly inside the donut, which provide a cushion underneath baby. I also have a small round pillow that fits against the “pillow wall” and the cushioning pillows along the bottom to give baby head support.
I lay a fluffy blanket on top of the pillow set so that baby appears to be laying on a fluffy cloud; then, I add a smaller ivory blanket on top for added comfort and color/texture contrast. Once you lay your newborn inside, the hidden pillows ensure that he or she isn’t going anywhere, which is total piece of mind for new parents – and for me too! I don’t believe in taking any risks where the safety of my clients is at risk for even a second.
All of these items are washed in between each newborn; newborns are completely supported and totally safe inside the basket. I always photograph babies on the floor or on a study piece of furniture when they’re inside the basket so that there is zero chance of injury.
Babies are precious whether they’re dressed or swaddled inside the basket. I love using it for newborn-only photos because I can easily and beautifully capture full- and half-body photos, as well as baby’s sweet face and detail shots.
If parents have a rug or flooring they love, it’s easy to use that as a backdrop for these photos of baby. I’ve placed the basket on floral and dinosaur rugs, rugs with gorgeous fluffy, thick pile, and on stunning hardwoods, too! Usually I’ll have mama sit next to the basket with a hand on baby to weave in her wedding ring; this is an elegant shot to keep the focus on baby while involving mama, too!
The happiest family of three!
Gaby, Alejandro and Elio are settling into life as a happy family of three! There is no question that this little guy is very loved, and that his parents couldn’t be happier to have him in their lives!