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How to Prepare for Your Newborn Photo Session | North Andover Newborn Photographer

Congratulations on your new baby! After so many weeks of anticipation and preparations your little miracle is finally here. And what an adventure it is with feedings and changing every few hours day and night. I’ve been there. My baby boy wanted to nurse every two hours for months.

If you scheduled your Newborn Photo Session before you delivered you have an advantage in planning to document these precious fleeting moments. The first 10 days after birth are best for newborn portraits. Baby is sleepy and won’t mind being moved into a few different poses. The earlier you can make it to the studio the better. The first week is ideal. After two weeks our chances for sleepy portraits drop dramatically as most babies sleep less and lighter. Yes, it is hard to get out of the house with a newborn. You are tired, we understand. But if you do make the effort you will never regret it, it will be worth it. All you have to do is get here, feed your baby and then just sit back and watch us do the rest. You can even take a nap if you like ๐Ÿ™‚

As for how to prepare and what to bring to your Newborn Session. We recommend to pack a diaper bag with the usual – diapers, extra clothes in case of accidents (for Mom too because spit up happens) and formula for two feedings (if you are not nursing of course). Feel free to pack some fun things such as hand knit hats and blankets, stuffed animal or anything else that has a special meaning to you. No need for fancy outfits. At this age nothing really fits well and newborn babies look their best in just a birthday suit anyway. Our studio is always very warm at 75 degrees and we use a space heater near the baby to make them comfortable during the session. Also, feel free to bring snacks for yourself. Most newborn sessions last between 2 and 4 hours so you may get hungry and we tend to be bad hosts in this area when we get busy behind the camera.

If you read my previous post you will be delighted to meet Max, Aubrey and Matt’s firstborn child and an amazing newborn baby boy I had the pleasure to meet and photograph. After working with Aubrey for a whole year documenting her pregnancy each trimester I couldn’t wait to meet this little guy! The little cutie was just perfect. Flawless skin, beautiful lips and so adorable. He slept well and allowed me to mold him into several newborn poses without waking. Too bad Aubrey and Matt took him home afterwards ๐Ÿ˜‰



What to Wear for a Maternity Session | North Andover Maternity Photographer

Maternity sessions are one of my favorite types of session. There is so much happiness surrounding a pregnant mother it’s almost palpable. She glows. When I aim my soft lighting at her it’s almost ethereal. There is nothing more miraculous than the miracle of new life growing inside another being. I am always honored to have the privilege of creating these portraits for expectant parents.

During our pre session consultation the subject of preparations and recommended clothing is always discussed. My approach is very simple. To accentuate the beautiful belly I recommend bringing a few pre-maternity outfits such as jeans (it doesn’t matter if they stay unzipped), blouses, tank tops and other form fitting tops in solid colors. White, black and one or two other colors give the best results. Then there are fun items to bring – scarves, pieces of fabric, props such as baby hats, booties, blankets. Flowers are great too, especially fresh ones. For a more traditional portrait always bring a cute maternity outfit such as a dress. If your partner plans to participate please color coordinate his outfit as well. Jeans or black pants, a black shirt or a tee, white shirt and another color to match yours are perfect.

If you can please treat yourself to a manicure and even a pedicure. Your hands will be in most of the photos and a polished hand finishes the beauty of your portrait. Take a long bath the night before and moisturize with good body lotion. Wear your hair and make up the way you usually do. If you’d like to do a fancier make up you can start with a nice matte base and ย a little powder to minimize skin shine. Eye make up can be heavier than usual. Lip gloss is better than a bright lipstick but feel free to bring a few options with you. Jewelry is always great, just bring a few options with you.

My studio is equipped with fabric wraps and different backgrounds to create the portrait you will love. We start our session with the more traditional outfits and poses. If you are comfortable showing more skin I will offer to wrap you in one of my fabric wraps (or feel free to bring your own). Artistic nudes of a pregnant female form are very beautiful but not everyone is comfortable with those. I will offer to do them but it’s all up to your comfort level.

Last year I had the pleasure of working with a fellow photographer Aubrey of Aubrey Greene Photography Aubrey was freshly pregnant when she contacted me and she was up for a whole year of documenting her first pregnancy. She drove an hour to North Andover every three months by the end of each trimester and we photographed her progression. It was amazing to see her belly grow and blossom! A photographer herself Aubrey was the ideal subject to photograph. Patient, up for anything and willing to step out of her comfort zone. We had so much fun creating her portraits and when baby Max arrived we had the last session, the most joyful of all. He was an amazing model and oh so cute I wanted to keep him ๐Ÿ™‚ His pictures are up next.

Stay in Bed and Eat Cake | North Andover Family Photographer

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Holiday Season and enjoyed all the delights it brings. We had a great time at the Fulwider house this Season. My son was out of school for a week and I loved my deserved time off savoring every minute of my vacation. I baked cookies which is my family’s tradition. My Mom taught me and it always puts me in the Christmas mood. I’m not as good as my Mom who bakes about 9 different kinds of tiny delicious european cookies but I managed to make 4 kinds. I have a few friends addicted to my cookies and they gently remind me of making sure to drop some off at their house every year. I love to share and it makes me happy that they enjoy them. And there is always plenty left for us to munch and gain a few pounds too ๐Ÿ™‚ We did not in fact eat cake in bed but it’s been our inside joke for lazy days ever since my son said this line a few years back when I woke him up for school: “But why Mama? Why do I have to get up and go to school? Can we just stay in bed all day and eat cake?” I laughed and wondered about the way we live our lives always going somewhere doing something. I think everyone should be able to enjoy a day of staying in bed and eating cake every once in a while ๐Ÿ˜‰

Catching up on my blogging (fell really behind during my busy Fall season and Holiday orders), here are my favorite few from a Fall Family Session that I had the pleasure to do for a very dear friend if mine. What a perfect family they are, all so cute, happy and good looking!

Photography 101 part 2 | North Andover Senior Photographer

I hope you are ready for your first lesson in mastering your digital camera! I’m assuming you are familiar with the on and off button ;). You may have also found the “menu” button and possibly got overwhelmed with all the options. While there may be a ton of choices in there we will focus on the basics that have been built into cameras since they were invented – the Shutter and the Aperture. These two controls work together to adjust the amount of light that reaches the sensor (or film back in the day) and create an image. This is called an “Exposure”.

Let’s start with Shutter. What is the shutter you may ask. Simply put it is a curtain that is drawn over the sensor of your camera much like a shade over your window. It keeps the sensor dark just like the darkroom had to be completely dark as not to ruin the film. When you “press the shutter” button to take a picture you are actually moving the shutter curtain aside so the light can go through your camera body and reach (expose) the sensor (or film). The picture that is created by doing this is dependent on how long the shutter curtain stays open before it closes again. Adjusting the length of time the shutter stays open controls the amount of light that reaches the sensor. This is called “shutter speed”. You may choose to leave your shutter open for one second, several seconds, one minute, several minutes or more commonly just fractions of seconds. If you leave your shutter open for a long time such as one second you will allow a lot of light reach the sensor. ย This is useful for night photography when we need every little bit of the light that is left going in. But in direct sun we only need fractions of seconds such as 1/2000 of a second.

The direct result of a shutter speed is capturing the motion in our photos. Fast shutter speed such as 1/500 second or more will freeze motion and capture drops of water mid air perfectly sharp. Slow shutter will create dreamy waterfalls that look like cotton candy (pretty) or will cause your baby’s moving arms to look like ghosts (not so pretty). When your pictures come out of the camera with streaks and smudges around people it is because the camera didn’t have enough light to expose the sensor properly which led to a slow shutter speed which consequently caused anything moving to be recorded as a blur.

Using shutter speed, aperture and a few other controls to create the effect you desire is one of the many steps to creating a beautiful image that was first born in your mind and shared with the world through your camera.

Keep experimenting with your shutter! Put your camera on Shutter Priority and play around with the numbers taking a photo with each one under the same light. You’ll have fun and you’ll learn the different effects that your shutter can create for you.

Next lesson is Aperture.ย In the meantime I’d like to share these images of two amazing kids that I had the pleasure of photographing back in May. They were so much fun to work with! And talk about gorgeous (her)/handsome (him) ๐Ÿ™‚

Fall Portraits | North Andover, MA Family Photographer

Fall is around the corner, kids are in school and the Holiday Season will be here before you can say stuffed turkey. Families love this time of year for their annual Family Portrait to be used in Holiday Cards and as gifts. Our schedule is filling up and there are only a few spots left in October during the peak foliage season. Call today and let us create your Holiday Card for you this year, it’s sure to be the best your friends and family have seen in a while!

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