for what you need to consider before you pay that photography deposit.
the perfect photographer can be overwhelming. There are a couple important
things to consider before booking.
What style are you looking
have different styles so you need to decide on someone who can help you achieve
the end result you are looking for. This applies to everything from wedding and
maternity shoots to family and corporate shoots. Ask the photographer for some
examples of their latest work to evaluate whether they can cater to your needs.
at their website and Facebook page. Are the portraits in focus? Are the colors
off? Is the posing good?
typically only post a couple of their best photos from a session, so if the
ones posted aren’t that great, it’s not a good sign.
Research and review.
you invest in a professional photographer you need to do your homework. Get
online to find a few customer reviews, browse around their website to view
their latest work and have a look around their social media pages to find out what
others are saying about them. These platforms will also give you a good idea of
their personality and style.
have a ton of positive yelp reviews and Facebook reviews.
other important points to consider when researching photographers are:
Budget. Do their
services fall within your price range? Do they have a payment plan?
Expertise. Are they
experienced enough to give you the results you are looking for?
Location. Are they based
in your area and are they willing to travel to a specific location if need be?
Do they have a studio?
Quality. Is the quality
of their photos good enough? Look at aspects such as sharpness, exposure and
don’t want just anyone handling your sweet new baby. Check to make sure the
studio is licensed and insured. How many newborns have they photographed? What
safety measures do they take?
are they photographing your baby or family? On railroad tracks–that is illegal.
In a glass jar–highly dangerous! Hanging in a crocheted blanket from a tree
What about after the
the photographer provide any retouchups? Head swaps?
studio does full retouchups, removing acne, marks, etc. This is included as
part of our service.
Who to choose?
in touch with the photographers you are considering and ask any questions that
you might have. It’s important that you chat with the photographer over the
phone if not in person as this is the best way to get to know them and find out
whether you’re comfortable with them and feel they can do the job you need them
important that you pick a photographer that you have confidence in. While there
is nothing wrong with helping out your hobby photographer friend who has just
started out, it’s best to choose an experienced photographer for important
events and occasions that you can’t relive.
Our studio does studio and on location portraits and we’d be happy to discuss your session ideas with you.
year of your baby’s life they change so much from day to day. While I highly
recommend professional portraits, here’s some tips for capturing a few moments
on your own as well.
is your friend, but not all lighting is created equal. Have you ever noticed
how sometimes photos have a yellowish tint? Yeah, you can thank those indoor
lights. So let’s look for some window/natural light.
your baby so that their head is closest to the window, and their little booty
is parallel to the window (if you want mainly face photo) or farthest away from
the window (if you want full body).
I use a big light that acts very similar to a window light and position it just
to my right, and maybe slightly to my back.
mind, shadows are your friend! Without shadows, you’ll have a flat image and
you won’t see all those cute little baby rolls.
to think about is the angle you take the photo, you don’t want to shoot so that
you don’t see up into the baby’s nostrils, as that’s not flattering and creates
a “black hole.”
forget to step back and get full body, as well as get close and get details.
doing a naked baby shot, you also have to think about all those little bits.
You want everything tucked in so you don’t see their genitals. Push comes to
shove, a little blanket can help cover things up.
afraid to experiment. Shoot straight on, stand up higher and get a shot from
above, etc. Even going on the shadowed side and shooting back at the baby can
create a nice effect.
bean bag that is a bit stiff is a good place to start with posing your little
throw blankets work great over the bean bag to not only help keep your little
one warm, but also give you a nice soft backdrop.
towels are great for putting under the blankets to help prop them up.
or No Props?
people prefer very simple and clean. Either baby completely naked or with a little
outfit on they want something that represents them and their personalities.
try to do both. But it’s something you’ll have to think about when you’re
thinking about your own photos, what do you like?
different popular poses with your little one.
Siblings with the new baby.
on the older child’s age, you might want to position them laying down next to
each other, or have the older child sit on the ground with the new baby in his
lap. (I would have a spotter though, just in case!)
With each parent, individually.
skin on skin with dad is fun, especially if he has tattoos. Or if he’s military
or has another uniform, that can be a great way to customize it.
having a hard time getting your little one settled, a swaddled baby is
typically a happy baby!
Baby on tummy.
a nice cute shot of their whole little body laying down in that cute little
pose, showing off their toes and fingers.
Hands on arms/elbows, front view.
more of a straight shot of your little one, but can include a little bit of
their whole body. But the focus is more on the face.
Head in hands.
Get dad to
hold the new baby in his hands, it shows how little the baby’s head is at this
time in his life, compared to daddy’s hands.
Wedding rings on toes or fingers.
be especially sentimental if you plan on gifting your child with those rings
Baby on his back.
be a very natural pose for little one and if he has gas, the tummy pose may
irritate them, but this pose is usually pretty comfortable.
Buckets and baskets.
bucket or basket is popular with newborn photographers
toys can be a great way to make your session extra special. Oversided teddy?
Make it look like your little one is sleeping in it’s lap. Grandma make the
little one a special little doll, have her hold it.
items, like a wedding dress or veil is another nice idea to incorporate.
crib as part of your session. Pose your little one in there on their belly,
face towards you and shoot them through the bars or from above.
of Newborn Photography
There are two
main different types of newborn photographers, lifestyle and studio/posed.
Lifestyle photographers are photographing things as
they happen naturally. So if you like this style, you like the photos of the
chaos of everyday situations—the house the way it is, the kids doing what they,
want, etc. The only problem with doing this type of session yourself, is
lifestyle sessions typically include YOU, the parent.
Studio/posed photography is how I typically shoot.
While I shoot families with their little ones, it’s in studio, posed for the
best possible results. While the family photos would be exceptionally hard to
get on your own, since you need to hold the little one AND take the photo, posing
your little one for some photos of only them.
phones have come a long way, but even as a professional, I still struggle to
get great shots from my cell phone, so if you’re struggling, you’re not alone!
with Canon professional SLR cameras, if you want some info about what I shoot
with and what I recommend, check out the For Photographers section on my
website for info about education and gear.
Baby rolling, or kicking out. Little ones like to push
and kick, always be careful of where they are on a prop, make sure they aren’t
too close to an edge or on an unstable prop, like a bucket without help. I have
an assistant or parent sit near me, within reach in case they need to grab the
little one, as safety is of the utmost importance.
Strap on camera. This may sound crazy, but if
you’re photographing above the baby, make sure the strap is on your wrist tight
or around your neck. The last thing you would want is to accidentally drop the
camera on your little one!
Glass jars, etc. There was a time when people
put babies into glass jars with their heads sticking out, etc. This is
dangerous. What if the baby kicks out or something happens and the jar falls
and cracks? I would only hope that all photos using things like glass jars are
being photoshopped and not really done.
Railroad tracks. What most people don’t realize is, shooting on
railroad tracks is illegal. Even adults who know what they are doing have been
caught by surprise and killed, here in the US, so just avoid the railroad
Fabric hanging. Sometimes, people request a shot of their little
one inside a wrap, lifted off the ground. When we shoot this, we do this on top
of a bean bag and there is a spotter right there to help in case the little one
were to fall, etc.
A lot of
people love the shot with the babies legs all the way to the front near the
baby’s face. I’m not a huge fan of this shot. Not all babies will do this pose,
some just aren’t this limber. Also, if they have gas, tummy issues, or anything
else that is bothering them, they may not want to do this pose at all.
Head on hands.
This is a
popular request and we do it quite a bit. But what most people don’t realize
is, this shot is typically composited. Basically, we set the baby up in the
pose, and my assistant holds their hands at the bottom, under the chin, I take
a photo, and then she moves her hand to hold the baby’s head and I take another
photo. Then I combine these shots in Photoshop, to create what looks like the
baby is resting on her hands. Little baby heads are quite heavy and it would
not be comfortable for them to rest on their hands, if they can do it at all.
So if you’ve tried to do this shot and couldn’t, this is the secret of how I do
all these tips, I don’t know that I could even go over everything I’ve learned
over the years on how to create the best newborn portraits while keeping your
little one’s safety in mind.
struggling to take photos of your little baby, or just overwhelmed with the
thought of it, give me a call, (904) 891-0359 or shoot me an email Christy@jaxphotographer.com
Whitehead is a pregnancy, newborn and cake smash photographer in Jacksonville,
Florida. She has been voted best photographer multiple times and has been
featured on Buzzfeed multiple times for her fun and geeky photos.
ICongrats parents, you made it! You survived summer break. Here’s some ideas for those back to school portraits.
day of school is a milestone for all kids and parents. I always try to catch a
photo of my kids on their first day to show how big they were, what they wore,
etc. Over the years, it’s fun to look back on those images and to see how much
they’ve grown from one year to the next
some really cute ideas that you can use to make your child’s first day of
school photos memorable and unique.
shot of the outfit. You’ve spent the time choosing the perfect outfit for
this day so why not hang it up somewhere and get a shot of it before they get
dressed? Lay the outfit out on your child’s bed and take a shot from above or
place it on a cute hanger and hang it against the door. Then, once your little
one has it on, let them give you their best model pose with it on!
blackboard. Incorporate a cute blackboard with a frame into the photos. Fill
the blackboard with facts such as the date, their age or even what they want to
be when they grow up. Easels also work really well for this and will give you
more space to be creative.
drawing. Get your child to draw themselves on their first day of school and
include this in your photo. Or have them write their name
and incorporate that into the photo to show off how their penmanship has
changed as well.
their progress. While taking a picture on the first day of school is a
must, make a point of taking a photo on the last day of the school year too. It’s
always kind of sad to compare the two photos for me. Another sweet idea is to
get your kid to pose with their first day of school photo from the previous
year to show their progress. Or have them wear the same outfit as the first day
By having fun and making this moment a big deal for your
children, you will instill confidence in them and prepare them for the day and
year ahead. Good luck parents!
Elizabeth Luke, the owner of The Jacksonville Baby Co. has been a trusted provider of personalized care and support for families, in and around Jacksonville for the better part of two-and-a-half decades.
Specializing in childbirth education, postpartum support, in-home infant care, and sleep coaching, she’s bringing information about child birth classes to our blog today!
So you’re having a baby. Congratulations! You may have some ideas of what you want your birth to be like, or maybe you don’t! You and your partner or spouse (if you have one) possibly have some questions and a few concerns surrounding pregnancy, birth, and the critical post-birth time period. Those are all good signs! I am a big believer of hope and faith as well as open-mindedness and mindfulness. I also know a birth class can make you or break you!
A birth class can make you or break you…. what exactly does that mean?
Well, here’s the scoop. Birth is a surprise beginning, the biggest surprise most people will experience in life. Sure, you know you’re having a baby and that is exciting, but not a surprise really in the sense of birthing. Not everyone, but most pregnant people know the sex of their baby before birth, most of the time there’s no surprise there. You plan to have x, y, and z covered. No surprised there! Whew! Thank goodness!
Your doctor is lined up and your baby’s birthday is scheduled! Awesome!
Guess what? Doctors are human and sometimes have emergencies themselves! Shocking, I know! Seriously though, they have things come up, even those in a practice of 1, 2, or 5 or more doctors. Also, babies have absolutely no regard for our calendars and have been known to come early, so that could be a surprise!
You’ve already researched epidurals and other pain relief techniques and you know you’ll be getting that!
Did you know that epidurals aren’t guaranteed to work, or can only work on one side of the body and not the other? Did you know that not everyone is a good candidate for certain medications? Did you know that even the most well thought out, planned, and educated parents experience births they never anticipated would happen? It happens every day and the last thing you want to be is blindsided.
So, what can you do to avoid being blindsided?
Take a childbirth class! Not just any birth class though because remember, a birth class can make you or break you! And what I mean by that is quite simple really. Hospital birth classes have come along way in teaching about the biological process of birth, but they still fall short in teaching you real-life tools and explaining the full range of options available to you. Hospital classes will also teach you hospital policy and the basic motions expected at that particular hospital…although your care provider has the ability and flexibility to override any hospital-wide policy! So, there’s that!
Many birth classes set parents up for a certain type of birth.
Sounds great, right? It’s not! In fact, setting parents up for a certain type of birth, vaginal, un-medicated, vaginal with an epidural, water birth, etc. is irresponsible and can lead to unrealistic expectations, broken or damaged relationships, feelings of resentment or skepticism, even birth trauma, and worse still, feelings of failure as a parent.
WOW! Let that sink in.
What a way to enter into the hood, parenthood that is! Sadly, this is the birth culture today in the United States. Parents do all the things they think are best or right and still come away feeling like shit. I promise you I hear from parents day in and day out who reach out to me for support and resources to make peace with their feelings surrounding their births. It’s terribly sad isn’t it? To think of starting out that way.
But, there’s a better way!
The Confident Birth & Parenting Class teaches parents about all types of birth. It truly helps parents learn all of the options with out inducing fear, another tactic that sets parents up to feel like failures! It teaches students how to think through situations when they arise. It teaches the importance of communication and gives them the tools they need to communicate effectively. If there’s ever a time in a person’s life that communication is vitally important it’s during the birth of their baby.
Parents need to be able to trust one another, trust their care providers, birth team, and more importantly, they need to be able to trust themselves!
A birth class can make you or break you so select one that sets you up for the best possible outcome! The Confident Birth and Parenting Class offered only through The Jax Baby Company will set you up for success no matter if your birth is spontaneous or induced vaginal, elective, scheduled, or emergency cesarean, medicated or non-medicated vaginal, water, home, birth center, or a hospital birth! If you’re in the car traveling near or far, in a house with your pet mouse, laying in the bed or standing on your head, kneeling down with a baby about to crown, on a plane or in the express lane, this is a birth class you can use anywhere in any situation! Promise!
There are secrets to getting more sleep after your baby is born and Elizabeth Luke, a postpartum and infant care specialist at The Jax Baby Company is sharing three of them with all of you! Too often we hear about sleep-deprived parents falling asleep in compromising positions while holding their newborns. We’re here to help you all sleep more soundly and as safe as possible!
Now, I know you’ve heard parents complaining, “sleep deprivation is real,” and “you’ll never sleep again.” Listen to too many of those comments and you’ll find yourself rethinking the whole parenting thing, or you totally won’t even remember these comments until they hit home for you! Not only is it possible to have a baby and still get a reasonable amount of sleep, but you’ll also feel better and think more clearly when you do!
Here are the top 3 secrets to getting more sleep after your baby is born:
1. Take Shifts
During the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth, you should try your best to get as much rest and sleep as possible. Sleep is a key component to good health and essential to postpartum recovery. Without sleep, you’ll quickly turn into a mombie (zombie mom). As cute and as sweet smelling as your baby is you need rest. Optimize your sleep by taking shifts with your partner! It’s a strategy that helps both parents get the rest they need while keeping an eye on the baby’s needs full-time.
2a. Begin a Routine
Give yourself and your baby three full weeks to snuggle, get know one another, rest and sleep as much as possible, and just be. By 3 weeks be ready to implement a routine! Beginning a routine by the time your baby is 3 weeks old will help you lay one layer of a strong foundation for better sleep overall. Remember, routines are NOT schedules, they ARE a customary or regular course of procedure.
2b. Begin a Somewhat Flexible Schedule
Aim to begin a somewhat flexible feeding and sleep schedule by about 4-6 weeks. Each baby is different, but by the time most babies (who are born full-term and considered healthy) are 6 weeks old they are ready and thrive on a regular routine and flexible schedule. How you ask? We know the way!
3. Hire Help
Yep, there’s expert help for this and much more after your baby is born! Postpartum and infant care specialists help you with all the things! To give a more specific idea of what we do here’s a short list:
help you get restful sleep
ensure you can get showers each day
assist you in learning your baby’s needs and cues
help you set healthy boundaries
hands-on, accurate breastfeeding/bottle feeding/pumping advice
work out and implement routines/schedules
assist with light housework like dishes, laundry, and meal prep
Have questions? Want to learn more about getting your baby off to a great start?
Get in touch with Elizabeth and her team at The Jax Baby Co. It is with great joy that we provide exceptional support and inclusive care to families welcoming babies in the Jacksonville, FL area. Bookmark this blog and put these 3 secrets to getting more sleep after your baby is born in your toolbox! Then, get ready to rock this parenting thing!
Happy Birth & Parenting!
Elizabeth Luke, the owner of The Jacksonville Baby Co. has been a trusted provider of personalized care and support to families in and around Jacksonville, Florida for the better part of two-and-a-half decades. Specializing in childbirth education, postpartum and in-home infant care support, and sleep coaching!
In 2017, I met Sarah Holloway and got to know her and her son Joey and learned about the rare disease he had, Costello Syndrome. He is the only child in Jacksonville to have the disease, but he’s not the first in our area.
This disease is so rare and so little is known about it by doctors that more children and families may be struggling with it, undiagnosed.
Only 600 people in the world have ever been diagnosed it.
Costello Syndrome affects every part and function of the body; intellectually, developmentally, and physically. Many Costello kids look alike, because syndrome diseases often cause similar physical features. There is a 66 percent chance that Joey will get childhood cancer. One in six die before the age of ten. Which is why I’m here asking for your help!
Your Chance to Make a Difference!
January 27th is Costello Syndrome Awareness Day, and in an effort to help out, I’m reposting the original information I posted about Joey and Sarah from 2017 and creating a special offer to help benefit kids with Costello Syndrome.
Purchase a $200 gift certificate for our studio for ONLY $100. ALL proceeds will go to Costello Syndrome. Give these to friends, family, or keep them for yourself. Purchase HERE.
The Gift Certificates will be mailed to your home, so include your address in the notes when you purchase! Or email Christy@jaxphotographer.com
(Only one gift certificate may be used at a time for a session.)
Here’s a little information Costello:
From Sarah/Wear Red & Denim on Sunday
Did you know for English speaking countries the Costello syndrome rate is approximately 1 in 1.2 million people? Out of the millions of babies born each year all over the world, there are only 2 babies born with the HRAS gene.
Being a parent of a child with Costello Syndrome means knowing everything there is to know about the disease, so we are equipped with the knowledge to teach the doctors how to treat and care for our children.
It’s so rare to the area that geneticists in the area couldn’t diagnose Joey. It took 4 doctors to diagnose him.
“Just keep swimming” is motto of families dealing with children of rare disease. Jacksonville toddler is the ONLY child in the area to have Costello Syndrome.
Hoping to raise awareness for other parents who may not know their child has it and also to raise money for this local family so they can get to a specialist without taking on debt!
Most kids do a cake smash for their first birthday; it took Joey Holloway a little longer and many tears of joy from his mother when he was finally able to hit that milestone.
From the time Joey was born Sara Holloway knew something was wrong. But doctors told her it was nothing or he was just stubborn. It took many doctor’s appointments, second opinions and car rides home in tears before Holloway got the answer to what was going on with her son, the very rare disease—Costello Syndrome.
For Joey, who is developmentally eight months delayed because of the syndrome, it means regular cancer screenings, annual MRIs, exploratory procedures and ongoing new issues.
Joey is 16 months old and has already had five surgeries, tons of exploratory procedures, and has spent around 120 days in the hospital in his short life. And while eating isn’t a big thing for most children, for Joey, it’s one more step to normalcy.
“The medical field is the only field that someone can be wrong so often and miss so many things other than meteorology, and still have a job,” Holloway says. “Since the diagnosis, I have realized that I have had to teach the doctors.”
But she hopes that will change and she has new hope with a trip to a specialist in Costello Syndrome, located at the Dupont Hospital in Delaware. The doctor there has treated 100 of the 600 known cases of Costello Syndrome. Her insurance has just approved the visit and Holloway just got word the hospital has an opening at the end of October—she was originally told it might take six months to get Joey in.
The catch? Holloway has to pay for the airfare, hotels, car, etc. Which is hard when you’re a single mom who can’t work full time because you have a special needs child.
Holloway hopes to bring awareness about the disease so other mom’s who were in her boat can find answers. In the meantime, she’s relishing in the normalcy of simple milestones like eating cake.