Rachel had elected to add on makeup services as she has done for all of her other portrait sessions. As a busy mom of (now) THREE boys, she appreciates being able to just show up and be taken care of.
The morning of their session, Rachel arrived with her mother and baby Elias and we went through the studio wardrobe together. She already knew that she wanted to wear the same dress for a few photos that she had worn for her maternity session as a way to come full circle. After viewing the other options, she fell in love with a gorgeous blush pink lace dress and settled into the makeup chair while I got started with Elias.
Elias was sound asleep when I took him back, and stayed that way for most of his session. He did need a nursing break, but then went right back to sleep! He made some of the cutest expressions with a lip curl and half grin here and there. The focus of my sessions are entirely on your baby, and I choose to use simple neutral wraps to achieve this and keep posing natural. If your baby doesn’t want to do into a certain position, I don’t force them to. Their comfort
I finished up pretty quickly with Elias and came out to the main shooting room just as his daddy and big brothers arrived. Aaron Thomas was still all about his sister, but Luca was still a little bit unsure.
Forcing big siblings to do something or putting a lot of pressure and expectation on them is (a) unnecessary and (b) almost always backfires. It’s SO much more effective to adopt a relaxed approach with no expectations at all. I work with so many children on a weekly basis, and have been told I have infinite patience. In all honesty, there is pretty much nothing that I haven’t seen at this point. I have a whole arsenal of techniques and tricks up my sleeve if I need them. My number one priority is the safety of your newborn. Some toddlers just aren’t going to come near their new sibling alone! Two and under is always a roll of the dice when it comes to “cooperation” for sibling shots, and the chances increase with age 3-4. Age 5 and up - I’ve never had a sibling this age not be a fantastic listener or not want to participate.
Since both big brothers were willing and ready to participate, we started immediately with the sibling images. Because of the ages of the big boys, I chose to have Aaron Thomas in the middle. That way if Luca decided to jump up, Elias wouldn’t be affected. I knew that Aaron Thomas was mature enough to stay in place and hold his baby brother securely. What you can’t see is that we have spotters right by the brothers ready to reach in if needed!
Rachel slipped into her dress, and we continued with family images. I asked the big boys for permission to play some games with them and if I could touch them gently to move them where I needed them to be. When young children feel that they have a choice in the matter, they are much more likely to be happy and willing participants! You’ll always hear me talking to your children with respect. I 100% believe in asking them for permission to touch them. If they say no, that’s ok. We’ll work around it! We gave the boys a quick break to photograph some daddy and son images, and then a few of just the parents with Elias. I had daddy and big boys out the door in about 30 minutes. Rachel’s husband had braced himself for a horrible time because of their last newborn session experience, and was shocked (and pleasantly surprised!) by how much fun he ended up having. She later sent me a screenshot of a text exchange with him saying “That wasn’t bad at all! She was great, and had us in and out!” ::dusts off shoulder:: Just kidding! I can’t predict how your newborn will do - I’ve had some newborns decide to start crying at the start of family images, and we then have to spend some time getting them calm before we can continue. That being said, I make every effort to be as efficient as I can be so that you are there for the least amount of time possible.
After the boys left, Rachel changed into her white dress and we photographed just her and her last baby. It’s such a bittersweet feeling holding your very last baby and knowing you won’t get to do it again, even if you’ve made the decision yourself and know it’s the right one. I still wonder if I’m REALLY done, even though my brain knows I am! I looked over at Rachel’s mom and asked her if she’d like to be in a few of the images. She waved me off, saying that she wasn’t dressed appropriately. I responded by saying I had the perfect top for her to put on. When she took a really long pause, I grabbed the tunic off the hanger and handed it to her before she had a chance to change her mind. I’m so glad she decided to participate for a few images! What a precious gift to give Elias: a three generations photo. I know Rachel will also fondly look at the images of her mom with Elias in the future. We wrapped up the session and parted ways.
After seeing her proof gallery, Rachel chose to keep all of her images, and we designed a gorgeous album together for their home as well as a huge wall portrait and other smaller prints. I LOVE assisting families with albums and wall art so that they can enjoy their photographs in their homes every day. Our album covers are so gorgeous: and I’m partial to the suede and velvet materials! We have a stack of albums in the studio for you to peruse while you’re there, and it gives you a chance to touch them and see which one is your favorite.
Enjoy a few of my favorites from Elias’s newborn session! I can’t wait to see him and his older brothers again in October for his six month milestone session!
If you're expecting a baby or already a parent and looking for a newborn, maternity, or family photographer, I would love to work with you to create images that you will love for a lifetime. Watch this video to hear about my philosophy and see how I work in the studio so you can determine if I'm the right fit for you. I can't wait to meet you!
Lily Sophia Photography specializes in newborn, baby, maternity, and family photography in Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding areas.