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Somewhere Over the Rainbow- Warren County, NJ Newborn Photographer

*Trigger Warning- Infant Loss*

I’m not sure that I’ve ever been more honored to do a newborn session, than I was for this one.   4 years ago, this family was one of my very first sessions.  The braved the ice and snow to come into my home studio and let this little green photographer take their photos.   Little did I know that not only would those photos be so tender and important, but that day also started a dear friendship that I’m grateful to have.

It was during the scheduling of that session that I learned they had experienced infant loss when one of their twins was born sleeping.   As a mother, that was the most awful thing I could imagine.   I read the story of their heartbreak, their grief over losing their daughter while experiencing the joy of the birth of their son.   I read about the sweet boy who joined the family just a little over a year later.  I read about the few precious momentos they had to keep their sweet baby girl close to them.

One of those items was their Molly Bear.  Molly Bears are special weighted bears meant for bereaved families who have lost a child.    During that first session, we got many photos with their bear.  She represents their daughter as a tangible reminder that she existed and she is loved and missed SO much.

I was thrilled to learn she was expecting and experiencing a healthy pregnancy this past year.  She was also expecting a baby girl.  My sweet friend was very unsure if she wanted to have newborn photos done.   Most moms would feel guilt over having something special done for one child that they did not do for others.  And she was no different.    I always feel that you’re far more likely to regret NOT doing them than you would regret doing them.   However, it was her choice and after much deliberation, she let me know she wanted to move forward.   For this, I am so incredibly humbled that she trusted me to honor, not only her newest and longed for baby, but all of her babies.   And we both knew that we would incorporate her sweet Karina with her Molly Bear.

The big brothers were SO incredibly excited about their new baby sister that they could hardly sit still.   Yet, they held her and comforted her with the gentlest of hands and the softest of voices.   They had an instinctual desire to protect her and with every tiny newborn wail, one of them would appear at my side to check in and make sure she was ok.    She was such a great sleeper.  She loved being wrapped up snug and would occasionally let out the tiniest of baby smiles.

I feel I could write ten novels about this family and these sweet babies, but I will just let the photos do the talking.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

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In the trees- Warren County, NJ Family Photographer

Back before Thanksgiving, I made a trip back home to Arkansas.  While I was there, I took the opportunity to photograph some of my friends.  This family is the sister, et al, of one of my dearest friends.   She also had her third baby recently and was so excited to have photos done of their new family of five.

Due to scheduling conflicts, weather, and illnesses, we didn’t get together until right before I was leaving to return to New Jersey.    Unfortunately, this meant…weeknight.  The dad didn’t get off work until 4:30 and it’s about a half hour to the tree farm from his house, so we were pretty much looking at shooting in the dark.   But, not to fear, we forged ahead armed with a speedlight and high ISO settings and made beautiful memories for this beautiful family.

I absolutely love the amazing color and texture that the christmas trees add to these images.  Late fall/early winter can feel so drab and lifeless, but this was really a magical spot.   We can’t thank Motley’s Tree Farm enough for allowing us to do this quick dusk session as not only were they not even open for the season, but they were getting ready to head home!  So, special shout out and thanks to them.  If you live in the Central Arkansas area, be sure to check them out for their Christmas trees this year, and check out their pumpkin patch!    We used to get our trees and pumpkins from them when we lived in Arkansas and they have an amazing selection!

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A Day in Our Life- Warren County, NJ Child Photographer

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to take the time to capture my own family more frequently.  With my real camera. Not my phone.  All too often, it is so easy to just lift that palm sized camera while scrolling Facebook and grabbing a quick snap.  But, sadly, those photos don’t print all that well and with my sweet littles always on the move, I don’t always catch the moment before it’s gone.   I’m hoping to stay on track with printing these and putting them in an actual photo album for them to look back on over the years.   My last trip home, I brought back a photo album and a box of photos from my childhood.  It was amazing to look back on those memories and to see so much of my children’s faces in my own and in the faces of my loved ones.

This was a random Thursday morning.  My middle child is currently obsessed with her Elsa PJs.  My oldest child couldn’t be less interested in clothes.  And my youngest is still in that “lump on a log” stage.  (but not for long…she’s 6 months old as of the day these were taken! )   The kids were playing in the dining room when I started skulking around the house with my camera.   My son was crushing kinetic rocks, while sitting on top of the dining table, naturally.   My daughter disappeared into her room, where I found her making me all sorts of delicious food in her kitchen.   The next thing I know, we were having a full on photo shoot day!  Both of the older kids got their cameras out.   My son focused his attention on capturing me or the dog…whomever was the most amicable subject at the time.  My daughter, clearly on her way to being a newborn photographer, started snapping photos of her doll in the stroller.    Meanwhile, the baby kicked and babbled in the crib watching us with wide eyes.   I can already see the love of this art forming for her as well.

As you can tell…this was all so spontaneous that my daughter’s room is a mess.  And that’s ok.  That’s real life.   One day, I’ll miss the toys and the footie PJs strewn across the floor.   And lucky for me… I’ll have this day to return to again…when my babies were content to take photos, crush rocks, and make their mama yummy plastic snacks.

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Complete- Phillipsburg, NJ Newborn Photographer

We’ve come to the last newborn session from this sweet family.  I have documented so many of their special moments over the last few years.   I am very much looking forward to sharing these babies with you as they grow but right now, I am so excited to share this little tiny thing.

This sweet boy decided to break ALL the rules and came late.  After 2 previous “right on time” births,  baby #3 had plans of his own.   His mama had made such a cozy and perfect home for him in her belly and he was all too content to stick around and take advantage of the free wifi and continental breakfast.

After 6 exhausting days post date (in JULY!) his willpower finally caved and he decided to make his grand entrance and in only a few hours, he was earthside and ready to join his two big brothers.

Here he is at a whopping 16 days old!  Isn’t he the sweetest?!?

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Sibling Love ~ Northern NJ Portrait Photographer, Family Sessions

You may recall a post from a few weeks ago, regarding a mini session?  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much interest, so it didn’t quite happen.  A silver lining to that fact?  This sweet brother and sister!!!    Originally, they were booked for a mini session slot, but big sister wasn’t really a fan of the theme and since they were the only booking…the theme got tossed.   Instead, I had the pleasure of capturing these two in a pure and natural light.

I can tell that they are going to be BEST friends in life.  They are super lucky to have each other. There is nothing better than a sibling.  🙂

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