A Family Begins- Morris County, NJ Newborn Photographer

My former co-worker welcomed their beautiful baby girl into the world in December just before Christmas.   I was SO excited to get the message that Baby C was finally here and we could officially get the newborn session on the books.

I had spent months carefully designing this session.  I knew mom loved soft textures and very feminine color palettes, so I set out to make the most luxurious sets that I could think of.  Lots of soft stretchy wraps, soft unspun wool blankets, and cloud soft backdrop fabrics married with soft pinks and creams.   But, she also loved that rustic organic style too, so I made sure to incorporate lots of wood and earth tones to compliment her skin tones and her thick dark hair.

She was such a cutie but at 2 weeks old for her session, she made me work!   But, if anything is worth breaking a sweat for, it’s those amazing baby yawns and big yummy grins.  She was such an expressive baby and so cuddly and squishy, I could just nom her cheeks right off her face.   However, after practicing great self restraint, I managed to leave those sweet cheeks right where they belong and capture her rare moments of sleep.

As I mentioned in the post about their maternity session, I love LOVE when dads get involved with the maternity photos.  I love it even more when the parents (either or both!) get in on the newborn photos.  There is something so amazing about capturing their first official portraits as a new family.   That raw and awe inspiring love they have for their new baby and for each other is such a reminder that it’s not just babies being born, families are being born.  Entire new identities and values are being born.  And that is such an honor to bear witness to and to immortalize in print.



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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Roses love Sunshine, Violets Love Dew- Hunterdon County, NJ Maternity Photographer

Gosh, Where do I even begin with this one?  This abundantly beautiful mother to be was a co-worker of mine in my 9-5 life.   For several years, we anxiously awaited her announcement that she was expecting.  She was but a newlywed when she came to us, so our “gentle nudging” was all in jest but we were certainly looking forward to it.   She’s such a stunning beauty to begin with, I just knew that radiant glow of pregnancy would set her off like none other.

When the day finally came, we were all elated.  And, of course, I couldn’t resist demanding  requesting to do her maternity and newborn photos.   I went on maternity leave before her belly really showed up, so I missed all the fun times in the office watching her grow into this new phase of life.   But, when she arrived for her maternity session, she took my breath away.   She was every bit as lovely as I had imagined she would be.

She chose a purple off the shoulder ruffle gown from my client wardrobe, and also brought along a ruby red stunner as well.   Of course, we could expect this saucy Peruvian goddess to bring her own spicy flair!    We had so much fun with her session and I was thrilled that her husband came along for the ride and got in on some photos too!  I love when the dad’s to be join in.  This is a time to celebrate both of them as they prepare for their new roles as “Mom and Dad”.


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.

Field of Love- Phillipsburg, NJ Family Photographer

This mama is a dear friend of mine.  She was one of the first women to reach out to me when we moved to Phillipsburg a couple of years ago and has been a saving grace for me too many times to count.  Whether it’s watching my kids so I can shoot a session, or coming over to have coffee and make sure I’m not losing my sanity, or accompanying me on photo shoots as my assistant…she’s definitely building up some good karma points.

We did her 4th and last baby’s newborn session a couple of years ago and decided it was time to update the family album and get the whole crew in front of my lens.   This was a gorgeous day… late October, warm afternoon, cool breeze.  And they all showed up looking like they belong on the cover of a magazine.

Her girls are not only beautiful, but such sweet helpers to each other, their mother, and others.  I had to tote along my little lady (she was about 2 months old at the time) and the big girls did such a wonderful job of entertaining her while I got all the individual shots.

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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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Holiday Mini Sessions *closed* NJ Portrait Photographer

I’m excited to announce that I have opened up booking for Holiday Minis! This year, I ‘m even more pleased to announce that 10% of each session will be donated to NJ Farmers Against Hunger. This is an amazing organization that allows farms to donate their extra produce to those in need. Please contact me ASAP to book your date as slots will go quickly!

October 28th and 29th
Rain Date: November 4th and 5th



Holiday  Mini Sessions NJ Photographer Family sitting in tree farm

Allison’s Birth Story- Phillipsburg, NJ Newborn Photographer

*Long birth story ahead.  Scroll down for Fresh 48 and Newborn Photos if you want to skip ahead to the cuteness*

As I sit down to write out my third and final birth story, I am caught in my heart a little.  I can’t believe this will be the last birth story I write.  It’s been such a privilege to create, carry, and sustain these little lives that I feel my words will fall short.

Let me start out by being honest.  Allison was such a surprise in every single way.  We had not planned on completing our family at this time.  But, I truly feel that our timing is inferior to God’s timing and He must know something that we didn’t.   After adjusting to that shock, I began to plan for another unmedicated water birth.  Then, at my 20 week anatomy scan, we found out that I had a complete placenta previa.  I was devastated.  Placenta previa has plagued all three of my pregnancies but this is the first time it was complete and that my midwives weren’t just positive it would move and it began to look like I would have a cesarean birth at 37 weeks.  But, they were amazing and continued to encourage me and we kept scanning until it did indeed move at 32 weeks.

Our second born, Natalie, had arrived at 40 weeks and 1 day in just 4 hours.  I had mentally prepared myself, not only for a 40 week delivery, but a FAST delivery.  I poured over youtube videos of home births and car births, trying to prepare my husband and I for the possibility of an emergency unassisted birth.  I was convinced that this baby was going to just fall out.   I wasn’t afraid of this scenario, though.  As a doula, I felt confident that my body was capable of delivering my daughter in any situation.

And this is where the story of the birth of Allison truly begins…

39 Weeks.  I snap my weekly selfie and note the drastic lowering of my belly.  I’d spent the weekend having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions.   I’m extremely in tune to my body and even speculated that I would be surprised if I made it to 40 weeks.  Up until that point, I had been so sure that I’d not only make it to 40 weeks, but I’d probably go overdue just because I had ended up in L&D with preterm contractions at 35 weeks.   I was HOPING to overdue as I was very much enjoying my pregnancy despite the awful heartburn and round ligament pain.

39 Weeks, 1 day.  I wake up and spend the day wrangling my older 2 children while preparing for my parent’s arrival the following day.   All throughout the day, I was experiencing consistent contractions.  But, they weren’t lasting very long and they weren’t intensifying, so I dismissed them as being Braxton Hicks.  In hindsight, I was likely in very early labor.    I powered through the contractions while doing laundry, mopping and vacuuming floors, washing dishes, scrubbing toilets… you get the idea.   I spoke to my husband that afternoon and told him that I felt like I would be going into labor within the next few days and it was a good thing my parents were going to be here soon.    That evening, upon his arrival home, I told him that I had been having contractions 5 minutes apart but they still weren’t getting stronger or longer, so I was still convinced they were BH.   He did look a little alarmed but I assured him I was fine and dumped the kids on his lap so I could go shower and relax.

39 weeks, 2 days.  2:30am.  Natalie wakes up wanting to nurse.   She had been nursing much more frequently in recent weeks.   I brought her into my bed and nursed her on one side.  I got up to use the restroom and returned to bed where she decided she wasn’t done yet, and nursed the other side.   Being 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant, I had to use the restroom AGAIN, so I rolled out of bed and felt a pop.  Immediately, I leapt up and ran waddled to the bathroom.  Sure enough, my water had broken.  And it had meconium in it.   This alarmed me slightly, but I was too busy being more freaked out that my labor had started with my water breaking which meant I didn’t have long to get to the hospital.    It was 3am.

I woke my husband and we began to get ready.  We had to wake our friends in the middle of the night to watch our kids since my parents were not in town yet.   Natalie was already wide awake and once we woke Sebastian to let him know the baby was coming, the energy in the house just came alive.   I felt very emotional about those moments of getting them ready and dropping them off.  I knew they were going to be great siblings but there is still something a little sad about watching your babies become “big” brothers and sisters.

We dropped them off around 3:30 and hit the road.  We live about 45 minutes from the hospital, but thankfully, it was the middle of the night so traffic was not bad.  My contractions were coming closer, but still not terribly intense and about 7 minutes apart.  This was a relief because I was really trying to NOT have my baby on the side of I-78 in my husband’s company car.

We arrived at the hospital around 4:15 and were placed in our room around 4:30.  I had called my birth photographer as soon as my water broke so she arrived right after us.   I was placed on the monitor for the standard 20 minutes (more like 45…every single time.  Getting a reactive strip on my babies is almost impossible that early in the morning.  They are sleeping in there!!)   Finally my midwife comes in at 5:30 and checks me… I’m at 4cm…which means I still have a way to go.

I’m finally off the monitor and able to get into the tub, which helps my contractions IMMENSELY.  I had only barely made it into the tub with Natalie when it was time to start pushing, so I was very excited to actually labor in the tub this time.   The water felt amazing and with each contraction, my husband was there to spray water on my back or provide counter pressure.   In between contractions, we laughed and talked.  My photographer was awesome to have there.  She made us feel so comfortable and she got some amazing shots.

The midwife came in and checked me again around 7:40am and I was at 6cm.  I labored in the tub until about 8:15am when I decided to get out and get on the ball a bit. My contractions were still consistent but I was still handling them extremely well and I felt like I needed to try to get into some different positions to encourage more progress.  They also wanted to put me back on the monitor for a bit since I did have meconium in my waters and they wanted to make sure the baby was still tolerating labor well.

I believe I began to enter transition while I was on the monitors.  My contractions began to intensify and were coming much closer together and in clusters.  I so desperately wanted to get back in the tub or in the shower, but they weren’t seeing a reactive strip again.   I chugged juice, ate honey sticks, and rocked into Robert and did hip rotations on the ball until FINALLY they were comfortable enough to let me off of the leash.  I immediately went for the tub.  I had to get back in the water.   My contractions weren’t unbearable or too much to handle, but I knew I would be so much more comfortable in the tub.

I got back in the tub around 9am.   (I think…time becomes fuzzy here)  My contractions start to space out a bit.  I knew from my experience as a doula that some women get a little “break” after transition before the work of pushing baby out.   They spaced out and they changed.  They were no longer wrapping around my back and into my lower belly. Now they were starting from the top of my belly and pushing down.  I recognized this as the beginning of the end of transition and my body preparing for the pushing phase.   At this point, the reality that the end of my last pregnancy was in sight, and it overwhelmed me to the point of tears.   As I mentioned above… I LOVED my pregnancy. I loved my belly.  I loved feeling all of my babies move and kick and hiccup.  I loved dreaming about what they would look like and what their personalities would be like… and here I was, preparing myself physically, mentally, and emotionally to never feel that again.   I was so excited to meet her.  I couldn’t WAIT to have her in my arms…yet part of me wanted to say “stop. Hold on. Slow down.  Let me feel one last kick.  Let her somersault one more time.  Let our hearts beat as one just a little longer….”   And, as if my unspoken prayers were heard, I felt my baby give me a little kick and I cried tears of thanks.   Throughout this emotional gauntlet, my midwife’s steady and reassuring hands cradled my face, wiped my tears, and she held space for me to process this  very profound moment.

10:12am.  My body decides it is time and begins to push.  As easy as the contractions had been for me, pushing felt so much harder this time.   With each surge, my midwife would gently tell me to let her come and my husband was there quietly encouraging me to breathe her out instead of pushing.  To let go of my mind and let my body just do what it needed to do.    It felt like an eternity, but at 10:17am, after 7 hours and 17 minutes of labor and only 5 minutes of pushing, Allison Charlotte entered this world.    I had hoped to catch her myself, but my position made it hard to reach her, so my midwife assisted me and helped me bring her up to my chest, where I sobbed with every emotion I had coursing through me.   But the emotion that was screaming from the rooftops was unimaginable joy.  She was beautiful.  A little strawberry haired baby with blue eyes.   Through my tears, I could see my husband off to the side, telling me “good job, baby.”

We spent some time snuggling in the tub until the cord stopped pulsing.  My husband then cut the cord for the last time and Allison and I became two separate hearts.   As she was being weighed and measured, I got out of the tub and, thankfully, breathing her out meant I had a tiny little tear only requiring 2 stitches.   And, full disclosure, even after just giving birth without any drugs, I was still scared to death of the injections of lidocaine they gave me before stitching me up.   I will have 100 babies drug free, just keep those needles away!!!

We learned that Allison clocked in as our smallest baby at 6lbs 14oz.  The same weight her daddy was when he was born, and just an ounce bigger than I was at birth.   She measured 20.25″ long (20″ after her cone head went down… haha)

We are absolutely in love with her and while I feel I could have all the babies in the world, we feel she completes our family perfectly.   It’s hard to believe she is 6 weeks old, today.

And, if you’ve made it this far…your reward is cute baby photos!

Fresh 48



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Third Time’s the Charm- Randolph, NJ Maternity Photographer

I have been photographing this family for a very long time.   K is one of my dearest friends and it is always such a good time when I get her and her sweet family in front of my camera.

Many many months ago, I received some exciting news from her.  She was expecting baby #3!   Of course, we were super thrilled and immediately began to plan her various photo shoots.    Back when the trees were still bare and the wind was still brisk, we did a quick shoot to announce that they were expecting their third baby boy.


Then, once the she AND the rest of the world were in bloom, we got together to make this magic.  I just can’t get enough of her beautiful glow.  She is truly meant to grow these amazing little humans and always looks stunning when she does.

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