Each January I “claim” a word for the new year: a word that is focused around having a single simple word or theme to guide me in what I want to embrace more of in the coming year.
This year I claim LOVE as my word because the world needs more LOVE, I need more LOVE, my family needs more LOVE and my business needs more LOVE!
LOVE is all around us in all of our relationships. We forget sometimes to focus on the love and instead focus on the bickering, the rushing to get to work or practices, the financial issues, the chores, the disappointments, etc. We get so busy in the day to day of life that we forget to actually see the love right in front of us. This year my goal is to give and share more love and in business to work hard to create opportunities for more people to capture their love in print.
I want to do better at encouraging people to capture the LOVE in their relationships. I want to photograph the beauty and love between a mother and baby, the time tested love of a couple married 40 years, the love for oneself in boudoir, the love between siblings who fight like cats and dogs but also have grown up as each others playmates. I want to photograph LOVE in all the relationships of life.
For families, I want to focus on encouraging families to CAPTURE the love they share. Too many times I have heard “It’s been 10 years since we took family portraits” or “I can’t do family portraits until I lose the weight.” Yet I have also heard after deaths in families “I don’t have any recent picture of my dad with is grandchildren, now it is too late” “I wish I had recent pictures of my parents together that weren’t taken on a cell phone.” Too often we want to wait for the right moment and forget to recognize that the right moment is RIGHT NOW!
One area I am especially going to focus on this year is capturing LOVE in marriage. I am not going to say that there are no perfect, never argue, he/she is exactly what I need and want them to be all the time, marriages out there, but in my experience almost ALL marriages have times of extreme struggle. Look at the divorce rate that keeps climbing- marriage is HARD work.
I have been married for 18 years, together for 22. We fought tooth and nail for each other even when we didn’t like each other. But the LOVE was there, just hidden beneath the hurt, pain and trauma. The photographs we have during the good times, smiling and loving each other and our children are reminders that LOVE overcomes. Our children remember the good times because those are the memories we have on our wall and in our albums. They see and remember the LOVE their parents have always had for each other.
I photograph families all the time and often take time to get portraits of mom and dad together as well. But it’s not often I get a full session dedicated to the love between a husband and wife. That will change this year as I bring back my “Renew” sessions and introduce my “Romance in the Simple Moments” session. I cannot wait to photograph love that has been TESTED. Marriages of 5, 10, 15, 30, 50 years. Marriages that, like mine, have gone through the storms and come out battered but stronger than before.
I also need to claim LOVE for myself more this year. Last year was a very trying year for me and I let self love fall away as I worked so hard to support my husband, kids, family and business. All of their busyness kept me so overwhelmed that taking care of me took a back seat. I gained weight and spending time with friends rarely happened. This year I claim SELF- LOVE for myself. I am determined to loose 40 pounds by eating better and getting back in the gym. I have already been away on a fabulous girls weekend in NYC with two of my besties. I can’t be the best Devon I need to be if I am not loving myself enough to take care of my mental and physical health. So this year, I will embrace loving myself better.
I am claiming LOVE this year for my business and for myself. My marriage still has rough patches and places where we can improve the ways we love each other. Like many of you, we get caught up in the kids and their busy lives and schedules and realize we are more roommates than anything else. We need to focus of US because without a strong US our family is not as strong as it should be.
Do you have a word for 2019 that you are claiming? Share it with me, I’d love to stand in agreement with you!
Margo was the star of this portrait session! Margo modeled one of my new lace outfits for newborns and I think it looked incredible on her. Margo slept for most of her session making it very easy for me to get some gorgeous portraits of her. I can’t wait to photograph Margo more as she grows up into a beautiful little girl. Congrats Mom and Dad, you have a perfect little peanut!
I adore photographing newborns! My youngest is 12 so, my littlest clients give me my baby fix! They are so tiny, new, squishy, and adorable!! I love molding them into little naked balls, swaddling them into little beans with my wraps, and perfectly inserting them into baskets and bowls. That said, a newborn shoot is not easy – with much of the work happening before I even book a client!
When I take your little one out of your hands to photograph them, I am accepting the greatest gift you have ever been given. I am taking the baby that just days ago you had only ever held in your womb. I have a HUGE responsibility to care for that baby and make sure he/she is safe and sound. I take that responsibility seriously and I have put in the work to make sure I am educated on how to photograph your baby safely. I have attended newborn workshops and classes to make sure I know how to mold, swaddle, and insert your perfect little bundles into the beautiful poses you often see in newborn portraits.
Often the pictures you see are not single images- but two or three images composited together where I am photoshopping out my assistants hands and fingers that are helping hold that perfect little baby in that pose. The beautiful pictures of babies hanging from tree limbs- often that baby is just two inches off the ground- not hanging freely as the photograph would like you believe. Expert and trained newborn photographers know these tricks and tools to keep your baby safe while still creating amazing art of your precious baby.
You are probably aware that newborn babies can’t support their own heads- so the famous pose with the little one holding their head on their tiny hands, is IMPOSSIBLE to do without doing a composite. I always tell a client I can’t promise that shot because unless the baby is relaxed and completely asleep- that shot isn’t going to happen. If your 6 day old baby doesn’t want to be in a certain position, I will not force them just for a picture. I still capture amazing images for my clients that express who their baby is and what they like even at such a young age.
The point of my post is to encourage people to research your photographers ESPECIALLY for newborn portraits. You only get one chance to do newborn portraits (they change immensely after the first 2 weeks) and you don’t want your first portraits of your little one and your first portraits as a family being done by someone without the experience your child deserves. While I understand cost becomes a big deciding factor for many people, for the safety of your newborn I beg you not to hire someone with price in mind. An amazing deal doesn’t equal proper training and education to provide you with a safe environment and portrait session for your newborn.
I continue to take classes and attend workshops on newborn photography. I want to stay up to date on all the information out there so that I can enhance my client’s portrait sessions. You and your little precious munchkin deserve experience, education and passion.
Look at examples of a photographer’s work and try to find the photographer with the style you are looking for. When looking into a photographer, make sure you ask many questions such as:
Get the information you need to make the very best choice for your little munchkin. You want your session to be something you remember with fondness and love, not fear and unease. Choose the photographer who will make your session easy for both you and baby, and will create amazing portraits you’ll cherish forever!
Here are a few composite images I have complete for my clients. Enjoy!
Many parents, like mine, have hung every portrait ever taken whether it be just their children or family portraits. It has been proven to boost a child’s self esteem when they see themselves in portraits hanging around the house.
According to David Krauss, who is a psychologist from Cleveland Ohio it’s important to have those family/children portraits. It helps children see themselves as an important and valued part of the family unit.
As a photographer, I am biased, they say that there is something powerful in touching your fingers to an actual print. There’s stimulation of the brain when you have that sensory experience like touching a portrait. There isn’t really any of that in the digital world with all the social media that exists. You are touching a keyboard, mouse or a touchscreen but you are not touching the actual image that involves your child or family.
Children like to feel like they belong, especially in this world that we live in today. Photographers get to create an image where the child feels safe and protected. They can look back on this even when they’re older and remember that safe feeling.
So yes, not hanging portraits doesn’t do any harm, but hanging them could help your child!
Here are some photos from my clients of them hanging portraits I captured!
Welcome to the world sweet baby Devin! Not only did I get to capture portraits of momma’s new munchkin, but I got to capture BEAUTIFUL maternity photos!
Mom and Dad Urie are both in the military, so I would like to take this time and say thank you so much for your service! This couple was an absolute blast to work with. They are so in love and so silly together! There was a lot of laughter and sweet moments while capturing portraits for this lovely family!
I was so excited when I got the call that baby Devin had made his appearance! The little munchkin marches to the beat of his own drum and wasn’t sure how he felt about being the star of the shoot. No matter how he felt he was cooperative and I was able to capture some very sweet portraits for Mom and Dad to keep forever!
Andrea and Jamison thank you so much for allowing me to capture these sweet memories for your little family!
If you’d like to book a newborn or maternity shoot, please feel free to contact me!
I’ve been privileged to take newborn portraits for a second time with Stokes family! Shana and Donnie recently welcomed sweet Sofia to the family and she is adorable! Sweet Sofia was such a good baby who slept most of the time which made my job super easy! We captured some amazing portraits and she looks bee-utiful!
I was blessed to photography their first daughter, Adalynn, and I got to watch this sweet girl grow with the Baby’s First Year plan! I’m so excited to get to do the same with Sofia!
Adalynn is a big girl now and a big sister. It’s tough being three and patient while waiting for newborn portraits but she rocked it and we got some adorable portraits of these precious girls!
I’m so thankful that Shana and Donnie continue to trust me to capture these moments. I am so excited to watch their little munchkins grow into not so little munchkins!
So excited to welcome little Daxel to the DSP family!! Baby D was not only SUPER cute, but he was my first baby in the new office!! He was not so sure at first but when we finally got him settled he was a superstar! This shoot was extra great because my new assistant Kennedi got to assist on her first newborn shoot. We had so much fun and we got to try a few new poses… I may be biased but I think they turned out amazing with our little munchkin!
Alex, Daxel’s big brother was also a superstar. It isn’t easy being five sitting in a hot office all day but he did great and we captured some adorable portraits of the two brothers. Beautiful momma Melissa has served our country for 20 years, and we are super thankful for her military service. I’m so grateful to help her welcome her second little munchkin. Take a look at this adorable little family! Enjoy :)
Gabby came to me with the idea of doing mermaid portraits. She had been thinking of doing them for years but hadn’t found a photographer she felt could capture her vision of what she wanted. So we discussed what ideas she had in mind and searched for tails, accessories and props. We decided to go for it and create her dream portraits.
This session was AMAZING. Even the sunset seemed to work with us in creating perfect portraits and gave us amazing colors and beauty. Gabby was a magical mermaid!! We even has a little girl come up wanting to see the “real life mermaid” on the beach.
These sessions are available to book now! We have openings in late July, August and September. I can turn your children into beautiful little mermaids or even make your own mermaid dreams come true. Book a mommy/ daughter session or a session with your best friend.
Contact me today if you are interested in making your mermaid fantasy come true!
Happy Birthday little man! I love that I have gotten to watch you grow over your first year. You are such a charming and happy little guy. Your first year portraits session was the EASIEST I have ever done! You were a little model- laughing, smiling and clapping for the camera. You DEVOURED your cake- ate more than any other one year old I photographed and hated it when we took it away! Mom and dad don’t like the camera as much as you, but with you they complied to be in the portraits as well!
I hope to be able to photograph you as you grow up. I can tell you are going to be an amazing addition to this world and make it a better place. Honored I was able to photograph the first year!
All these little babies!!! I am loving all the newborn session I’ve been photographing lately. Little boys, girls, twins… bring me ALL THE BABIES! I have a great program called my “Baby’s First Year Plan” and I love when my clients book them so I can watch them grow during that amazing first year of growth!
Meet the beautiful Sianna. Her mommy bought my “Bump to Baby” plan so I got to photographed her both in the belly and in person at just a week old. What a great shoot. Mommy wanted it to be just for little Sianna, as daddy was working, and she was a perfect little model. Enjoy some of the highlights from both the maternity and newborn sessions!