Pandemic Baby

Pandemic Baby

Meet Fiona. Her Mom and Dad waited very patiently for this little miracle.Then they brought her home during a pandemic. Talk about waiting to make a large entrance into the world! This cutie will hear pandemic stories over and over for years. She will go to school with other pandemic babies and they can compare stories and pandemic baby books. I am thrilled to be able to contribute to documenting this start for Fiona and her parents.

There are so many to-dos and preparations as a first time parent. New parents plan and prep and then scour the internet wondering what they forgot to do and what more then can check off before their baby arrives. Up until now, planning for a pandemic has never been on the list. No one has ever told new parents to plan for their partner to be the only one allowed in the hospital with you. The internet says to accept help after, they do not say to plan on your parents, siblings and best friends stuck on the other side of the glass waving through the window to sneak a peak at the new addition. No one said make sure you have twice as much toilet paper as you usually do because you might get stuck with that one ply stuff!

No one said that you wouldn’t be able to have newborn portraits in the hospital or with in the first two weeks of life. Of course safety and health are first priority, but it’s ok to be a little frustrated as these are moments that fly by. They are only this tiny for such a short period.

 

As I promised and posted and shared over and over with new parents through the shelter in place; you will get sweet baby portraits even if they are well past two weeks old. Fiona was 6 weeks when I finally met her and during my time with her we were able to get perfect posed portraits, lifestyle documentation showing their first quarantined weeks at home as well as some open eyed images showing off that big personality. It feels like the perfect mix to me.

This was my first newborn session after the COVID shelter in place. I put on my mask and stocked up on hand sanitizer. We started with some lifestyle photos in their home and then wrapped her up, rocked her to sleep and took some posed portraits.

Following the posed portraits, Mom dressed her up in her fancy name shirt (all these cute outfits and nowhere to go!) and we snapped a few inside. As you can see, Fiona showed off a lot of expression at this time. We then headed outside where a few of the welcome home decorations still hung and were able to capture some family portraits. Front porch photos have become trendy during this time but they have always been a standard in my portfolio. This is an important image. Your child’s first home will be special to them and to the parents, take this at any age whether it is trending or not.

If you have ever been a model, you know that it is hard work. Fiona needed a meal break so we hung out and waited for her to give us the go ahead. A bottle, burp and some snuggles later and she was ready for a few more.

These three have spent 6 weeks (even more by now!) together behind this glass. Staying safe, keeping healthy, getting to know each other and figuering out this parenting thing. This was a must have shot to document this very bizarre and totally unprepared time they made it through.

One last moment in the home with mom and a special onsie that Fiona was ecstatic to wear. As I look back now this was the only time we got a HUGE smile out of her that day. Sometimes kids just know.

Have a baby during the pandemic? Contact me today and we can discuss your first portrait session.

Lifestyle Vs Studio Newborn Photography

Lifestyle Vs Studio Newborn Photography

We have so many decisions to make! As parents it never ends. Here is one decision I can help you with, do you have studio or lifestyle photos taken? 
You can’t go wrong with either one, it is simply a preference. I encourage you to read and consider which works best for your family, your style and the story you want to remember.

 

What is the difference between lifestyle and studio newborn photography?

Preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming. What kind of stroller do I need? Cloth diapers or disposable? How do I decorate the nursery? Do we want a newborn photographer?

And after deciding you want a newborn photographer you will often then come across the question of lifestyle or studio sessions. When I talk to some parents they are not sure what the difference is between these two options or what is best for them. Aside from the look of lifestyle images vs. studio images, the experience will be different too.

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Newborn studio sessions focus on just the tiny little subject and their sweet features. It resembles that of a classic studio portrait showcasing the newborn and their sweet features. They are carefully wrapped and posed to achieve the perfect newborn portrait. The best time for this type of session is with in the first two weeks. They are very sleepy and they still welcome being scrunched up just like they were for such a long time. Newborns are flexible and can easily bend and fold to get those classic studio newborn poses.

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Studio newborn sessions can take awhile. I recommend that babies be kept awake for two hours prior to their session and then given a full feeding. After that I step in, swaddle with one of our newborn swaddles perfect for portraiture and then rock and soothe the newborn to sleep. Baby needs to be completely asleep to achieve most of the studio poses you see. This is also true for achieving those close snugly poses with the parent and the siblings like shown below.

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The experience with these sessions is wonderful. You get to bring baby in, feed and then watch your new little miracle pose, make cute snugly faces while you kick back on the studio couch and relax. If you fell asleep you would not be the first parent, in fact it is encouraged! You will be tired those first two weeks and this is often your first outing with baby.

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Lifestyle photography is slowly becoming a new love for me with newborn sessions for me. These sessions take place in your home. It is not as important to keep baby awake for two hours or do a full feeding before I arrive. The focus of the session is on your interaction and your family. We do not need to put emphasis on preparing for those poses mentioned earlier. The other element we don’t need to worry about as much is the timing. Babies can be any age to have a successful lifestyle session where it can be challenging and maybe not achievable to get those posed studio poses after two weeks of age.

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The images will incorporate babies first home, first bed, changing table or just those places that they spent their first moments with their parents, siblings and maybe their furry family members. Wanting to include those furry family members might be another reason a client chooses to do a lifestyle session. The thought of packing up a new baby….. and your pup(s) might be exhausting. Staying in the comfort of your home can make a lifestyle session very appealing.

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Some people avoid lifestyle because they worry about not having the perfect clean house. Here is a secret… just outside the frame of this image above is a dog kennel, preemie hospital supplies, diapers, a car seat, a dog bed and a few pacifiers. Even though I come into your home it is my job to make the focus be your new growing family.

We still get plenty of beautiful images of your new baby by themselves.

Same baby pose in lifestyle (left) and studio (right):

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Hopefully this gives you a little more insight into the big decision of lifestyle and studio newborn photography. I am always happy to discuss both of these further to make sure we select the perfect session for your family.

Click here to fill in the details and book your session. It is very important to book your newborn session early, read more on the 7 reasons to book your due date.

(You do not need to know the type of session you prefer when you book.)

 

Chicagoland Photogapher – Family Portraits

Chicagoland Photogapher – Family Portraits

Chicagoland Family Photographer

I will always tell couples 2 pieces of advice with wedding photography. That advice lends itself to all photography; newborn, first birthday, lifestyle, studio, portrait, outdoor, sunset sessions, milestone…. you get the picture. Your photographer ends up being a big part of that time. You spend a lot of time getting ready, picking out clothing, blocking out time from busy schedules and in some cases, like weddings, this time cannot be recreated.

My two pieces of advice:

1. Make sure they not only love their photographers work but that they enjoy working with and being around their photographer. They are around you ALL day.  Aside from weddings, your photographer is still around you for a long time. With newborns, they will be close to you for a few hours. And you need to trust them with that new life. If the kiddos love having them over or heading to their studio, that’s a HUGE plus, because it is now fun to see the photographer and they are comfortable with them.

2. Make sure your photographer is aiding and providing you long term preservation and display of your images. Please inquire about the details of the album provided for your wedding, or products for any session. An image is only as good as the paper it is printed on and today we can add the proper care of the digital file. Imagine going to a favorite gourmet restaurant, you order their signature dish and they throw you the box of ingredients. Yes, the ingredient selection is important but unless you are a skilled chef, and honestly unless you are THAT skilled chef, it will not taste the same. Sometimes it just doesn’t taste the same if you don’t eat in their fabulous atmosphere.

Part of your photographers job is to provide their knowledge of proper display and proper output methods.I would rather see less professional work done per family at a higher quality. We all have phones in our pockets now for the other stuff.

It’s an honor to watch a family grow and get to know them. I know I am doing a good job when I get invited by the kids to stay for dinner and when they are sad to see our session end.

Chat with your photographer on the phone, or if you are looking at hiring me, I love a reason to meet up at the local coffee shop. I also will stop by clients homes to help with the daunting task of picking out clothing for the session as well as ideas on where to consider placing their portraits, because that is overwhelming.

See this families images on the wall in their own home here.

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Chicagoland Newborn Photographer – Lifestyle Session

Chicagoland Newborn Photographer – Lifestyle Session

Chicagoland Newborn Photographer

Just before Christmas baby number 4 arrived for this now family of 6! Best part of being invited into their Chicagoland home for this major family milestone is that I have had the honor of documenting the  milestones in all of the kids lives. If you look on the back wall you will see their story told. Among the kids artwork hangs portraits taken (by Kelly Fitzgerald Studio 🙂 of their kids throughout the years in studio, on location, outdoors, in their home and in their backyard.

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Baby H needed a little time to feed so me and the boys hung out. Knowing that mom and dad were busy the little guys talked their way into a popsicle, I don’t blame them!

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After the popsicle and game of hot lava with a thorough explanation of house rules, baby H was ready to spend some time in front of the camera.

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Special thanks to this family for trusting me with an important task. Documenting their lives and preserving their memories.

 

Best Friends – Des Plaines, IL

Best Friends – Des Plaines, IL

Best Friends for 9 months, the proof is in the photos.

Little J and his best buddies. They look out for him, clean up after him and play with him.

If you look close, you can see their first photo together hanging just above on the right. His favorite friends giving kisses when he was a newborn. This image shows the importance of their relationship over the last 9 months as well the importance of hanging images in your home. Little J gets to see all of his favorite people every day holding him close as his grows up. And Mom and Dad get some super cute artwork to enjoy everyday 🙂

Enjoy your photos on more then just your phone! Contact me today to make sure you get your own family in your home to enjoy for years.

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Lifestyle Family Photography Artwork – Palatine

Lifestyle Family Photography Artwork – Palatine

Mom and Dad wanted a variety of portraits that capture their happy family at this stage of life. They wanted to be able to walk by them everyday in their home and they had a blank wall that was just asking for some artwork. So portraits of their family seemed the perfect fit. This is where I come in!

We met at their local neighborhood park in Palatine for their photography session. This was a place the family spends a lot of time at every week, if not every day! Their daughter loves the park. She also loves hopping, marching, running and does an impressive amount of animal sounds and impressions. We captured a ton of images and then headed to the park to finish out our session. Click here to see some images from their session.

After the session when Mom came in for the viewing, it was (as it can be) difficult to narrow down the favorite images to put on the wall. This is the time many clients wonder if their are any other walls or rooms or inches of free space in their life that they can add more of the images from their session! We ended up narrowing down the list to four of her favorite images which she loved in square format (I did too!). I think she did a fabulous job selecting and can’t wait to see them up on their walls.

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The image above is the clients phone picture of her blank space. My software program allows my clients to virtually place images on to her wall, allowing the client to really see what the photographs will look like in her home.  Seeing them here is helpful and I am glad that I can offer this to clients, but the really happiness is when you pick up your images, hold them and put them on your walls. They look gorgeous in print. This family chose a standout which takes the photographic print and mounts it to a foam board which allows your image to standout from the wall. These do not require additional framing and are light weight, which is often a bonus to families with young children.