Melissa, Andrew, and Baby Owen’s Sweet, Happy Lifestyle Newborn Photography
Melissa and Andrew are a couple I have photographed several times before, and they’re super near and dear to my heart! While I don’t advertise myself as a family photographer necessarily, I do a fair amount of family or other portrait sessions especially for couples whose engagements and weddings I have photographed.
When I photograph couples multiple times, I really get to know them and love the opportunity to stay a part of their lives and capture additional moments for them. Its is the highest compliment I can receive when a couple wants me to continue documenting special milestones in their life for them - it makes me feel like I am a part of their journey and is so wonderful to stay in touch!
I was thrilled when I learned Melissa was pregnant as we planned their anniversary and pregnancy announcement portrait session at Minnehaha Falls Park. They are such lovely people and amazing parents already.
In planning their session, we talked through how they weren’t looking for formal newborn portraits - which was perfect, because I don’t create very staged, posed or traditional newborn portraits! I take more of a lifestyle approach and focus on documenting the parents and the baby interacting with all the emotions and feelings that come with those moments.
My approach fit really well with what Melissa and Andrew were looking for. They wanted to document this time in their life, and all the feelings they would have just being with their baby. I recall Melissa saying she wanted to remember how small and sweet their baby was in those early, fleeting days and have a documentation of that period of time.
A super common worry for many parents is getting photographs of their children looking happy and creating an environment with minimal stress-- which was a concern Andrew shared as we started planning this session. He was worried there could be lots of newborn screaming and didn't want to remember the baby crying but rather the the happy, good moments through these photos. This common concern plays into the way I structure my newborn photography sessions!
When approaching a newborn session, everything is on “baby time” and very different than the pre-planned structure and fast-moving timeline of a wedding day. It is a really slow, calm, and relaxing process that can last up to four hours. We might only be taking pictures for small pieces of that time because anytime during the session when baby gets fussy and needs a diaper change, food, or a break; we just pause and do that.
When I arrive, I’ll touch base with the couple and meet the baby. I usually ask that the newborn be hungry at that point, because then they can feed the baby while I scope out locations and set up. After the baby has been fed it is usually warm and sleepy and it’ll be pretty calm and mellow for pictures.
Before Owen was born, I connected with Melissa and Andrew in their home to talk about areas in their home that they might like to incorporate in their pictures. This is their first house together, so it was really wonderful to be able to document their home as well.
When I got to Melissa and Andrew’s home in South Minneapolis we reviewed the locations we had chosen ahead of time, and they fed Owen before I started photographing them. They love their living room and the beautiful windows that let in some amazing light, so we started there and took photos of them with Owen. Their couch is a really fun turquoise color and added some great vibrancy and texture to these photos.
We also did some pictures in Owen’s nursery incorporating a quilt that Melissa had made by hand with beautiful green and white colors, before doing a few in their bedroom of them snuggling up as a family.
We finished the session by stepping outside and taking a few pictures in their backyard with their new house in the background. We weren’t sure it would be warm enough to take little Owen outside, but we ended up being able to sneak out for a few pictures and I’m so glad we did! I love the light and the feeling of freshness and spring in these portraits.
As we moved between rooms I offered some direction but it was pretty effortless because Melissa and Andrew were so infatuated with Owen. I mainly just focused on documenting their interactions as a family of three and their happy snuggles.
One of my favorite moments was captured in these two photos where Melissa and Andrew are laying on their bed with baby Owen on the quilt between them. In the first one they are just grinning at each other with joy over their little baby, and the second one Andrew is touching Owen’s ear and Melissa is smiling at them. It’s such an emotional, perfect little moment.
Melissa and Andrew, thank you for welcoming me into your new home in South Minneapolis. I loved meeting sweet little Owen and getting a glimpse into your life as a new family. I’m so beyond happy for the three of you - congratulations on this magical chapter of life! Thank you for trusting me to document it.