The Art of Newborn Photography

When I was younger I was obsessed with the world-renowned newborn photography of Anne Geddes. I loved how she captured the precious, peaceful images of sleeping newborns while integrating creative and artistic props and backgrounds to elevate baby portraits to beautiful works of art. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized just how difficult capturing such a peaceful photo of a newborn actually was.

I remember attempting to recreate some of Anne Geddes’ shots with my first born, and while in my mind I thought I had nailed it, in reality…not so much.

newborn photography

Image Source: Pinterest

While I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, and have valued the importance of capturing special moments in my life, I hadn’t really considered leaving the newborn photography to the experts.

When I was approached by Rachel of Rachel Yoon Photography with the opportunity to photograph my newly-born third child, I was both nervous and excited about having the opportunity to have a professional photographer take photos of my newest baby girl. I was more than impressed by the beautiful photos she had captured and shared on her website, but I wasn’t sure if my baby would cooperate. Would she cry the whole time? Would she stay awake and twist and wiggle her way out of the adorable props? Would I be a nervous wreck in the process?

My trip to Rachel’s studio was my first outing with my third newborn. I felt tired, nervous, and hesitant as I approached her home studio and knocked on the door, but as she greeted me, her quiet and calming demeanour quickly dissolved my worried feelings and I was excited to get to work.

I was all ready to roll up my sleeves and follow her direction, assuming I’d have to do most of the work so she could prepare with camera in hand, but instead I was offered tea and snacks and a comfortable place to sit, and she told me to just sit back and relax.

Rachel’s studio was quaint and peaceful. As I settled into my seat, Rachel gently lifted my baby girl out of my arms and sat down on her couch. She grabbed a stuffed monkey and flipped a switch which turned on the rhythmic sound of a heart beat – a sound that played quietly in the background throughout the session. She then gently stroked my girl’s face, and began making a steady sh-sh-shhhh sound. She patiently rocked and cooed my baby and I watched in awe as she worked her magic.

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As I watched Rachel work, I realized just how much of an art it is to photograph newborns. While I believe that it takes true talent to work as a photographer – that the skill requires the right mix of technique, passion, and natural aptitude, newborn photography seemed to take it all to another level. It required all that, plus an added abundance of patience.

I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that Rachel was very careful to not put my baby in any awkward or uncomfortable positions. I had wondered how she had captured some of the shots on her site with newborn babies with their heads in upright positions (how was this even possible with their fragile, rubber necks?). Well it’s all in the editing my friends. Here’s a little behind-the-scenes peek at how it’s done:

BEFORE:

newborn photography

AFTER:

newborn photography

The shoot took 3 full hours. And while I worried that my stirring baby – who eventually awoke in a fuss and needed to feed, who took what felt like forever to fall back asleep, and who at one point peed on the set – would frustrate Rachel, her calm demeanor and unwavering patience held strong. She just sat quietly and continued to stroke and shush my baby until she fell peacefully back to sleep.

The experience was eye-opening and stress-free, and the results were beautiful:

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I love every single picture and can’t wait to add some of the shots to my baby girl’s bedroom walls.

Check out Rachel’s website to learn more about her unique and affordable packages: Rachel Yoon Photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Reasons To Take Maternity Photos

When I was pregnant with my first child, going for a maternity photo shoot seemed like a no-brainer. We wanted to capture the special milestone in our lives – to document our journey towards parenthood.

But with our second child, taking maternity photos seemed a little…redundant. Why would I bother doing it again when I looked exactly the same as the first time around. Not only did I opt out of the professional photos, but I think there are only a few photos (captured by friends) of my second bump. I even framed and hung a maternity photo from my first pregnancy, pretending it was of my second. I know, poor second/middle child.

My third pregnancy has been a longer, more challenging journey than my first two, and while I’m just as excited to be welcoming a third child into our family, this will definitely be my last pregnancy.

Photo by Jenn Di Spirito

Photo by Jenn Di Spirito

Eager to see this latest pregnancy as a gift and to keep my mind optimistic throughout the long journey from bump to baby, I decided to take fun, unique photos of my bump along the way.

Here’s why I think every pregnant woman should do the same:

1) Document It. You spend 9 months carrying and growing your precious baby. While it can be a long and uncomfortable journey, don’t forget that it’s a miracle. Forget about the extra weight gain, swollen ankles and puffy face, and capture yourself with that pregnancy glow – because eventually you’ll enjoy looking back at those photos and reminding yourself of the journey it took to get to mommyhood.

Follow me on Instagram @bitsofbee

Follow me on Instagram @bitsofbee

2) Celebrate It. Don’t just wait until your precious baby arrives, celebrate the journey! Take fun photos of your bump (my favourite: the “bump jump” photo below), and celebrate your transition through each trimester. It’ll help to keep you feeling positive as your body goes through the changes that come with pregnancy.

Follow me on Instagram @bitsofbee

Follow me on Instagram @bitsofbee

3) Share It. Part of celebrating your bump should be sharing it with your friends and family. While you may see the photos and think to yourself, “Ugh my face looks so bloated”, people will love taking the journey with you and watching your little belly grow. It gives them little progress updates along the way without having to check in regularly.

Follow me on Instagram @bitsofbee

Follow me on Instagram @bitsofbee

And while taking regular bump watch selfies can be a fun and rewarding way to journey through your pregnancy, I highly recommend having a few professional shots taken as well. Because with the right photographer, your true beauty will shine through, encouraging you to document, celebrate and share that beautiful baby bump with confidence.

Photo by Jenn Di Spirito

Photo by Jenn Di Spirito

 Did you have pregnancy photos taken?

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Two

She.

My doe-eyed beauty.

Innocent, independent, inquisitive.

Cleverly witty and creatively artistic.

Heart full of love and mind full of wonder.

Nature lover and story teller.

My first born.

Him.

My freckle-nosed prince.

Charming, coy, charismatic.

Mysteriously authentic and humorously bright.

Affectionate and imaginative.

Action lover and role player.

My one and only son.

 

These Two.

Together they thrive, they work as a team.

Her wit and his humour, amusingly balanced.

She teaches life lessons, he reminds her to play.

Their imaginations in sync, and their hearts full.

Infinite laughter sprinkled with innocent squabbles.

 

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And Then.

There will soon be another.

To learn, to laugh, to play.

To challenge the equilibrium.

To join in the unity.

To complete the perfect sibling trifecta.

Summer Lovin’

9 pictures. 9 words.

Adventure.
Love.
Relaxation.
Meditation.
Reflection.
Innocence.
Whimsical.
Companionship.
Satisfaction.

20 days in, and I’m wholeheartedly lovin’ on Summer.
Never. Going. Inside.

Linking up with the lovely Mama Kat – favourite Summer view (so far)

Au Revoir Printemps

Spring was an action-packed season for us, and while we’ve had some very special moments during the rainiest of rainy seasons, I’m ready to welcome Summer with open arms. So to say farewell to Spring, I’d like to pay homage by featuring 10 of my favourite photos taken last season:
Love my tiny boy in his giant boots and “cape”
PDA caught on camera by my 6 year old
My little superhero turned 3
Love how her passion for dance shines through in this photo
A special mother-son day in my favourite Vancouver neighbourhood – Granville Island
My beautiful little girl turned 6
Symbolic of the weather we had in Raincouver this Spring
A quiet moment shared by siblings
Post-dinner fun on the beach in Harrison Hot Springs
Summer prep – nothing welcomes the summer months like a homemade lemonade stand!

Goodbye my beloved Spring, you won’t be forgotten.

Now bring on the sunscreen, shorts, tan lines, picnics, boat rides, and ice cream. Bring on the Summer!

Linked up: Monday Listicles.

Dinner With A Dump Truck

I like to think that I have a pretty cool job, but let’s face it, daddy’s job is way cooler in the eyes of my littles:

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I have to confess that I have a bit of a problem. I change my hair, love it, and then get bored of that hairstyle and drastically change it up again. I can walk into the office with long straight hair one day, and then stroll in the next day with an inch-long cropped do. The thing is, I’ve never had that dramatic haircutting experience where a girl runs home in tears terrified by the results, feeling like she’s lost herself in a bad haircut. For me, it’s just hair. Why not make it fun, and if it doesn’t work out, hey, it’ll always grow back!
These are just a sneak peak at the hairdos I’ve sported over the years – I’ve also expirimented with different colours (but those dos were before digital cameras and blog posts).
Which one do you like best?

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

This time last week I was here – enjoying my last days on a Caribbean adventure, just the hubs and I. While we had a fabulous time, nothing compares to the feeling of holding my babies in my arms after 10 days apart.
Many friends have asked me how I was able to do it, to leave my children for such a long span of time. “I’ve only been away from my kids for one, maybe two nights, and I could barely make it through – the guilt almost killed me!” they said. The reality is that it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I have the most wonderful parents who love my children unconditionally, who practically begged to take them during our travels – and knowing that they would be safe, loved and well cared for, made it easier for me to be away.
Now that I’m back, I find that I have more patience, that I relish in the things that once made me crack. It may not last, but it’s good today, and that alone makes it all worthwhile to me. I have reshifted my focus, I’ve reset my priorities and I’ve refreshed my mentality, to savour the moments and let go of the controlling tendancies of yesterday.
Distance really does make the heart grow fonder!
I’m settling back into my regular routine, and with that comes participating in my favourite Monday meme – Monday Listicles with @NorthWestMommy – via @ZookBookNook. The prompt for this week is to share 10 of your favourite photos.
I’ve chosen to share 9 of my favourite photos (due to a restrictive collage layout) from my first week home after my vacation – via iPhone photo dump:
1) My dog, showing me in her own way that she needs some lovin’.
2) Couch snuggles with my little loves – mommy and me movie night.
3) Caught in the middle of a flash mob – you have no idea how excited I was!
4) My sweet baby boy, saying cheese over and over again, desperate for me to snap a photo.
5) My mom swiftly pulled out her bag of tricks at my cousin’s daughter’s 2nd birthday party!
6) A fabulous night of dinner and drinks with my best friends – they spoiled me with pre-bday gifts.
7) One of the best gifts: a full length adult sleeper, complete with feet, pockets, and a bum flap! Jealous?
8) Bouquet of yellow roses (my favourite) from my best friend of almost 20 years.
9) Movie date with my favourite little girl (Happy Feet 2 in 3D). Great way to finish off the week!

Can U Belize It?

11/11/11 was Remembrance Day for us Canadians. It was a popular day for many couples to tie the knot. But for the hubs and I, it was the day we packed up our things and left our busy lives behind us as we headed on a Caribbean cruise adventure.
Our first stop was Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands:
Upon arrival, we hopped into a cab and toured the island of Grand Cayman. We visited the town of Hell (yes, that was the actual name of the town – and they weren’t short of “Hell” jokes either). We stopped in the town of Tortuga to sample their famous rum cakes. And we ended the tour with a visit to 7 Mile Beach. A beautiful island with lots of history and friendly and welcoming people.

Our second port was Cozumel, Mexico where we spent the day swimming with the dolphins:

Our guide told us we were luckier than Tom Cruise. He had once paid $18,000 for a one-on-one dolphin interactive experience. My husband and I were able to do to the same for significantly less. We spent 45 minutes with our little dolphin friend “Ego” – just the two of us. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Stop #3 was Belize:

We hopped from our cruise ship onto a catamaran which whisked us away to a beautiful snorkling location. We explored the underwater wonders of the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef. We drank rum punch (lots of rum punch), and spent the rest of the day on the island of my dreams – Bannister Island. It was paradise – I couldn’t Belize my eyes!

Our final port was Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras:

We shopped the craft markets, and joined our friends for a guided island tour. We went to the Iguana farm where we fed hundred of iguanas, and visited monkeys and turtles. We went to the island’s highest point where we enjoyed a 360 view from the top of an old lighthouse. We visited the small towns where we were surrounded by local people and immersed in their culture. Upon our return to the port, we were caught in the biggest torrential downpour I’ve ever experienced!

We had pina coladas, and we got caught in the rain. Could you ask for more on a tropical vacation? It was perfection.

5 flights (landing in Chicago, Tampa, Denver, Portland and back to Vancouver) and 5 cruise ports later, I’m home sweet home. We had a fabulous time, but nothing tops the feeling of seeing your babies for the first time after 10 days apart.

Bits of BOO

Let me start this post with a bit of advice: Sometimes complimenting someone on their Halloween costume is like congratulating a woman on her pregnancy – be 100% sure you’re right before you do it. I didn’t make this mistake myself today, but let’s just say I came very close.
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We’ve done it – we’ve survived another Halloween! I’m not going to say it went off without a hitch, and I’m certainly not going to go into detail about rushing through the morning, wrestling my little monkeys into their costumes, calming tears, wiping noses and breaking up sibling battles while sweating my way through a strenuous morning routine.
I’m not going to waste your time with stories about our late-night pumpkin carving session – which ended with my husband using a power drill to finish the job so we could go to bed by midnight. I’m also not going to get into detail about my 4-year-old wiping out on the driveway of house #2 while trick-or-treating, or how she begged to go home after a solid 10-minute cry fest while a slew of neighbourhood friends looked at me with pity in their eyes. 
Instead, I’m going to focus on the positive, and make my Halloween post about the little things that make all the costume prepping, pumpkin carving, and candy buying worthwhile. 
10 Pictures of my Halloween:

Hope everyone had a SPOOK-tacular Halloween!