newborn, newborn stretch, newborn lifestyle

Welcome Number Four

Welcome home little man. Here is your family. Here is your home. You are loved beyond your wildest dreams. You have two big sisters who are ready to to teach you how to use the ipad and maybe one day the car. You have a big brother who is dying to get into trouble with you. And let’s not forget your mom and dad. Oh how they cherish you! I know because I saw it. I saw all fo this. I am so happy that this is where you have been placed. These moments are not ones you will be able to recall, but you will hear all about them. Sweet dreams little man. Sweet dreams.

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An in home family session is easier than you think! Find out all the reasons you might want to consider an in home session versus a studio session for your newborn and your family.

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San Diego Family Photographer

Can I bring the dog?

Can I bring the dog? This is one of the most asked questions I get! YES!! I have a dog, a pitbull mix I picked up from the pound. They really aren’t an issue for me, but you should always ask your photographer if this is ok with them. I am particularly happy to photograph your whole family because–and I don’t have to tell you this–they carry a part of your heart. I know how my kids feel about Sadie and how she feels about them. She’s a huge part of their childhood. How could we choose to ignore it.

With all of that said there are some things you must consider when including your family pet, and that is them. Lets start with the basics.

  1. Bring a leash, the one you always use or treat them to a new one that coordinates with your outfit. New environments can be overwhelming. We wouldn’t want your session to take a nose dive because Rex ran after a squirl and now you can’t get him back. This would bring tears.
  2. Water and a container they can drink from. Also for their best interests.
  3. Bags for messes. Do I need to explain? 

And now for the not so obvious…

  1. Treats. These can really help with getting your dog’s attention but work with your photographer on who should be holding it. They are a great tool but can be a complete distraction if not used appropriately.
  2. A resusable grocery bag for all the stuff. I recommend this whether you bring your dog or not. We need a place for keys, wallets, and other odds and ends. It’s also a good idea because we wouldn’t want to put your purse on the ground either.
  3. An extra person. Yes. Bring a “dog sitter.” This can be your best friend, your mom, or the kid from down the street. There will be moment where you don’t really want the dog in the photo and someone needs to hang on to them. Don’t count on your photographer doing it because she’s holding the camera still.

And finally, the thing you should consider most when decididng to bring Fido is the location. It can be somewhat limiting because not all parks and beaches allow for such company. So if you are good with your local choices then game on!

San Diego Military Homecoming

“Welcome Home Daddy” pretty much sums it up. Mom did a beautiful job preparing her two littles for dad’s first look upon his return. All dressed in our patriotic red, white, and blue all the way down to the shoes! Their 3 year old son knew exactly what we were all waiting for and his excitement was hard to hold back. What might surprise you is that this homecoming was not on a ship but in our very own Lindberg Field Airport with plenty of civilian looky-loos. Their sweet embrace left everyone with smiles and fighting off tears. You’ve gotta love our proud military town.

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Photographing the First Day of School

Can you smell it? Going back to school is in the air! New clothes, backpacks, school supplies, new teachers, and new friends. Yep! Lots to be excited about.

It’s a great time to get your kids in front of the camera and snap a milestone picture. And since you already have the camera out, here are some things you can do to make the most of the opportunity!

1. Get the details. That backpack looks pretty good right now, and so do those shoes. Get the details–hairstyles, missing teeth, and the like. Have your kiddo put everything on and zoom in on those details.

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2. Use signage. You’ve seen these. Have your kiddo hold a sign and answer a few questions like what she or he wants to be when they grow up or their favorite food. Include this on your sign. If your penmanship is daunting, then consider adding it in later in any kind of text over picture program, like Canva or InstaQuote. If you are going to go this route remember to leave space in the frame for the words to go.

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3. Friends are great too! Walking to school together? Great! Step back and get the pack walking away from you. Find a wall or another clean background and have them either lean up against it or lean on each other. Get low and think of a funny joke to make them laugh like, “Santa Clause wears Captain America underpants.”

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Wish them well and give them embarrassingly long hugs. And take a moment to hand the camera over to someone (even if its another kid) and have them take a picture of you with your child. They will thank you later. Good luck!

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Why You Shouldn’t Bribe Your Children Through A Photography Session

I am that mom. I know I am that mom. I am the mom with the kids in the grocery store that are hanging off the cart, wrestling in the aisle, and poking the eyes on all the fish in the meat department. Yes, I have told them to stop it. Yes, I have told them they will lose their precious screen time. Yes, I am tired of the constant fight.

And I’m supposed to sign up for photography session and have you point a camera at my chaos? Umm..

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Kids are unpredictable, babies especially. They are who they are and we the parents are at the mercy of their behavior, especially in public. Yes, we are the ones “in control”. But it feels like such an illusion at times. It doesn’t mean I give up and “let them win.” Heaven forbid! But after seeing hundreds of families and seeing how they deal with the stress with a camera that is supposed to be aimed at them just magnifies everything. ¬†Here are some ways parents can do their part that will help everyone walk away smiling.

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  1. Do not bribe them. It only gives them something to whine about. Following directions for an hour can be exhausting to little humans. And for the love of all that is holy, do not give them chocolate or anything that will change the color of their teeth! “Is that chocolate or poop?”
  2. Distractions work wonders. I am for evidence of connections between family members. This can be done easily with a game–a game with you! Dads are great at throwing little people in the air. Moms are usually great for swings and cuddles. Siblings are perfect for silly secrets.chase
  3. Props. These are great but they have to be something you don’t mind being in the pictures. If it is something special to them, like a blanket or lovey, by all means bring it. It’s part of who they are at this stage in their life. Some kids are really good about “hiding” their treasure once it’s time to snap the picture. This works with big humans too. I once had a grandpa who doesn’t take his cowboy hat off for anything. It was just part of him. His family wouldn’t recognize him without it. Kids like to find sticks, rocks, or pick flowers. It only adds to the story.
  4. Mom and dad can walk away for a few. Sometimes just getting directions from too many people can be overwhelming. Some kids just need a little time and space. You don’t have to go to the car. Just get quiet or remove yourself from the energy happening in front of the camera. This also works when babies don’t want to smile at the camera, because they only want to smile at their most favorite people, mom and dad.20151025smithburg0437
  5. Take breaks and change locations. It’s okay to run around and let the photographer chase you. I purposely wear shoes that I can run around while shooting. Kids have very little control of the circumstances that are in their lives. Letting them relax is a sure fire way to maintain a positive atmosphere.
  6. Keep them happy. Forced smiles are not fun, nor do they make for fun memories to put up on your wall. Of course, we must keep the safety of everyone priority number one. But if something is not working, pick them up, comfort them, and move on to something else.20151025smithburg0743

Going with the flow is really part of my style. I know things don’t always go as planned. Be resilient. Be flexible. Be forgiving. Your next session will happen with smiles when everyone comes with the mindset ready for family play time. Book your session!