I could write a whole series about the challenges of giving birth and all things newborn during the current COVID-19 pandemic. I have not blogged in months because, quite frankly, it is overwhelming at times to process it all!
This beautiful family booked me last fall, so we had been months in the planning. The original plan was to document a Fresh 48 session in the hospital after their baby was born. Among mom’s priorities were capturing images of big sister meeting the new baby and capturing all those sweet little newborn details. Mom had a previous preterm delivery, so she had hoped that she would make it full-term this pregnancy and avoid the long NICU stay they had experienced last time. Unfortunately, she delivered two months early, in the middle of the early shutdowns. To say it was frightening for them would be an understatement.
This meant there was no documenting either in the hospital or in the NICU and even visits from both parents were tough to navigate for fear of coming and going from the hospital in the middle of our first surge.
Luckily, as this sweet girl was able to come home from the NICU two months later, we had just started to open back up again, and photographers were allowed to operate at limited capacities, so mom reached out to me, and we altered our original plan to an in-home newborn session. I love how it turned out!
I just love that this family has such a positive outlook, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Big sister felt so comfortable at home and much more at ease with her baby sister after having her home for a week before their session.
My COVID precautions include frequent hand washing, sanitizing items between sessions, using new items for items that cannot be properly sanitized, and wearing a mask at all times. I keep my distance as much as possible as well. Your safety is so important to me and something I take very seriously.
This family was so smitten with this little one, and it was so beautiful to watch. I just loved mom’s outfit choices and color palette; they were true perfection.
I am so grateful that this family trusted me in their home during a time of so many unknowns, and I am so happy we captured such beautiful images for them to have forever. Mom is so great at printing her images, and I have no doubt they are already hanging on their beautiful walls.
Tuesday, September 15th, 2020
I was so excited when this mama reached out to book their in-home newborn session with me.
A dear friend and client referred Alyssa to me, which is always an honor! I also worked with this dad in labor and delivery as he is a local anesthesiologist.
When people I know are pregnant, I always secretly on the inside hope that they will contact me, and when I found out, they were expecting hoped I would be able to document any part of welcoming their sweet baby girl into this world.
I love getting that text or email from parents saying that their babies are safely here and they are ready to set up their newborn session. All those weeks and months of waiting and anticipation have finally arrived, and hearing that everything is well is always the best news!
When I arrived at their home and saw just how beautifully and thoughtfully decorated it was, I have to admit my heart just jumped inside my chest. Of course, your home DOES NOT have to be perfect or Pinterest-worthy to capture beautiful images during your newborn session! The light and decor sure were perfect, though!
Baby O was just like a real-life baby doll. So much hair and all her perfect little petite features just melted my heart. Mom and dad were totally smitten by her and kept telling me they couldn’t take their eyes off her. You could feel all the love between them all throughout the whole session, it was so heartwarming.
One of my favorite spaces to use during in-home newborn sessions is your bedroom. It is usually a comfortable space, and it is such a great space to cozy up in naturely.
I just loved that they included their furry children in their session!
Thank you so much, Rubio Family, for trusting me with such a special time in your lives!
Wednesday, May 13th, 2020
This beautiful mama found me after they moved to Las Vegas as she began her search for a midwife and birth photographer. I am so happy she found me! They had so much to do while searching for care after moving mid-pregnancy, finding care they felt confident in, and organizing their new home.
I was even more excited that she also wanted to document their pregnancy.
I really love being able to document not only your birth (my true passion), but also more of your journey through maternity, Fresh 48, and newborn sessions. It really tells more of your story, and the story always has my heart.
I have loved having more and more clients this year request in-home maternity and family sessions! I think they have such an intimate feel to them, and I love including the elements of your own home. After all, your home is where your memories together will be made!
Shooting their maternity session in their home was also great because Nicole planned on giving birth at home, so we could have our consult and an opportunity for me to take a look at the areas she would be using for her birth. It really helps me to be visually prepared as far as setting and light. It also makes your birth experience more comfortable because we have already met, and I have more of a feel of your personalities and wishes.
Very rarely do I prefer black and white images over color, but both of their maternity and birth sessions converted so beautifully to black and white, and I adore them.
We also incorporated their Christmas tree into the session since it timed out perfectly with the holidays.
Nicole delivered 3 weeks early with their older daughter and had experienced quite a lot of preterm contractions with this pregnancy. She also had a history of fast delivery with her last baby, so we talked about this quite a bit. Because of her history, I started call for her birth at the 37-week mark, and we talked often to check in with each other so that I would be on high alert when the time came.
She had quite a few moments in the week leading up to the birth that she thought could really be it. She experienced quite a few sleepless nights and uncomfortable cramping, but they always spaced back out and became irregular. It was a bit tricky, but as always, when on call I checked in often and kept my phone right by my head at night. Finally, after her last office appointment, her cervical check did show some cervical change, and her baby was sitting so low, so we amped up our communications. She really wanted to be sure they stayed regular before calling everyone over, and as they became more and more uncomfortable, we finally decided to just be safe and have me head over. Luckily, I live just 20 min away from her.
When I arrived, the door was ajar for me, so I just knew I better book it up the stairs, and sure enough, by the time I got up there, Nicole was in the tub and quite calmly looked over at me and said, “I’m pushing”. The room was dark and calm; her husband, Anthony, was cool as a cucumber. I had beaten the midwife there. As I frantically ran around trying to add enough light to capture some images without being too disruptive and altering the room’s mood, she calmly delivered her baby girl into her arms. Neither one of them got worked up, and it happened so quickly! I could grab one image of her baby emerging and then just started shooting everything as it unfolded.
Her midwives arrived shortly after I did. I always love seeing the Serenity Birth Center birth team, they are such a capable group of midwives.
I was impressed by how well they handled the stress of such a precipitous delivery. They just did what they needed to do, and it unfolded beautifully.
Nicole had really hoped her dad would be in town when she delivered, and he was scheduled to fly out the night she went into labor. It timed out so perfectly. I just love capturing family members meeting their new baby, you could just see the pride all over his face.
Big sister slept through the whole birth, and mom and dad were pretty exhausted, so we decided I would come back the next day to capture more images of them together once everyone rested.
Their daughters are just under a year apart and big sister was so good with her! Documenting siblings meeting is one of my favorite things!
Oh, how I wish I could have captured more of their birth, but I am so happy for them that it was a quick one! And this just goes to show you that there is still so much story surrounding the actual moment of birth. I love the story and the love we were able to capture around it!
Saturday, March 28th, 2020
I have a whole list of reasons why I am passionate about documenting newborns and their families in their homes here in Las Vegas.
As much work as it is, I truly love blogging, especially if it can help someone else! Hopefully, this post will be helpful to anyone trying to decide whether an in-home newborn session is for them.
One of my favorite things about in-home newborn sessions is that they have so much more of a relaxed feel for me. I photographed newborns in my studio for six years and loved it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with posed newborn photography. The reason I moved away from my studio work into the homes of families and from posed to lifestyle is that I really developed a love for filmmaking and for really digging into the stories of each family. Birth stories have become my true passion. To be able to work cohesively with the families I serve, I really felt drawn away from the studio, and into the homes of families, where their memories are made and where they feel the most comfortable.
Not having to take your baby out of the house during those first weeks is a good reason to consider an in-home session! I know that there are still appointments and places you have to go in those weeks, but the safest place is almost always home. You can control who interacts with your baby and know exactly how clean the items are that you use.
This family is a good example of why I feel in-home newborn sessions are so wonderful. Although they had posed newborn images of their older two, they were really interested in capturing beautiful images without the worry and work of getting everyone out of the house and managing them in a strange environment.
In the weeks before their due date, we communicated often, and I checked in to see how things were going. Mom had delivered at different gestations with her previous two, so it was hard to know which way she would go. As luck would have it, she went over her due date! When their baby finally arrived, things got even crazier. Poor dad got sick. Thank goodness the time crunch is not as vital for in-home newborn sessions. For posed newborn sessions I really tried to get my clients in within the first 10-14 days while the baby was still sleepy and easily settled in those adorable posed images you see.In contrast, lifestyle newborn images
We were past the three-week mark when dad finally felt well enough for us to move forward with their session. Because time restrictions aren’t so stiff with in-home newborn sessions, we were able to be sure that dad could be present and feel well enough to participate.
Another thing I love about in-home newborn sessions is that siblings feel so much more at home, and are able to move in and out of the spaces we work in comfortably. Big brother and sister were able to go upstairs and play with their toys with their babysitter while I focused on mom and dad, helping everything to stay relaxed and everyone at ease, which shows in images!
Another thing I love about in-home newborn sessions is that we use the spaces that hold the most meaning to you. Your baby will grow in the spaces where all those memories unfold. I love that you and your children will look back on images we have captured together and have the sentimental feelings associated with them.
While mom was feeding baby brother, we could just play and relax and capture some images of dad with big brother and sister.
We then moved to little E’s room to capture some of the details there. This is another space I love to use during newborn sessions.
No matter where you document your newborn, whether by hiring a posed studio newborn photographer, or a lifestyle photographer in your own home, I encourage you to do so! The newborn stage of life is one of life’s most fleeting periods between sleepless nights, diaper changes, and feedings. It passes quickly, and they change even quicker!
Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
I’m so excited to announce my 2019 favorites as well as a brief recap review of the year.
One of my favorite ways to reflect on 2019 in review is to select favorites from each session, bringing them all together in a collection at the end of the year. It is a beautiful way to wrap up and a reminder of how blessed each year has been.
By reviewing the year and looking at each session with fresh eyes, always leaves me in a place of gratitude. This year… I am still sitting back in awe and feeling incredibly blessed and grateful as I reflect on all that has unfolded. It has been an incredible year! I am usually much more on it and have this post up by New Year’s Day, but honestly am just now catching my breath, having gone non-stop since March. It is a fantastic problem, and as I reflect, I am overwhelmed with emotion at times.
Since the fall of 2018, I have carefully planned a big switch in Little Loo Photography, rebranding from posed newborns and families to birth. I had invested time and finances in hiring an experienced and talented birth mentor Angie Klaus Photography. Angie was so helpful in looking at my brand in general and preparing me for the work it would take to branch into this genre. Birth is unlike anything else. I knew it would be a risk, as I had worked so hard in my first seven years in business building a brand I was known for (posed newborn), and to change that was a bit scary. I had hoped and prayed that it would unfold just as I envisioned and that the clients would come. I worked hard on learning and fine-tuning my filmmaking skills and invested in workshops and online communities to soak up as much information and resources as possible.
My life plan included me retiring as a labor and delivery nurse here in Las Vegas in January 2020, at my 20th anniversary. It was a career that held my identity and much of my heart and soul. Patient care and caring for families during life’s most intimate and life-changing moments were never lost on me. Even up until the end, I was in awe that this was my career, that I got to do this as a living. I had the perfect plan of how the two would unfold; me retiring from L&D as I launched my brand in birth stories. How perfect that I still get to be a part of the incredible miracle of birth, but in a new role?
I am very goal-oriented, and I have plans to follow for almost everything I do, from running marathons to traveling, you name it. But God always has a better plan, and I am always amazed at how much richer and deeper His always is. By March 2019, it was becoming clear that trying to grow my birth business would be difficult while working at the hospital. As changes occurred in the unit, I felt the whisper that it was a time (quite hard for this OCD person who likes to stick to the plan). Still, it just kept nudging and pulling at my heart, and after some deep conversations with my husband and reviewing finances, I made the leap and went out early. Walking off the unit I had walked into for 19 years after resigning was incredibly emotional. I worked alongside the best of the best and was blessed enough to work with incredible nurses, doctors, and staff. I met and cared for so many families over the years.
I spent time hoping and praying that the birth clients would come and I would be able to grow it. And, boy oh boy, grow it did! I honestly struggled to keep up. I got inquiry after inquiry and had the most incredible clients find me, clients willing to open and share their birth spaces with me, trusting me to tell such an intimate and personal part of their lives, their birth story. Trusting me in capturing moments that can’t be relived or redone, it has been the most incredible year in Little Loo’s history. Mind-blowing really!
But let’s get to the favorites part of it- my yearly favorites! I pick an image from each session that speaks the most to my heart. I usually put them together in a slideshow, but I am changing it up this year! (I do have clients that request that I not post their images on my blog or social media sites, and I always honor that, so they are not included in the numbers or favorites). Enjoy!
I had made a goal for 2019 to shoot ten births (double the births I documented in 2018), and I ended up documenting
Each birth was so different and so full of emotion and love!
Documenting a surrogate birth story has long been a dream of mine, so I was over the moon when this story found me. It was incredibly touching and even more beautiful than I could have imagined.
I have learned in being a birth photographer that it is unlike any other genre. Being on call for births for an average of 3 weeks at a time means that other types of work can’t be scheduled around it for the risk of rescheduling clients, which isn’t ideal.
In no other genre do you have no idea when it will happen; it could be 2 am, two weeks from today, or tomorrow, and having everything ready to go instantly is crucial. So, as hard as it was, that meant less work I had done in the past and fewer family, newborn, and maternity sessions. It was so hard to say ‘no’ to so many families.
To end 2019, I was allowed to be among the incredibly talented and diverse Birthbound Photographer instructors. I will be presenting a portion of their birth photographer certification course, bringing my experience as an L&D nurse to forge stronger relationships in the hospital setting and elevate the genre of birth photography as a whole. It has been an incredible opportunity and one I am so grateful for!
I documented 5 maternity sessions. Three of my maternity clients were also birth story clients.
I do offer an incentive of discounted maternity, Fresh 48, and newborn sessions for all of my birth clients, as I am so passionate about the story behind each birth, and adding maternity, Fresh 48, or newborn sessions does bring those full stories circle.
In the year ahead, my birth clients will have priority in scheduling these sessions, another decision that has been hard to make, but I want to be sure that I am fully present for each session that I book and available for when births do happen.
I documented 14 newborns in 2019!
Moving away from the posed studio into clients’ homes, I knew I would not be for everyone. I am so grateful for the past clients that stuck with me during this transition and for clients that booked me as a lifestyle in-home newborn!
Five of my newborns were also birth story clients. It was such a beautiful way to honestly tell their story, having followed them through the birth of their baby to a home where so many beautiful memories will be made. Moving forward for newborn sessions, my birth clients will have priority in filling my newborn spaces on the calendar, once again, to ensure that I have availability for them and provide my clients with the best experience possible!
On this year’s blessings side of this year- I had worked hard to keep my nursing and photography careers separate over the years and never talked about my business with patients. I never wanted there to be a conflict of interest or make my patients or staff I worked alongside uncomfortable. Most of the OB/GYNs I worked with had no idea I was a photographer. Right before I retired from the hospital, I was offered the opportunity to bid alongside other talented photographers in hanging my art on the halls that lined the remodel of the new Birth Place hallways. I won the bid and could hang 70 pieces of large prints of my work along the hallways I had worked on for 19 years. It indeed was a dream come true.
The most incredible part of this story is that the last patient I delivered found me this way. Not knowing she was finding me, we were both blown away when we put it together! I documented a part of their NICU journey, and they’re bringing her home! I told you this year was incredible!
I documented 11 Fresh 48 sessions! As a new offering for Little Loo Photography, I am pretty excited about that and hope to add more of these in 2020. They have my heart, everything is still so fresh and new, and it is a beautiful option for families who aren’t able to invest in a birth story.
I was blessed enough to document 19 families this year!
As I said, it was harder to schedule these alongside my birth clients, and as much as I love them, I will have to continue to limit these in 2020, as there is not enough space on the calendar. Be sure to book yours well in advance for this year!
I launched my first ‘The Story ‘ giveaway in 2018 and had the opportunity to document the story of Dan Brite and his road to recovery in 2019. It is a beautiful story of family strength and determination. My life will be forever changed by having the opportunity to tell this story.
To continue sharing my year of incredible blessings, I was offered the opportunity by Focus on the Family to document a beautiful family sharing their story on the redemption and restoration of their marriage in the upcoming Spring issue of their magazine. This ministry has deeply impacted my life, and the opportunity to work on a project with them that is so impactful and intimate was a dream come true!
And lastly, I had a few sessions out of my usual work, but for friends and family that had booked me in advance!
If you made it all the way through, thank you so much! Thank you for following me, trusting me with your stories, and believing in me! I told you it was an incredibly blessed year; it will certainly be hard to follow!
In 2020 I will focus even more on birth and growing in this genre and on giving back to my community, which has given me so much. I am excited about what lies ahead!
Monday, January 20th, 2020
This family- I just simply adore them! I have had the pleasure of seeing them grow as a family from the time Nicole was pregnant with their oldest. They are a family that I hope never moves away and that I hope to document for many years to come. They are always so laid back and fun and truly love just loving on each other.
Each year we try and document them in a new location, and Nicole puts so much thought and planning in outfit choices and in communicating their wishes with me. I love that each year has been so different, but still that same thread of love and connection throughout. I love that this year they chose a mountain location for their family session.
Each of their two children has the most adorable personality, and seeing those grow has been so much fun. Van seriously has the best smile ever and has since he was a newborn. His smile makes you smile, and his personality is just so fun and outgoing.
Wren is silly but reserved. She loves her mama and does not get too far from her. She makes me work a little harder for those precious little smiles, but that was definitely easier this year as she has gotten bigger, and some of that stranger danger has melted away.
This has been such a big year for them, with Shawn retiring from military service after 20 years and joining the workforce as a civilian. They have big things coming their way; stay tuned until the end to see more of the excitement in store for them in 2020.
The day before their session, Nicole texted me to discuss our session and meeting spot and snuck in a little secret. I just about died. They had planned on being done with children, but life had other plans. I am so excited for them and what lies in store for 2020, I will be documenting that! This will be the second birth I have shot for them, and I seriously can’t even wait.
So stay tuned for more from this family in 2020.
Thursday, January 2nd, 2020
To comfortall who mourn, To sonsole those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.Isaiah 61:3 NKJV
I am continually blown away and amazed by the people God has put in my path throughout my life. I have been blessed to walk alongside and rub shoulders with some powerful and resilient people in my lifetime. You know these types of people, the ones that leave a mark on people that surround them often without even knowing it. These people inspire me to be better, live life with more intention and passion, and live in the here and now.
The Ewells are one of those families. I met them in October 2016 when I was their labor nurse for the birth of their third child Landon. I had just come out of a delivery when I received my next assignment. As I learned their prognosis and what they were facing as they came in to deliver Landon, I can honestly say that my heart sank. I quietly tucked myself in the supply room and prayed. My heart just ached for them and what I knew they would be facing, and I just wanted to have the right words, to provide the best care for them, and to have the strength to hold it together through their delivery.
Who would have known then what would unfold through Landon’s story? Well, I know that God did. I know He has a plan for everything, and I believe he does not place heartbreak and pain in our lives, but He will always carry us through. He is always there and knows where it will lead us. This beautiful family has become an important part of my life. I have been blessed to have stayed connected to them outside the hospital and seen them walk through the darkest of life’s valleys. It has not always been beautiful, incredibly raw, and painful for much of the time.
From the moment I met Landon, I wanted to tell his story. I wanted the world to know him and his impact on me and the world around him. I knew that their story would inspire others just as it did me. During a recent film-making workshop, our project-long assignment was to choose a cause or something we cared deeply about and tell its story. Immediately, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to tell this family’s story. I prayed that they were ready to share their lives with the world. I am so glad that they were.
I hope that their story inspires you as much as it did me.
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018
It’s an honor that you let me capture yours.