Best Heirloom Gifts for your Newborn Baby | Newborn Photography Los Angeles | Baby-Girl Vivienne

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Newborn photography became very popular in the past ten years. Photographs of adorable sleeping babies in the first few days of their lives are so precious that expecting parents sometimes start to inquire and book a photographer in their first trimester. Having a custom artwork that features your perfect little baby is an amazing family heirloom, specially considering how quickly newborns change. But there are a few ways to make it even more special.

If you are having a newborn session, have a family portrait captured! As gorgeous as the individual newborn portraits are, you can only really tell how tiny the baby is, when parents are holding him or her. And, as much as you love your brand new little baby, the family portrait will probably be the one your child will truly cherish when he or she grows older. Imagine yourself having a photograph with your own parents when you were only a few days old. Wouldn’t that be magical? I think you would have that photograph proudly displayed somewhere in your home. And I know that most brand new mamas don’t really feel like being photographed only a few days after giving birth and caring for a newborn baby day and night, but do it for your little one and a professional photographer will know how to capture you in the most beautiful way.

Another way you can create an heirloom for your baby, is by writing a message, note, or a letter. How would you feel as an adult if you had a note or a letter that your parents wrote to you when you were a newborn? I always think it would be incredible to know what they felt like back then, what emotions they were going through, what their favorite thing was about me, what their hopes and dreams were at that time. Reading something that was written for you in the past feels truly extraordinary.

Couple of years ago I started suggesting the new parents who’s newborns I photographed to do this for their baby’s album, to write a note. They handwrite a note, and then I scan it into their baby’s photo album, and I usually place it right next to their very first family portrait where mom and dad are holding their tiny little newborn. Since then the fine art albums became the most requested product for my newborn sessions. Parents still get beautiful wall portrait collections to display in their home and enjoy it, but they get the album for their baby. Some keep it as an 18th birthday present, others order an extra parent’s copy that they can enjoy now, and I have some parents ordering an album for every milestone they have a portrait session for, and write a note for each book.

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“You were created with so much love my little Vivi. Mommy loves you.”

I think these are one of the sweetest memories you can create for your child. When he or she is 40, 50, 60 years old, these will probably be some of the favorite things he or she would have as a memory of you. Don’t put off your plans to get a family portrait. Sometimes years pass by and things are still not ideal. We all have an extra pound we wont to lose, there is always so much going on in our busy lives, but now is the perfect time! We have no idea what tomorrow is going to bring.

And write letters to your children. Write them before they are born, after they are born, when they say their first word, after you drop them off at school for the first time, or just when you feel proud of them. Let this be an insight to your love for them. Make these a family tradition.

The photos in this post are of beautiful baby-girl Vivienne. I chose to feature her session as a part of this post because she has a photograph with her mommy and daddy, and above is a page from her photo album with the notes they wrote for her. You can find few fragments of their beautiful words in the video below. Vivienne’s mama also wrote a review about their photography experience with me. If you would like to read it, it’s on the testimonials page on my website.

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Newborn Photographer Los Angeles | Baby-boy TRAVIS

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This little baby just loved to model for me during his newborn photography session. Whatever position I would put him in, he would move his little body around, adjust his arms and legs, until he would find a cute curled up pose he liked, and would stay there for a while. I mean, how cute is this photo on top…? This is a new newborn pose and it’s going into my book LOL

It’s amazing how much personality newborn babies have. Travis was only a few days old when I photographed him and he just kept doing what he wanted to do. Every little newborn I photograph is different. With every newborn session I notice how the baby already has distinctive habits. It’s incredible to think that even before we start to live and let life shape us in different directions, we are already set in our own ways.
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Newborn Photography Los Angeles | Award Winning Newborn Photographer

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Every year for the past six years I go to the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) convention, which is one of the biggest portrait photography associations and conventions in the world. I spend the first day or two of the week-long convention watching the international portrait competition judging. Some of the best photographers in the field form a panel of six judges and critique thousands of the most beautiful photographs submitted from around the world. The critique that takes place in those rooms is quite brutal and I always found it to be one of the best educational resources. Every year I would sit there and take notes on what to do and what not to do, while judges would take apart someones beautiful photograph and critique on things that weren’t even visible to my eye at the time. Then I would review those notes while looking through my portfolio and I would critique my own work. This helped me recognize the things I needed to work on in order to improve my craft.

Even though I love watching the judging, I never had a real urge to submit my work. That is until this year, when I made new friends at the convention who enter almost every prestigious competition to collect awards. And, of course, they talked me into submitting.

I am very excited to announce, that I am now an international award winning portrait photographer. It is very gratifying to be able to say that. All four of my photographs got awarded. Three of those are newborn portraits and the forth one is a maternity photograph. It is very satisfying to know that my artwork meets the highest standards of international professional portrait photography.

I have to say, however, that at the end of the day, what matters most, is that mom and dad really love the photos I capture of their little one. That’s where I get the biggest joy for what I do. I feel so proud when parents get emotional seeing their baby’s photographs for the first time, when I see their excitement and how in love they are with the results. That’s what gives me the biggest validation for my work!

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Newborn Photographer Los Angeles | Baby-boy OBI

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I love each and every one of my portrait sessions, but every now and then, there is a session that truly inspires me, wether because of the family’s story, their request, or something new that I discover or capture during the session. This was one of those portrait sessions.

When Salma (Obi’s mama) called me, she told me a little about their family. She said that they are from Africa, they are an older couple and are very excited about having Obi in their lives because their older children are now 21 and 23, and they would like to have a newborn portrait session to capture this special milestone. During our phone consultation (before the shoot) we were talking about the colors for the session, and I asked about baby’s skin tone to prepare the color pallet, and Salma said with her beautiful African accent: “He’s skin is dark, he is very dark.” I loved haring that! I have photographed babies of many different ethnicities, but hadn’t had a chance to work with a family from Africa, and photograph a baby with truly dark skin tone. This was such an inspiration. It immediately got my mind rolling with different ideas for the portrait session.

It turned out beautifully and I am very proud of the results. Some of these images are my new favorites and one is now a centerpiece at the studio. But more importantly, I am happy to have met this beautiful family. Their kindness and gracefulness were a very big part of the inspiration.

They are writing notes for me to include in Obi’s photo album. When I read what Salma wrote for her baby, I got a little emotional. With her permission I want to share the beautiful notes she wrote for her son. There is so much love in these words, I think every parent could relate to it no matter what religion they are.

“My beloved son Obianefo,

Words cannot express the joy and love I feel as I look at you. I was overjoyed and so thankful to Yahweh our God, when the doctor’s office told me I was carrying you. You are a gift from God almighty our God Jehovah Jireh to me. Since you have been here, I sing to you every morning filled with joy and gratefulness to God our maker.

Praying over you a few times is a daily ritual. O my love only if words could express the love I feel.  Oh the love in my eyes, the feeling of warmth in my heart when I look at you. No surprise, I wake up in the middle of the night to listen to your heartbeat and kiss you. O how I love you.

As our faithful God gave Samuel to Sarah so did He give you to me. Do not ever go against our maker our Lord and master. I ask that you seek, worship and serve Him diligently with all your heart, mind, being and soul.

My love for you can’t be quantified. I didn’t remember I could love so much.

May God almighty grant you peace, joy, love, wisdom, all the days of your life; as goodness, mercy and favor also pursue you all the days of your life, and you shall dwell in the presence of God forever and ever. Amen.

Nyame Nhyira wo!!

I love you, Medofo Obianefo Adnan Okonkwo.”

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Salma, her husband and little OBI came to the grand opening of the new studio. My friend Jodie Myers filmed the event and did little interviews. To see the video and what Salma said about their newborn portrait experience, CLICK HERE.

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Newborn Photographer Los Angeles | Little Sisters – photographing a newborn with a toddler

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Photographing newborns with their older siblings who are only couple of years old themselves, can sometimes be a challenge. We all know how active toddlers are and how gentle we need to be with an infant. When I go to a newborn session and they have an older sibling I am very curios to see how the older child is around the new baby. It is such a big change for a little toddler, the first baby, who is used to being in the center of attention. Sometimes I see a lot of love and affection, and I feel more comfortable moving on with photographing the little ones together. And, of course, sometimes there is a little jealousy and resentment; it’s not easy to share mommy and daddy with this tiny stranger who takes up a lot of their time and attention…

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Two sisters, a bond that will last a lifetime. Newborn and a toddler 🙂

Usually it is very important for the parents to try and have a portrait of their children together, and I work with them to find the best and safest way to do that. One of the safest poses to photograph a toddler with the new baby is by having them lay next to each other on the propped-up and cushioned floor. To make the toddler even more comfortable, often I have one of the parents right next to them.

That’s what we did here with Zea and Zoe. Zoe is only 2-years-old, and it took a few attempts to convince her lye down on the floor, but she did a great job staying there for a few minutes, even though she didn’t really want to put her arms around the baby LOL. What makes this image really work for me, is that you can see Zoe’s personality in it. Her playing with the rug, the silly smirk while biting her lip, the little fire in her eyes, it’s adorable! I can’t expect a two-year-old to pose for me with a newborn baby in her arm, I can only expect her to be who she is, a little toddler, and capture exactly that, as beautifully and safely as possible. Mission accomplished!

I got some more images of them together that you can see below. Those are also very safe for this age. I love the one of Zoe kissing the baby, I think it’s such a sweet little moment to remember.

This session went very well, but of course there have been cases, when it didn’t work out. Some toddlers are more active then others, and if they are between one and two years old, they don’t understand a lot of things yet, and we can’t expect them to be careful around the baby. I have had a few sessions when the parents and I decided that it’s best to just photograph the infant alone. If this happened to you, please don’t be sad! You will have more chances to have a portrait of them together, when it would be safer and won’t make your heart stop for a moment 🙂

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Little Baby Zea getting a kiss from her big sister.

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Being a big sister and guarding the baby 🙂

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Shusssssh… The baby is sleeping.

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I may be a little girl, but I am now a big sister.

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Newborn Photography Los Angeles | Baby-Boy Nahshon

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This was a very interesting newborn photography session for me, because baby Nahshon is the tiniest little newborn I have ever photographed. He was born full term and very healthy at 4 pounds and 15 ounces, and at 7 days old he was giving me the most adorable smiles. I was amazed how he would almost fit in my hands when I would position him in some of these poses. It was quite fascinating.

I’ve been photographing newborns for almost six years now. They keep surprising me and always bring joy into my life. It’s such an honor to be entrusted with such fragile precious little humans, and creating artwork by capturing the beauty of them being so tiny. I don’t think I could ever get enough of it 🙂

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Newborn Photography Los Angeles | Baby-Boy Mikey

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When I find a unique prop for my newborn photography sessions I get excited like a little kid in a candy store. I’m sure many people who have a passion can relate to this. I hadn’t felt like that in a while, until recently I found this gorgeous vintage crib. It’s about 90 years old, it’s worn, it has little chips on one side I think from rocking it, and it has this beautiful heart-shaped cutout on the head-side panel. All these little details make it so special to me. I see so much history when I look at it. And of course the moment I got this baby crib I started planing the perfect portrait in my head for when I get a chance to use it.

Shortly after I had little Mikey’s newborn photography session. His wonderful parents liked the idea I had and I captured this image of their baby-boy peacefully sleeping in my adorable vintage crib. I think I’m in love!

Baby Mikey was such a perfect little model. He posed like a pro for me in all the other images too. Thank you little man for helping me capture my vision.

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Los Angeles Newborn Photography | Baby-Girl Jasmine

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It’s been a busy summer, but I finally got a little time to do a blog post. As much as I enjoyed all the shoots I recently had, I wanted to share a newborn photography session with you. These little ones are just too adorable!

This newborn baby-girl is miss Jasmine. She was only 8 days old when I photographed her, and even at this tiny age she looked so much like her dad, he could claim her without a birth certificate 🙂 And she is already daddy’s little princess, he even got her a tiara to prove it 🙂 I just love that image of her yawning with a tiara on her head!

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Los Angeles Newborn Photography | Baby-Boy Lucas

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When I photographed this beautiful family for the fist time a few months ago, baby Lucas wasn’t here yet, but he was very well on his way. I captured some fun family portraits for them then, and we did a cake smash session for Lucas’s now big sister Giana. At that time we scheduled a newborn photography session for baby Lucas, and I recently had a chance to finally meet him and capture his first portraits in these adorable curled up infant poses. And of course we did a new family portrait to include the handsome new family member.

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Los Angeles Newborn Photography | Newborn Twins – Presley and Jagger

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I get so excited when I get a chance to photograph newborn twins. It’s double the joy and fun! And something interesting happened during this session that I want to share with you.

Take a look at the first image below. They are both SMILING!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this image, so I have to tell you the story behind it. When I planned out this shot in my head, I thought it would be adorable to have the baby girl sleeping in her brothers arms, best friends forever right?! So I did the set up, tucked the babies under the blanket, took a few test shots, and then did a few adjustments and took the shot that I wonted. But when I got home, and looked at the images on my computer, this was the very first test shot from that set! It was the first few moments after I put them together, when they smiled! I guess they do know each other very well and were very happy to be so close together again. I think it’s fascinating, and I still can’t believe I got it on camera! Of course being the first test shot it was very far from being perfect, but I knew I had to do everything to save it. This may not be the most creative portrait from their session, but it sure is the most special one!

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Los Angeles Newborn Photography | Baby – LIV

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It’s amazing how even a newborn baby has a very distinct personality, and you can notice how there are certain things  that he or she likes or dislikes. During every portrait session I learn something new, especially when I’m photographing a newborn baby. And when I was photographing little Liv I realized that she likes to be very warm, she doesn’t like to be naked, and her mommy told me that she feels very comfortable in her little polar bear outfit. So, of course, her portrait session was a little more challenging then usual, and when the time came for the family portraits and she started being uncomfortable we brought in her cute little polar bare onesie. I have a little obsession with teddy bears, so I think it turned out quite adorable 🙂

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Los Angeles Newborn Photography | Baby – ETHAN

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This is baby Ethan. His mommy actually won his newborn photography session at the Los Angeles Mom Expo event and exhibit back in November. She was one of over 300 mommies who entered to win. She was very excited and told me that she never won anything before. I guess this little bundle of joy is her lucky charm 🙂

This baby boy has a few pilots in his family. His own daddy used to be a pilot. So an aviation set up was highly requested by his parents, and the little pin that he is wearing on his hat was his great grand-fothers. It’s so much fun adding personal items to the set up, especially when they have this much history.

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Baby – CHARLOTTE | Los Angeles Newborn Photographer

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This newborn photography session was for precious 12 day old baby Charlotte. She is the second baby-girl in this beautiful family, and I had the pleasure of capturing newborn portraits of both their little girls. I met Charlotte’s sister Nicolette for the first time 2 year ago for her own newborn photography session. Now she had the big responsibility of holding her brand new sister safely in her little arms, for me to photograph them together for the first time. And she did a wonderful job!

As for little Charlotte, she was fighting her sleep in the beginning of the session. I think she wanted to show me who the boss is 🙂 But once she did fall asleep, I captured these sweet peaceful images of her. I think she’s going to rule the world.

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DROY | Los Angeles Newborn Photographer

This is little Droy. He had his newborn photography session when he was 10 days old. This adorable little boy was born 5 week early, but all cute and chubby at 6 pounds 🙂 He did very well during his portrait session. He got a portrait with his mommy, daddy, his older sister, and the entire family. And I enjoyed designing four wall portrait groupings with his beautiful images for their home. You can check some of them out at the end of the gallery.

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Newborn photographer Droys wall display 2

Newborn photographer Droys wall display 1

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KAI & COLEMAN | Los Angeles Baby Newborn Photographer

I recently visited Kai and Coleman and realized that I never posted their newborn photography session. I don’t often get a chance to photograph newborn twins, so had to share these images with you. It is so different from photographing a single baby, and so fan posing the newborn twins together. Definitely takes some patience and creativity, but double the joy when looking at the final images. They are almost 10 months old now and absolute angels. I have a picture with them on my Facebook page if you want to check it out 🙂

I also enjoyed so very much meeting their wonderful parents. They are very creative themselves and it’s always a pleasure being in their company. The boys mommy is a singer and songwriter, and it is her singing for their slideshow, you can watch it at the end of the portrait gallery. She also has an amazing life story and experience to share, and I hope you will get to learn about it on my blog one day.

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Newborn Photography Session – Baby Evan

Newborn photography sessions are such a blessing. I can never get enough of these brand new little cuties. Little Evan here was 9 days old when I photographed him. It’s so wonderful to capture the fist portraits of a newborn baby. And even more special, the fist official family portrait! That for sure will be a legacy for many generations.

Evan’s parent’s found me trough their wonderful baby nurse Kathleen. Thank you Kathleenfor introducing us! It’s an honor to be referred by you! (www.softslumbers.com)

I hope you enjoy newborn photographs of Evan. Don’t forget to comment your thoughts! 🙂

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When is the best time to photograph babies?

When is the best time to Photograph Babies?

All my clients with babies ask me the same question at one point or another: When is the best time to photograph the baby? I get this question so often, that I decided to dedicate a post to it.

There are milestones that happen only once in a lifetime, and whatever you do, try not to miss capturing these milestones in your baby’s life.

1. Newborn Portraits

The first stage is of course infancy. Newborn photography is very big, yet some parents avoid having photographed their newborn babies, thinking that they are too tiny and always asleep, so there isn’t much to photograph. However, those are the things that make this milestone so special. Close up Photograp of a Newborn baby-girlThink about it, the most adorable and precious pictures you have ever seen of babies were mostly of newborns. This is the shortest stage in our life, the very first moments of existence, it only lasts a few days, how would you not want to have beautiful professional images of it? This is the time when you should have close-up detail images of their feet, hands, eyelashes… and those adorable sleeping images of them in different curled-up poses.These poses can only be done with newborn babies of up to 10 days old. Why so early? Because only at this time they feel comfortable in those poses. They are also less sensitive to touch and sound, so they stay asleep longer and the photographer can model them into those adorable poses and capture some beautiful images.Newborn Photography Los Angeles Baby Girl Ava 01 In about two weeks after birth baby’s physiology starts changing. They are not as flexible anymore and don’t feel comfortable in infant poses. They start sleeping less and become more sensitive to touch and sound. And may start getting colicky. These factors make a portrait session very challenging for both baby and photographer. Therefor, newborn photography sessions need to be done before the baby is 10 days old, or at most 2 weeks oldNewborn Photography Los Angeles AT Studios Ryder 07Some parent’s prefer to wait till the baby is three-four month old, but in my opinion, it’s not even necessary to have a professional session at that age. The babies are in transition for about six months after birth. During that time the portraits that can be captured of them are lying on their back, or on stomach pulling themselves up. It’s a good idea to have a mini session to capture them in that age, but a full session is not necessary.

2. Six Month Baby Portrait Session

Baby-girl-Isabella-1The next stage is between six to seven months old, when the baby just starts sitting. Imagine this, all they can do is sit there, smile, and make all the cute and adorable faces they make around this age, and they can’t go anywhere! How great is that!!! This is when you can have a lot of fun. Baby boy Ryan 2You can dress them up in different outfits, you can have shots indoor and outdoor, and have different fun setups. It’s also very easy to get their attention, they can’t crawl away to something that looks more interesting yet. This is the time to capture the baby giggling and clapping and doing cute and funny faces. 6-month-baby-girl-nellas-photoshoot-in-her-nursery-3This is also a great time to capture some adorable portraits of the baby in his or her beautifully decorated nursery. Sessions at this age can get very fun and creative.

3. One Year Celebration

Than you can skip a couple of months again to the one year session, when the baby is already crawling and standing, and you can have a very dynamic and fun birthday celebration session with a yummy cake. Babies are very active at this age, they want to explore, they are very fast and they are now standing! These pictures are all about catching the right moment!

You can have some creative indoor or outdoor shots and than let the baby go crazy and messy with a birthday cake. If you are having a party the same day you are doing the photoshoot, than you will probably have a nice fancy cake.

Lori's-one-year-old-photo-session-4Of course you should include it in the pictures but remember to buy a back up cake for the fun images, because you don’t want to ruin the real cake and you must have the cake-face pictures. The back up cake can be small, and because it’s just for the baby, try getting something the baby will like the taste of, you want him or her to really dig into it!

As you see all these stages are different and worth having a professional session. When you think about it, it’s only three milestones in one year, but very important ones. The problem is, that babies grow up so fast, and being a parent takes up so much time, that many parents miss these milestone when they should have a professional session done.  It makes me sad when a parents ask me “When is the best time to photograph my baby?” and they have already missed that time. Sometimes they have such a disappointed look on their face, it breaks my heart.2-year-old-baby-girl-stellas-photo-session-5

If you are working with a professional photographer, he or she must have a baby package that includes all those milestone, and you can just purchase that package and he/she should take care of everything, so you don’t miss out on documenting any important events of your babies life. Just make sure to take care of this before the baby arrives, so you don’t miss out on anything. Contact me if you are interested in my baby portrait plan and I will tell you all about it.One-and-a-half-year-old-baby-girl-Valentina's-Photography-Session-3If you have any questions, feel free to email me or post a comment. I will be happy to help you out. To see more posts and images please go to the recent posts. Explore my website to learn more about my Newborn Photography as well as Baby Child Family and Maternity photography services.

CLICK HERE to read what my clients of Newborn and Baby photography sessions in Los Angeles area have to say about their photography experience with me.

 

Baby and Newborn Photography Los Angeles)

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Newborn Photography Session – Arabella

The little star of this newborn photography session is adorable, 9 days old, baby Arabella from Oxnard CA. Her auntie got this portrait session for her as a birth present. And I must say, what a wonderful present! She will grow out of every piece of clothing and furniture, but she, her parents, and the entire family will always cherish these newborn portraits.

And for Arabella’s newborn portraits I used some of the cutest new headbands I got recently at a photography convention in Las Vegas, I think I’m in love with them 🙂

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Newborn Baby Girl Giselle’s First Portraits

I always say that I am very blessed to be able to do what I love, and part of that blessing is photographing newborn babies. Capturing the delicate beauty of a little newborn who just came into this world is truly priceless. These moment only last a few days, and helping remember them for a lifetime is simply amazing. Their fist days of life, their beautiful little features, how tiny they are in their parent’s hands, and how lovingly their mommy and daddy are looking at this little newborn bundle of joy, are such wonderful things to capture in photographs.

This little nugget, I had the pleasure of photographing, is newborn baby girl Giselle. At 9 days old she already knew what she wanted and tried posing for herself. I have to say, she did a very good job, especially in the smiling portrait! Those are all her moves in that image, and it’s one of her mommies favorite newborn portraits of her. Her mommy and daddy are very sweet as well. It was such a pleasure meeting them during this very special time of their life, and capturing their very fist family portrait!

Victoria, baby Giselle’s mommy, wrote a testimonial about her experience during their newborn portrait session with me. CLICK HERE to read it!

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Giselle's precious smile

Giselle’s precious smile

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This one is for daddy :)

This one is for daddy 🙂

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Sara’s Newborn Portrait Session

Do you remember the cutie in this image below? I photographed her when she was an 8 month old baby and she is one of the little stars on my website. She just had a baby sister and I had the pleasure of doing her newborn portraits. It’s unbelievable how much they look alike! Sara even prefers the same bottle as Nella did when she was a newborn, and they have similar habits. It felt like photographing twins 18 months apart 🙂 I was also very excite to meet this little princes because I photographed her mommy recently for the maternity portraits. I love that session! CLICK HERE to check it out here.

Explore my website to learn more about my Maternity and Newborn Photography in Los Angeles Area as well as Baby Child and Family Photography Services.
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