For the past few years, I admittedly avoided doing “newborn sessions”. I’d done the whole baby in a basket thing, but to be completely honest – I just didn’t like it (kudos to those that do it, though). For me, those photos didn’t really tell the story I wanted to tell – and I thought newborn sessions had to look a certain way and what I wanted to do wasn’t good enough. So I rarely accepted opportunities to photograph newborns.

Then, I photographed the Ilhardts – who just welcomed their new son James into the world only 11 days prior. I sent Jesse a sneak peek after the session (the photo below), and she wrote back, “…it’s like my whole heart in a single frame,”  and I just knew. THAT’S what I want my newborn sessions to be like. I want the entire family, together, in their home, and yes – that even means including the dog. I realized I identify with lifestyle family sessions rather than your typical newborn in a basket with styled props and photoshopped babies’ heads because well – you’re more likely to sit on the couch and hang out with the baby than prop him in a basket day in and day out. Now, I’m definitely not knocking other photographers or couples that want styled newborn sessions because, you do you – and I respect that. All I’m saying is that, this is how I want to move forward doing newborn/family/lifestyle sessions. This is what I relate to. This is the story I want to tell. These are the moments I want to document. If you’re not into it, I have some fantastic newborn photographers that will put your baby in a basket and doll them up with the cutest props that I can recommend to you. But, if you’re into it – shoot me a note – and scroll through some photos below to get a sense of what I’m saying.

To Jesse + Ben, thanks for being flat out awesome. Baby James (and Brady) – you stole my heart on this one.