Celebrating a 1st Birthday in Photos | Seattle Family Photographer

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Celebrating a 1st Birthday in Photos | Seattle Family Photographer

Document the first birthday as an important milestone with a lifestyle family photo session.

Celebrating a child’s first birthday is such a big milestone. It isn’t just that your baby is turning one, but it means that you survived the first year! So first, a big congratulations and happy day to your family if you'r little one is turning one. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the first year. There is so much growth with your child changing daily. In so many ways, that first year flies by. However, the first year is also about little sleep, worrying about every little thing, trying to keep your older kids from giving your baby the plague they caught from school, and learning how to parent this little human being as they discover the world around them. That is no easy task.

Just as you took the time to have newborn photos, I think photos around a child’s first birthday are so important. Right now your baby feels so “big” but as you look back in a year, or even just six months, you will see how much of a baby they still were. I say this often, but you will never regret having photos taken of your family.

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Your home is the perfect location for first birthday photos.

By having family photos done in your home, you are able to have your family captured in the spaces you made memories over the past year. Your child will be most comfortable in his own space. In addition, if the weather is poor (which, let’s face it, is a reality often in Seattle) you don’t have to worry about layering your child up. If you’re child is a new walker or still crawling, all those extra layers can make it difficult for them to move. And we can always jump just outside your home for a few family photos, giving you the best of both worlds.

Also, if you’re worried your space does not resemble something designed by the lovely, Joanna Gaines, don’t fret. I’m not photographing your home, I’m just capturing your family. All I need is one window and your family, and together we will create beautiful portraits.

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Let them eat cake.

Who doesn’t love cake? Okay many one year olds don’t. However, the first birthday cake smash is a fun tradition. At the end of your session we can let him eat cake and I will photograph it. (Extra perk, when he’s all messy, you’re already home and can throw him in the bath straight afterwards!)

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Is your child turning one this year? Let’s chat about celebrating the first birthday in photos.

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Lessons From My Personal Family Photo Session | Seattle Family Photographer

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Lessons From My Personal Family Photo Session | Seattle Family Photographer

Every year I take time out to have another photographer take my own family’s photos. To me it is just as important for me to get in front of the lens. I want to exist in photos with my family and I know another photographer can capture our family dynamics better than just placing my camera on a tripod. 

It also serves as a great reminder for myself as what it is like being on the other side of the lens. It helps me be a better photographer to experience first hand what the families I photograph experience.

But it’s confession time. This past fall I had a big dose of reality and learned a few priceless lessons. Today I’m sharing in hopes that you can learn from my mistakes.

I scheduled my family session too late in the year.

Fall is a busy time of year, and it got away from me. I kept putting off my own family photos and ended up feeling rushed to get them done in time for Christmas cards and gifts. Just feeling rushed added to my stress, which I know my family felt.

Lesson learned:

This year I will put my family photo session as a priority and schedule earlier in the year.

Image by Megann Robinson.

Image by Megann Robinson.

I stressed too much about the details.

Hoping to replace a wall of canvases in my home, I wanted everything to be “perfect.” I had chosen different outfits for my kids several times, and left picking out my own clothes to right before picture day. As I mentioned above letting my worry over wearing the perfect outfit was felt by my family and upped everyone’s anxiety.

Lesson Learned:

Listening to my own advice of keeping to outfits that I not only feel comfortable in but are true to our style will help me as I plan ahead next year for what we will wear.

Image by Megann Robinson

Image by Megann Robinson

I did not have enough layers to keep my kids warm.

The day of our session came and it was beautiful, but freezing cold and really windy. Although I had warm layers for my kids, they were not enough. My daughter was so cold she kept crying and hiding her face. I admit that even I was freezing.

Lesson Learned:

Be over prepared for the weather. Hats, gloves, mittens don’t hurt to have. If you don’t use them no big deal, but they can be a life saver.

Image by Megann Robinson.

Image by Megann Robinson.

I did not trust in my photographer.

This was my biggest mistake right here. My session felt chaotic (which should be expected. I have FOUR young children) and I left feeling defeated. All I could think was how I had spent all this time stressing for nothing.  I could not imagine how Megann, our photographer, captured anything at all. I even started planning how I would have to do another family session.

Lucky for me, shortly after our session she texted me a couple sneak peeks of the back of her camera. She knew how I must have felt and assured me it was okay. And when I got my gallery I was blown away. She captured us, she captured my beautiful family chaos despite the cold, wind, and tears.

Lesson Learned: Trust in your photographer. 

You hire a photographer not just as someone to push a button, but to actually SEE your family. It may feel chaotic, in fact it WILL feel chaotic, but that’s real life. The images captured will be truly treasured. This year I will come to my session much more relaxed and trusting in my photographer.

Despite my craziness and stressing out it all turned out. The images captured are ones I truly treasure. I not only had one family photo to hang on the wall, but I created a wall display of SEVEN canvases. 

Image by Megann Robinson

Image by Megann Robinson

I learned a lot from last year’s family photo session. This year I will be following  the advice I give mom’s who book a session with me - just embrace the chaos and love on your family and leave the rest to me. 

Ready to embrace your chaos? Let’s chat about how you can learn from my mistakes and have an awesome family session with me.

All images of my family here were taken by the talented Megann Robinson.

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When Should I Have Maternity a Photo Session  | Seattle Maternity Photographer

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When Should I Have Maternity a Photo Session | Seattle Maternity Photographer

Everyone says that pregnancy is 9 months, but really it’s more like 10 months, right?! So you’re expecting, and you know that you want to have this special time photographed. One of the most common questions I get from expectant moms is “When should I have maternity photos taken?”

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Maternity Photographer, Serene photo of a pregnant mom in beautiful light

Maternity photos should be done between 31-37 weeks along.

The main goal of a maternity session is to capture your family before a new baby enters the picture, all while showing off that sweet baby bump. Therefore, it is important that you actually are showing. I understand how in early pregnancy you can feel “huge” but trust me, you want to have an obvious baby bump for your maternity photos.

At the same time, you do not want to wait too long in pregnancy that either the third trimester catches up with you, making you very uncomfortable, or that baby comes a couple weeks early, meaning we miss the maternity session all together!

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You can book your maternity session while in your late first trimester to early second trimester.

Although it may be hard to predict the size of your baby bump ahead of time, getting your session on the books early will allow for you to start planning ahead of time for your session. We can start planning what to wear for your maternity session along with the perfect location and details to include for your session.

When you are on my calendar, we are also able to be flexible. Since I only take on so many sessions at a time, your spot is reserved and should we need to adjust a little earlier or a little later based on baby, we are able to do that.

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It’s not too late to get maternity photos until that baby comes!

If you are expecting and thinking you waited too long, don’t stress. Contact me and we can get your maternity photo session booked and scheduled and done to capture your family as you are right now (before that baby comes)!

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Why You Should Have Family Photos Taken in Spring | Seattle Family Photographer

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Why You Should Have Family Photos Taken in Spring | Seattle Family Photographer

In case you missed it, I’m working through a four part series that goes over the pros and cons of each season for family photos. My hope is to help you decide when is the best time for your family to have their photos taken, or maybe help you decide to switch up the seasons each year like some of the families I photograph do! The first in this series was Why You Should Have Family Photos Taken in Winter. Now, let’s look at all there is to love about family photos in the spring.

Spring means beautiful blossoms.

After a long winter, the sight of blossoms all around is enough to excite anyone. Those blossoms can also serve as a beautiful backdrop for family photos, not to mention a fun activity of picking flowers for mom.

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Your family will be ready for an adventure come spring time.

If your kids are like mine, winter brings cabin fever with my kids itching to get outside (or me itching to get them outside!). With the warmer and drier days of spring, your family will be more than ready for a fun adventure. I have numerous locations that not only photograph beautifully in the springtime, but offer plenty of opportunities for your family to have fun together while having your family photos taken.

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The light on spring sunny evenings makes a beautiful addition to your family photos.

I am a lover of backlight, as I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’ve peeked around my website a little bit. Although the days are getting longer in spring, sunset is still early enough that you do not have to keep the kids up super late to take advantage of an evening family photo session. (Family sessions in spring typically start around 4:30-6pm, while in summer, by comparison they start more towards 7-8pm).

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Rain boots, light layers, and spring florals are a few of my favorite things.

When the weather has been rainy, pull on those rain boots and let’s splash in some puddles. Kids will love that mom is actually telling them to hop into puddles! You can also feel lighter with t-shirts, or cardigans and tank tops all in those beautiful, soft, spring colors and florals. Fall and winter may call for heavy sweaters and mittens, but spring weather can allow for lighter clothing.

Neyssa Lee Photography, Seattle Family Photographer, Family Photos in Spring, Family snuggled together with spring blossoms

There are things to consider about spring family photo sessions.

Each season has so many great reasons why to have family photos done. However, they also have things to consider that might make another season better for your family. Although there are many beautiful, warm spring days, there are also plenty of grey and/or rainy days, too. Of course, we can create beautiful portraits on grey days (here’s where those spring colors and florals really shine!), and I have some great locations that work well in the rain (Cedar River Water Shed is beautiful, fun, and covered!). However, if you’re hoping for more of a guarantee for sunshine, summer might be the best option for your family. Or you can fly me to Maui with you, I’m always up for that! (wink, wink).

It’s good to consider the seasons with all their positives and negatives - but if you want photos now, don’t wait. Your family right now can make any season the best season.

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